|EDINA, Minn. — Churches in the Twin Cities, as well as two local colleges, have helped financially and formed partnerships with Daystar University, a leading Christian university located in Nairobi, Kenya. The university, founded in 1974, was initially supported “heavily by missionaries from the U.S.,” according to Dr. Timothy Wachira, vice chancellor of the school. Wachira visited the Twin Cities in April to meet with Daystar University U.S. officials.
Now, more than 30 years after its founding, Daystar has become a thriving university with more than 4,000 students from some 20 countries in Africa. The school also offers more than 15 undergraduate majors, including communications, community development, computer science and information technology. In addition, Master’s degree programs are available, and the school launched its first PhD program in 2010.
What makes the school unique, however, is its commitment to Christ and its desire to impact the world for Him.
Wachira said the school’s vision “is to transform the society in Kenya and Africa.”
More than 14,000 graduates are now working across Africa, many with ministries such as International Justice Mission, World Vision, Africa Inland Mission and World Relief.
Wachira believes the key to education is integrating faith and learning.
“Our knowledge comes from God so that there is no dichotomy between what you are as a profession and your life as a Christian,” he said. “God has called you and gifted you to be in that particular profession and therefore … yourself as a servant of God in that particular profession. [Daystar helps shape students] in equipping them to see the connection between your physics and your Christianity, [so they] come out determined to be world transformers in their own profession.”
Daystar also partners with Christian schools in the U.S., including Northwestern College and Bethel University. Students and faculty visit each campus and spend time studying and conducting research.
In a recent visit to Daystar, Kathleen Johnson, executive director of Daystar U.S., said her meetings with students impressed her.
“[There were] two meaningful things for me when I visited,” she said. “I talked to several groups of students. They know what they want to do. Many want to go back to where they live … and do some kinds of things to improve their country. And then their faith they have. They were really able to share that faith in Jesus.”
Johnson also got a chance to visit with alums of Daystar and noted the work in which they were now involved. One alum has started a school for students in a slum area; another has started a high school where students are taught sewing and tailoring; another has developed a “garden in a sack,” since there is little room for gardens.
In addition, John Dau, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, attended Daystar University after spending 10 years in a refugee camp. He hopes to develop a Christian leadership training center in South Sudan.
Johnson would love to see additional churches and individuals get involved with Daystar. Wachira noted that fees at the university are less than $6,000, and U.S. students are welcome to attend. Credits transfer, so students can combine education in the U.S. with education at Daystar University.
“We’d love to have more financial support for not only students but their programs and their infrastructure,” Johnson said. “[People should visit.] This is a way of really changing the world, changing Kenya for sure, to really transform their country.”
Johnson believes Daystar is already making a positive impact on Kenya and Africa.
“I walked away from Daystar amazed, just amazed at the quality of the university and the quality of the alumni—and students as well,” Johnson said. “Every country should have a Daystar because that’s the way to transform a country—through the people.”
ACTIONPOINT: For more information about Daystar University, visit www.daystar.ac.ke. For more information about Daystar U.S., visit www.daystarus.org, call (952) 928-2550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.