Empowering Zambians Through Education
Growing up in Zambia, Moffat Zimba (DMin '99) and his wife Doreen experienced the hardship of scarce educational opportunities in their country. As early as 1988 the couple dreamed of opening a university with the hopes of impacting Zambian lives through higher education. In 2004, their dream became a reality when Northrise University, Zambia's first nationally recognized private university, opened its doors. Since its founding, Northrise has graduated over 90 students from its schools of business and theology.
"I'm excited to see students graduating, marrying, having babies and caring for their families," says Moffat, adding that equipping strong, God-fearing men and women will help reduce the number of orphans in Zambia and impact the country in other positive ways. Moffat, who was encouraged by a Bible college friend in Australia to work on his doctorate at Fuller, knows firsthand the benefit of a good education. "Fuller gave me the tools I need to do my work," he says. "I learned how to be an ongoing student and also how to care for God's people, thus honoring God as I care for them."
Moffat cares for Northrise students by acknowledging their diverse backgrounds and experiences, describing himself as "passionate about training pastors and students from different walks of life." He recalls a time in his Introduction to Biblical Interpretation course when a student with many years of pastoral experience suddenly realized he had been incorrectly interpreting a particular passage of Scripture. "Right there in class he started confessing that he needed to change his understanding and help his congregation understand the context of the passage," says Moffat. "Now he has obtained his first degree in theology and is doing well." Another graduate Moffat mentions started a community school for orphans where 300 children are educated and cared for. Stories like these reinforce the Northrise vision of "true Christian service born out of reflection, intellectual investigation, and personal involvement in ministry."
Moffat looks forward to further growth for Northrise in the near future, as they begin to develop 640 acres of donated land so that the school will eventually be able to enroll 1,000 students and board 300 of those. Four hundred acres of the land are dedicated to farming, while 100 acres will be set aside for agricultural research projects--with plans to institute a school of agriculture, in addition to Northrise's Center for Information Communications Technology and schools of Business and Theology. Northrise is growing in its collaborations as well, as it works with Dordt College of Iowa and California Polytechnic University of San Luis Obispo in such areas as sustainable agricultural practices.
As Northrise continues to move toward its vision of "empowering Zambians through education that nourishes the spiritual and economic capacity of the Zambian people," Dr. Moffat Zimba continues to dream. "I am excited to see changed lives coming from Northrise, and to see the university produce business leaders and pastors for our country."
For more information about Northrise University, visit their website at http://northriseuniversity.com or http://www.northrise.org.