With a desire to focus on faculty development and bring together a cadre of permanent staff highly committed to the vision of UCBC, UCBC launched an Advanced Studies Program (ASP) in 2016. The goal of this program is to financially and institutionally support 25 UCBC faculty and staff members to earn Masters and PhDs by the year 2025. We are filled with joy to report that UCBC is on track to achieve this goal in just three more years!
ASP is coordinated by UCBC alumna, Sifa Jolie Kpaka, who also participated in ASP a few years ago, earning her Masters degree at Daystar University. Jolie is a wonderful asset in the leadership of UCBC, serving in this role and also as a professor of economics.
There are currently 17 ASP beneficiaries studying–eight in east Africa/DRC, two in the US, three in Europe, and four in fully remote programs. Although the pandemic did cause some disruption in program timelines, two beneficiaries finished their courses and thesis defense and graduated this fall.
My Masters degree in Agribusiness Management has been such a long and hard journey. It was not easy to combine being a student, a faculty member, a husband, and a parent. I am grateful to God, who has used ASP to open this very big door for me so that I can better serve my community.
-Kambale Taraja Eloge, UCBC faculty member and ASP beneficiary, graduated 2022, Strathmore University, Nairobi
An additional seven beneficiaries will graduate by spring 2023. By spring 2023, a total of 16 ASP beneficiaries will have completed advanced degrees through ASP and returned to teach at UCBC, committed to the vision of “being transformed to transform” and equipping the next generation of Congo’s Christ-centered leaders. ASP beneficiaries who complete a Masters degree commit to serving at UCBC for at least five years after they receive their degree and those who complete a PhD commit to eight years.
Permanent faculty members, like Jolie and Eloge, are instrumental in making UCBC a unique and transformative educational experience. While much of higher education in Congo is still mired in outdated pedagogical practices and abuse of power in the classroom, UCBC permanent faculty members promote dialogue, research, innovation, and service. They both mentor and lead by example, while inspiring their students to do the same.
It is difficult to describe all the benefits I received through UCBC. We learned to be independent women destined to impact. We learned how to innovate with our own authentic ideas to address the challenges of our country…We have also learned to live in society with people different from us. UCBC helped make me a brave woman – one who is capable of change and ready to achieve my dreams. UCBC is my home. Tuko pamoja – “we are together.”
-Abigael Muyisa, UCBC Class of 2022, Faculty of Economics and Business Management
Several foundation and church partners have been committed to ASP for several years and this program would not be possible without your support! Thank you for being a part of the new story being written in Congo through UCBC.