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Training for Transformation: PAC University Charter Awarded
PAC University, Kenya, offers certificate, diploma, undergraduate and graduate degrees to 700 students from 13 countries and more than 30 denominations.

The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada established Pan Africa Christian College (PAC). In 1978 to provide degree level training for African church leaders. The school opened with PAOC missionaries Dr. Ken Birch as the founding principal and Dr. Jim Richards as the academic dean. The first class had a total of seven students. In 1989, the college began working with the Commission for Higher Education to establish Pan Africa Christian University as an autonomous private university in Kenya.

In February 2008, PAC was officially awarded their long-awaited charter by Kenyan president, Honourable Mwai Kibaki. Dr. Birch, in his capacity as the former chair of the Board of Governors, was present to install the first chancellor of PAC University, Bonifes Adoyo, Bishop of the Nairobi Pentecostal churches.

Today, PAC University offers certificate, diploma, undergraduate and graduate degrees for approximately 700 students from 13 different countries and over 30 denominations. Kirk Kauffeldt is vice-chancellor (president) of PAC University. He and his wife Shelley are PAOC missionaries to Kenya. Each of them shares their perspective on the long, steady journey from the birth of the vision to the reality of the university's official opening.

Kirk Kauffeldt

There were many challenges leading up to this momentous occasion. The accreditation process sought to ensure that PAC University could meet demanding international quality standards for universities. More importantly, we wanted to achieve this recognition without compromising as a Pentecostal institution. We were committed to our goal of facilitating spiritual formation while pursuing academic excellence in university training. By God's grace we resisted the pressure to conform to secular university standards. Towards the end of the process, we faced political and bureaucratic frustrations as well as interference from the Muslim community. The post-election violence that occurred early this year was also very difficult. Through all of these challenges God has been at work and we give Him praise.

The university's new status increases the scope of influence PAC will have in Kenya and beyond. Our vision is to see the African church address the desperate needs of the continent through evangelism, outreach and discipleship. Our goal is to train servant leaders; change agents who are actively involved in God's work. Already our graduates are making a dramatic difference. Lives are being changed. Entire communities are being impacted.

We want to develop influential and godly African leaders in all sectors of society. Africa has suffered under poor leadership. The prevailing approach to leadership is control. Most leaders are elitist and self-serving — qualities that are directly contrary to the biblical mandate of servant leadership. At PAC, biblical leadership training is woven throughout the curriculum and students gain practical experience in a mentored environment. With our focus on character, service and transformation, we are becoming known as the "Leadership University."

The staff and faculty are mostly Kenyan or from other African countries. There are also missionaries from Canada, the US, England and Malaysia. They all share a clear sense of calling. Each one is uniquely equipped by God to be a part of His work in the lives of our students.

The church in Africa has heard God say that He is raising them up to play a major part in the global harvest. Our role in this great vision is to help address the priorities of discipleship and leadership so that the African church can realize its God-given mandate. The strong partnership that exists with the PAOC is vital for PAC's success. We need the support of faithful intercessors, generous investors, and willing workers from Canada.

Shelley Kauffeldt

The Lord first laid Kenya on my heart when I was I 8 years of age. I was still a young Christian, but I knew then that the Lord was preparing me for service in Kenya. When I met Kirk at Trinity Western University a few years later I knew that God was not only preparing me, but He was at work preparing us for service together. Here we are, more than 25 years later, serving God together in Kenya.

The entire charter process reminds me of the parable Jesus told of the wise and foolish virgins. Over the years, there were many delays and broken promises regarding the charter award. It would have been easy to give up, or to become careless or apathetic about the fulfilment of our prayers. A tremendous amount of work goes into preparing for a presidential university award ceremony. Thankfully, we were diligent. Academic gowns for the chancellor and vice-chancellor were designed. The mace (the instrument of authority that is unique to every institution), the seal, the logo, and all our marketing materials were also designed and crafted. These things take time, money and effort. None of them happens without careful planning and vision.

When we finally received the phone call saying the charter was going to be granted and that the president would make an official appearance at the university campus, we had 10 days to get ready. Although there was still a lotto do for such a historic event, we were ready —thanks to the work that had been done all along the way.

Our desire was that President Kibaki would experience the presence of God while visiting our campus. We prayed that he would feel God's peace here and recognize this as a place of refuge and acceptance. We believe that the president's reluctance to leave the grounds in spite of other pressing engagements was a result of those prayers. We are continuing to believe God for his salvation so that he will lead Kenya with godly wisdom. God is using the recent political and social tragedy for His purposes. We are watching Kenyan Christians rise up to take their place as godly leaders. We are humbled to be a part of what God is doing through PAC.

Kirk and Shelley Kauffeldt serve at PAC University along with their children Devon and Kaitlyn. They returned to Kenya in July 2008. See www.pacuniversity.com to learn about PAC.

Originally published in testimony, July 2008.

 

 
 
 
 

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