The Mission of African Christian College
is to glorify God by equipping students for excellent service in His Kingdom
To glorify God
…from the time of the original vision that led to the purchase of the property until now, through all the variations of focus and programs, the purpose of the students, faculty, staff and supporters of African Christian College (ACC) remains to glorify God.
By equipping students
…the educational process must effectively equip students with the skills and tools they need in the African context
For excellent service in His Kingdom
…Kingdom Service of the highest standard is the expected benefit for the people of Africa from ACC’s mission.
VISION FOR THE FUTURE
Context | Spiritual Formation/Transformation | Fully Equipping for Service |
Vision for Sustainability | Maintaining the Focus & Mission
By the Grace of God, African Christian College has started its fifth decade as a Christian institution of higher learning. Our 43 years of training students as Manzini Bible School and our Mission provide a solid foundation that makes our Vision for ACC in 2010 and beyond possible.
Our prayer is that, led by God’s Spirit, God’s people around the world will continue to join us in making this vision a reality.
Servants of God’s Kingdom in Southern Africa today face unique challenges. Expansive growth of knowledge has brought new insight and awareness of opportunities for a better life. But when newly learned methods and ideologies defy long established ways, violent clashes often result. Two worlds exist side by side: one relatively rich and educated, the other extremely poor and uneducated. The worldview of Africa’s multi-cultural peoples is far more spiritual than much of our globe, yet even as increasing numbers confess the name of Jesus, the continent is starved for spiritual truth. How can students be equipped to peacefully implement improvements, lift people up from the depths of poverty and dispense spiritual truth?
African Christian College is positioned to respond to these challenges by preparing visionary leaders of integrity, equipped with a deep knowledge of the Bible and the world about them. They must be equipped to serve broadly; scattered like salt among the rich, the poor – the educated, the unschooled – the violent, the peaceful. Such equipping requires much more than “book knowledge” or even knowledge of the Book. It requires spiritual formation and motivation by the Spirit of Christ.
Africa, even the world, cries out for men and women of character . . . godly character. ACC is uniquely suited to inculcate character — because of its 40-year heritage and because of the giants of faith who envisioned and labored for this institution in Swaziland, Southern Africa and the USA. Our graduates have kept the faith with great success. Future graduates must now step forward to answer this call at an even higher level. To merely stay the course would be to fall behind because Africa has changed . . . and will change even faster!
To realize our vision, we must raise school standards at an accelerated pace, and we must redefine graduation requirements to correspond to realities in the region today. Whether faculty, staff or student, we expect to see lives transformed into the image of Christ.
Evidence of this will be the ability to meet and exceed high standards. By serving with excellence, our graduates will lead others who witness their good works to also glorify God, to appreciate His patient efforts to bring His creatures into a relationship with Him and to accept His grace.
The challenge for ACC during the 21st Century is to continue attracting outstanding Christian faculty and staff, to keep recruiting talented students who have great potential and to excel in providing enriched learning opportunities on our campus and in the home nations of our students.
Because ACC has been and will remain Christian to its core, the educational process will contain two key elements: outstanding learning opportunities and bold faith expressing itself in love. The all-important products of this educational process are graduates who exhibit high levels of competence and standards consistent with biblical ideals, enabling them to effectively act as servant-leaders within the context of their churches, their communities and their nations.
In keeping with our mission to glorify God, Christ is central to every plan, vision and dream of this institution. Our Savior’s power to transform minds and hearts provides the energy which propels ACC forward. In keeping with holistic principles of African culture, we desire to educate the whole student through the integration of academics and campus life, with Christian values woven into every experience, success and difficulty. Spiritually, ACC encourages – and even demands – that all members of the learning community agree and commit themselves to love and honor God, to study the Bible as God’s Word, and to become Christ-centered individuals of great strength and honor.
It is possible to dispense large quantities of biblical knowledge without producing spiritual qualities crucial to the transformation of student lives. ACC is committed not only to offer Bible courses, but to offer a core curriculum which includes liberal arts and sciences as well as courses on spiritual formation. Personal and spiritual formation will be included in syllabus requirements for all courses.
Outside the traditional classroom environment spiritual growth will be encouraged by independent research, by mentoring, by church involvement, by work-study opportunities and by service-oriented field experiences. Students will enjoy a variety of opportunities to integrate faith, learning and life. This transformation will prepare the graduates to profit and grow from the ability and desire to engage in life-long learning across the full spectrum of life.
The expectation for all students, faculty and staff is that the opportunities experienced on and off the campus will foster transformation by the Spirit of God to be each day more like Jesus Christ.
Fully Equipping for Service
We believe that spiritual transformation points us towards equipping our students for service through academic excellence and personal commitment.
Christian faculty members are at the heart of the educational process. As we build on present academic disciplines and teaching methodologies, we will continue and expand both our efforts to recruit Christian scholars as residents/adjuncts and to provide development opportunities for all faculty members. Emphasis will continue to be placed on finding those who share our desire to integrate faith and learning, service and leadership, behavior and speech.
Students learn moral and ethical responsibility; led by faculty and staff members who believe in renewing their own spiritual strength through prayer, Bible study, church involvement and above all, service to others. These will continue to be hallmarks of the faculty.
Excellent Education at the Bachelors Degree Level
ACC’s vision is to provide a Bachelors Degree education consistent with better institutions of higher learning in Southern Africa and the USA; responsive to the cultures which its students are called to serve. As evidence of excellence, the school has embarked on a disciplined, deliberate program of improvement to achieve and maintain accreditation standards of an internationally recognized organization.
Our vision is to provide three, three-year accredited bachelors degree programs: one in Biblical Ministry, another in Comprehensive Leadership and a third in Counseling, Marriage and Family. To make the transition, the former two-year preacher training curriculum will be broadened to include additional general education courses in areas such as literature, philosophy, history, math, science, communications, psychology, computer literacy and English composition and writing skills.
Today a multi-dimensional education is required for African leadership at all levels. Proficiency in English, written and spoken, is especially important for those living in areas where English is a/the “national language.” With the changes sweeping across Africa, the needs of the churches will be better served by training ministers and leaders who have a broad educational background in addition to an understanding of biblical principles and ministry. The needs of the graduates’ communities and nations will be better served by the emphases of the three service-oriented degree programs.
Educational offerings at ACC will continue to expand to better enable graduates to provide for themselves and their families. Some may preach full time. Others with different gifts may serve their communities as spiritually mature leaders in agriculture, business, education, or social agencies. Still others may serve as counselors for conflict and crisis, HIV/AIDS, addiction, or Marriage & Family.
Our vision cannot be achieved without students who are willing to commit themselves to the high standards of ACC’s vision. ACC will recruit students of the highest quality from throughout Southern Africa.
The strong desire for a Christian education and a heart for serving the Lord are primary qualifications for students. While most of our students will be drawn from the churches of Christ, we will continue to welcome other students of character and ability who value our Christian learning environment and are willing to openly examine the demands that the Biblical text places on the hearts of all believers. High quality students who are “under-prepared” academically will be provided with leveling classes which must be completed prior to entrance into bachelors or certificate programs.
In order that students receive the holistic education/equipping that is envisioned they must be dedicated full time to their studies and live on campus. Married students will be required to bring their wives and children. Students will receive part of their practical education and help defray tuition and living expenses through working in agriculture, construction, benevolent programs and other ongoing campus operations.
Education of Student Wives
We recognize student wives as being vital to the success of their husbands and great assets to their churches and communities. Our vision includes providing appropriate learning opportunities that will equip them for excellent service, while still permitting them to be effective mothers to their young children.
Select Continuing Education Programs
Because it serves so many nations across southern Africa, ACC has a unique opportunity to provide continuing education opportunities to its former graduates and church leaders through Seminars, Short Courses and Workshops conducted by members of its faculty in various sites. It is the Vision of ACC that funding and faculty to accomplish this goal will be developed in a manner that does not interfere with the accomplishment of the vision for its on-campus Bachelors Degree programs.
Enhanced Resources, Facilities and Infrastructure
The resources, facilities and infrastructure will be brought to and kept at a high standard consistent with this vision. Planning and funding for these improvements will be a primary focus of the executive leadership and board of directors.
Vision for Sustainability
The current location of the campus on 200 acres in the politically stable and peaceful Kingdom of Swaziland provides a setting conducive to meeting the vision for the future.
The Board of Trustees is committed to continuing the complete and transparent fiduciary accountability exhibited by the Montgomery Blvd. Church of Christ, for operating and capital funds, campus generated income, as well as the entirety of the educational experience.
The vision is to continue to search for and utilize highly qualified faculty, administration, on-site workers and experienced Christian teachers who are self-supported/raise their own support through churches and individuals that partner with us in the educational process whenever possible.
Our vision for sustainability of ACC must enable growth in every aspect of the collegiate community as mentioned above. Through careful planning, faith-based fund raising and faithful execution, the Board of Directors will strive to obtain growing sustainable funding from current and new stakeholders to enable the excellence and growth described in this vision.
Income Producing Projects
Our vision is for ACC to truly be an African college — not totally or primarily dependent on outside funding.
To this end the Tree of Life Project (a 15,000 macadamia nut tree orchard) is expected to provide a “living endowment”, increasing financial stability as revenues grow over the next 5 years. Our vision is that this orchard will be a well run, high value asset for many years to come. Other projects will combine income with local quality-of-life improvement for ACC’s stakeholders among our poor neighbors. We expect carefully managed growth in income and service from the Certified Seed Production unit, improved agricultural and animal husbandry methods to join the Tree of Life Project in both community service and educational excellence.
Our vision is that the remaining land not required for campus buildings and grounds will be an increasing source of nutritional foods – and another opportunity for an effective Work-Study Program. In addition we will continue to explore various ways to combine life-and-jobs skills education for our students with income production.
Maintaining the Focus and Mission
African Christian College is first and foremost an institution of higher learning.
It must, and will, maintain a program of constant, consistent improvement in the educational process.
Student Learning Outcomes will be expected to correspond to the educational process improvement.
All other elements of this Vision Statement are subordinate to that focus. Without that focus the College will be unable to meet its Mission.
This vision was adopted by the African Christian College Board of Trustees, June 2010