Adventist University of Africa (AUA), a Seventh-day Adventist educational institution outside Nairobi, Kenya, has launched a search for a new vice chancellor — the primary officer of the university.
AUA is the only world church–sponsored institution of higher education located on the African continent. It provides graduate ministerial and theological education and professional programs for the 9.5 million members of the three Seventh-day Adventist Church divisions in Africa, as well as to students from other regions of the global church.
The search is underway following the announcement of current vice chancellor Delbert W. Baker that he is returning to the United States after completing a five-year tenure (2015-2020) in that position.
According to information provided by AUA, the university has experienced increased enrollment during Baker’s tenure, as well as academic and accreditation successes. A perpetual scholarship endowment has been established on the campus, and multiple campus improvements have been made.
Major campus achievements include the debt-free completion of the 80,000-square-foot (7,430-square-meter) Lindsay Thomas Jr., PhD, Multipurpose Complex, along with a maintenance endowment. The complex was dedicated in November 2019.
East-Central Africa Division (ECD) president and AUA chancellor Blasious Ruguri said that Baker has “enhanced the facilities and standing of AUA, while promoting educational excellence in Africa and the global community.” Adventist Church general vice-president Ella Simmons, who is also the AUA University Council chair, added that it has been “a pleasure” to work with Baker.
“AUA has experienced historic and outstanding progress under his leadership,” Simmons said. “The strategic efforts of this administration strengthened the international standing of the university.”
Prior to serving as vice chancellor at AUA, Baker was the president of Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama, United States, for 14 years, and served five years as a general vice-president at the General Conference headquarters of the church. The Bakers will take up a new line of service on their return to the U.S. in September 2020.
The search process for a new vice chancellor is currently underway, according to university officials. Applications for and inquiries about the position may be obtained via Simmons’s office at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.
AUA offers nine master’s degrees, including a Master of Arts in Missiology and a Master of Chaplaincy. It also offers three doctoral programs, including a Doctor of Ministry and a Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership.
In 2018, the AUA Judith Thomas Library was ranked the best academic library in Kenya. The criteria selected to assess libraries included innovation and creativity in the provision of library services; the provision of services directly relevant to the immediate community; and initiatives to preserve and disseminate local content and indigenous knowledge.
According to the school website, AUA’s core values are knowledge, truth, and service. The institution has a stated mission that aspires “to deliver postgraduate [graduate] education in a Christian context, to prepare graduates to provide competent leadership and service based on integrity, respect, and love, to meet the needs of church and society.”