Published on January 24, 2023  
president taylor and rwanda archbishop

Samford University has initiated an early-stage partnership with East African Christian College, a new higher education institution based in Kigali, Rwanda.

The two universities are exploring opportunities to cooperate and collaborate in a variety of ways, including student exchanges, faculty exchanges, joint academic activities, collaborative research, and exchanges of educational materials of common interest.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in early December by Samford President Beck A. Taylor and the founding chairman of the board for East African Christian College, Rev. Dr. Laurent Mbanda. 

Samford has made global influence a priority in its next comprehensive strategic plan, “Fidelitas: Faith and Future.” The plan was announced and unanimously adopted by the Samford Board of Trustees in December.

Mbanda serves as archbishop of the Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda and is a prominent leader in East Africa. He previously served as the vice president of the African region for Compassion International before being called to serve as bishop of the Shyira Diocese in northern Rwanda.

Mbanda also delivered the commencement sermon for the winter Commencement and Service of Consecration at Beeson Divinity School on Dec. 9. The title of his address was “Go and Be Fruitful.”

“Being in Christ and him being in you is the key to bearing fruit,” Mbanda said. “May you go out to be instrumental in saving the lost and training disciples. Our lives will be healthy, our ministry successful only if we remain in him. Let us go and bear fruit!”

Samford representatives will visit East African Christian College this year to explore future opportunities between the two institutions.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.