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Benard Oguti

THE NEED TO STUDY IN A CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY
“…education focused on raising academic giants alone without instilling Godly values in them and shaping their character renders such education holistically incomplete…”

Hundreds of universities are spread all over the world and all of them striving in educating their scholars with knowledge in various professions. But the question is, do all of them aim at nurturing their learners into value-centered and God fearing scholars as well? All universities have missions and visions that guide their learners, however of recent times, the challenge towards keeping these two aspects on perspective has been a question of debate. European and African high education institutions have been marred with riots, lecturers’ strikes and even politicized involvements. As a result, the values and objectives of these institutions have been barely followed up or on another instance; they are being compromised in the name of fitting into the modern era. More focus has been shifted to mass enrollment in public universities for continuous sustenance and unavoidably, the flocking in of high school grandaunts, who are excited to join university. Meanwhile in private universities, profit maximization has been the focus.

The issue of whether values-centered quality students are graduated or not isn’t all that a priority instead quantity has been the driving factor of most universities––the more populous an institution is, the great or quality–like it is. Less focus on quality, value-centeredness, and the uniting goal of education therefore has not been taken seriously.
Although most universities do have guidelines that shape the behaviors of their scholars, barely are they practically followed and besides, the aspect of self motivation and inspiration from the enactors of these rules is wanting. A case in point is where a university has a code of conduct that forbids drinking and smoking but one of the lecturers is involved in such acts openly before the learners. This becomes difficult for the students to follow the obligations–––it becomes more of don’t do what I do but what I say mentality and yet authorities expect their students to be disciplined and upright without themselves being exemplary. Universities must be the source, the channel and the reference of inspiration and exemplariness to their students to look up to. The ideology of students once in university being free birds must be suppressed as it’s a threat to realization of full performance of students and a risk of graduating half-baked scholars––we need Christian personal–parenting universities
We do have ”distinguished” universities with really quality apparatus that perhaps attract students and also on the other hand, enhance creativity and academic excellence but the very institutions barely stress emphasis on the spiritual–character development of their learners and rather leave it as an option with focus on training academic giants. They would preferably refer you to a theologian school if you want to be a pastor or grow spiritually. But education focused on raising academic giants alone without instilling Godly values in them and shaping their character renders such education holistically incomplete. To achieve a whole–round scholar isn’t just in teaching them to solve or invent theories but to equip them with Godly values and help in molding their character.

Education shouldn’t isolate people to laboratories alone but should be a platform that brings scholars together and identifies us as humans who need to learn, live and grow together. That’s why we need not only a university that has all the academic equipment but also a firm Christian values-centered university. Not just having theology as part of their disciplines but having these theological values practically lived and exemplified in both the students and the learners.

World scholars seeking for knowledge need to be a part of a Christian oriented university which not only focuses on academic excellence but also character shaping and values-development. We do have as well Christian universities that have all the academic apparatus to raise intelligent scholars but the kind of education that will help transform the world is that which focuses on raising value centered scholars who will be able to fit into all kinds of societal cultures––which must be their underlying focus.
To fear God is to have knowledge and that’s actually the beginning of it and so, settling to values–growth for a scholar opens doors for all opportunities. They normally say, your papers will give you the job but it’s your character that will keep you in the job. I think we need universities that teach their scholars on how they can remain ethical and employable Christian servant leaders in their workplaces––and it’s not about having A’s and First class degrees but to have godly established values and character that enables us to stand out as servants of integrity.

And yes, we want to build the nations of African and the world at large but what will we use for building, our papers or our values? The more we engage ourselves as young leaders and scholars to study the word of God and grasp its lessons about life and embrace it as part of our lives, then we can build the foundation on which other generations can rest on; our papers can rot, be stolen or swept away by floods but our values and character remains inside of us.
Livingstone International University in Mbale, Uganda has been one of the practical Christian institutions I got the divine opportunity to study in. With their vision of transforming Africa through quality Christ centered higher education and their mission of raising ethical, empowered, employable Christian leaders in every sector of society, the highest calling of being agents of change is summed up in this two aspects: if all scholars worldwide can embrace the values of Christ no matter their religious affiliations and work towards being ethical, empowered with these values then add onto the practical and creative oriented higher education obtained, transforming Africa would not be a giant to face.

Livingstone International University besides being very practical in their education offers one of the most urgently needed ingredient lacking in our contemporary education and learners, which is the pursuit for godliness and the transforming power of embracing Christ’s values and truth as a completing components in a scholar’s life. What more do we need besides our academic knowledge but the knowledge and  wisdom to be servant leaders with values of integrity, compassion, and love for all mankind which no ”prestigious” institution ever provides except when they pursue their scholars to uphold such values?
Livingstone International University exists to redefine what is considered a prestigious or distinguished university; which is a university that focuses on raising morally values-pivoted scholars with not only creative and practical skills but with a desirable character that triggers world transformation.
That’s what the world lacks and yet needs. We have thousands of grandaunts with great papers but still experience unfulfilling lives. That is because certain elements are missing to make such a scholar complete; to be a complete leaner is to be possessed with Godly values that guide you to use your skills for the purpose of transforming the environment around you.
Livingstone International University just six years old, among other academic resources has a media studio for both radio and television as well as a print newspaper which not only gives the scholars the chance to learn practically at first hand before they go outside there, but this high tech-education incorporated with daily chapel fellowships in four days a week and mentoring sessions gives the students a wider scope of viewing life beyond academics but use these technologies to reach out with the truth of God and thereby enable them to grow spiritually, mentally, physically, and socially which is the kind of holistic higher education the world needs right now.

The university therefore offers education that helps its learners to not only be creative and academically sound but most crucial of all, values-centered and character transformed so as to enable them to discover their purposes in life and embrace the uncertainties of today’s world with forearmed knowledge and confidence.
I believe African scholars can be confident to play a transforming role today only when they have been a part of education institutions that guides them to discover their visions, purposes and goals in life by character refining and spiritual emphasis besides academic excellence.
Livingstone international university is one of such institutions a scholar who doesn’t want to be shocked by life’s unanswered questions academics alone can’t answer would consider not just joining and studying in it but becoming part of its vision and mission.
My first degree is going to be from this Christian university and I am already filled with confidence that not only will I get high paying jobs but I have a clear direction about my purpose and personal goals at hand that I never learnt in a Media class but in my daily interactions with God through the opportunities the university offers to her learners to discover, develop and follow their dreams, visions and purposes in life.

Unfortunately not all universities are designed this way but as these university aliases itself as the only “personal university”––indeed it has enabled me to personally realize my true personality that God has predetermined me to become.
Benard Oguti Exojoy, a third year student pursuing Bachelors in Media Technology, Livingstone International University.

LIU’s Fourth Graduation Ceremony

LivingStone Fourth Graduation and Installation of the Chancellor Ceremony

As a baby grows and develops into a child while learning, advancing, and inhabiting new seasons of exploration; that is how LivingStone International University  (LIU) is. We are meeting many milestones on our journey of progress.  The latest one has been the 4th graduation ceremony that was held in conjunction with the commissioning ceremony for the graduates and the new chancellor instillation. Our 4th graduation ceremony was the first graduation that we held at our new campus in the beautiful pavilion building.  Another milestone is the number of students we graduated- 74 students! This is by far the largest group that LIU has had graduate and included in that number is the first set of Education Diploma students to graduate.  We were overwhelmed with joy by the turnout of people who came to celebrate; we had parents, community members, church and organization leaders, various university officials, guests from the United States, local government leaders along with our Guest of Honor, Hon. Jenipher Kacha Namuyangu Minister of State for Local Government Women MP Kibuku District   and our Chief Guest, Hon. Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo (MP), Minister of State for Higher Education.

We are immensely grateful for the hard work of the LIU graduation committee, staff, and supporters. LIU will continue to grow and meet greater milestones because of the team and family at large who tirelessly give of their efforts and resources.  We thank God for His provision and faithfulness. Congratulations go to our graduates! We are proud of you and will continue to pray as you shine your light in this world as you build the nations of Africa!

LIU’s Third Graduation

LIU’s Third Graduation

On 10th June, 2017, we held our third historical graduation ceremony where 41 students graduated with both Bachelor’s degree and diplomas in Media Technology, Business Administration and Information Technology. It was presided over by the University Chancellor Mr. Shawn Tayler as the celebration was graced by several dignitaries from the Government of Uganda, National Council for Higher Education, local leaders, relatives of the graduates, visitors from the United States of America and other well-wishers. The Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Mr. Henry Buregea said that LIU has equipped the men and women graduating with quality, Christ-centred education where they are now ready to make a difference in their work places which will lead them to follow suit in transforming the nations of Africa as our motto is.

Moreen Mukite, who was the highest academically performing student among the graduates, said that she is not ending on the Bachelor’s degree level but rather going to upgrade to masters studies which will enable her to come back and serve her University. Our students feel unique to have graduated from the only personal university in Uganda and they believe they are way too better than any other graduate from any other university in Uganda. They proudly say that they are the only ones with premium degrees within IT, Business and Media which took them four years which is not the case with any other university. The ceremony was blessed with the commissioning service where graduates were encouraged to carry on with the LivingStone leadership style which is servanthood style of leadership. They were all given a gift of a towel baring the LivingStone logo having a Bible scripture that bares servanthood leadership.

 

 

 

 

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