In 1949, the Africa Brotherhood Church resolved to have a University in pursuit of one of the Church objectives. A year later, on 12th February 1950, the Church opened its ever Divinity School and for the next 57 years trained ABC members of Clergy at Certificate level. However, the idea of a University was to remain a pipe dream until 2006, when a career teacher and entrepreneur and seasoned clergy, The Most. Rev Dr. Timothy Ndambuki was consecrated the Deputy Bishop of the ABC. Almost immediately, he then approached one of the Church members Dr. Edward Nzinga, an accomplished Curriculum and Instructional Design Scientist and a Leadership Analyst who was then the Dean of Studies at Premese Africa Development Institute to help the Church actualize its dream of setting up a University. At the time, the Divinity School had only 9 students and 3 tutors since admission was strictly based on God’s call.
In January 2007, Dr. Nzinga was formally deployed to Mitaboni in the Divinity School and subsequently appointed the Acting Principal since the ABC Constitution at the time recognized the head of the Church as the Principal. The next few months were used to do some feasibility studies especially on the viability of the proposed University. These feasibility studies eventually escalated to the then Commission for Higher Education (CHE) then based at Development house in Nairobi. Having received very useful information from the CHE, the first task was to rebrand the institution in order to accommodate other courses apart from Divinity.
After the completion of the baseline and feasibility studies, the Divinity School committee meeting was held on 8th November 2007 at the Divinity School compound in Mitaboni. It resolved among other things, the committee hatched a 5-year plan to raise 15 Million to help in the growth of the university.
The university dream received a major boost later in the same year of 2007, when His Excellency President Mwai Kibaki, the third President of the Republic of Kenya while attending the funeral of the founding Bishop of ABC church, the late Rev. Nathan Ngala, the church shared its aspirations of having a university and His Excellency affirmed the Kenya Governments commitment to fully support the church in actualizing that dream. It was after this newly found friendship with the government that the church stepped up its efforts to come up with a university. These efforts paid its first dividends when in early 2008, the Divinity school was renamed the Eastern Kenya Integrated College and was subsequently registered with the Ministry of Education. Shortly after, another committee comprising of 19 members (from both the church and academia) was appointed to continue operationalizing the college.
In March, 22nd 2008, the college was officially launched as a Teacher Training College under the name Eastern Kenya Integrated College with registration number P/TC/302/09 P/TC/302/09 based at Mitaboni along the Mitaboni-Kathiani Road in the present day Machakos County. It obtained full registration status in 2011 under registration number P/TC/598/11. The Institution then took off in earnest and to ensure professionalism, three committees namely Academic, Finance and Administration and Accommodation and physical facilities were set up to ensure the college was functional.
In 2009, the EKIC Patron Most.Rev. Dr. Timothy Ndambuki took a working trip to Canada and though the visit which was basically a church visit, the EKIC agenda and the proposed university was top of the agenda. This saw him visit Atlantic Baptist University, Acadia University, Tyndale University and Carey Theological College. As a result of that visit, a return visit to EKIC by Dr. Seth of Atlantic Baptist University, Dr. Carla Nelson of Tyndale University and Dr. Brian Stelck was done. They met with the team from EKIC made up of the Principal and three board members. The main agenda was collaboration and at the end of the deliberations, Carey Theological College was mandated by the three other Universities to mentor EKIC and also offer collaboration service for both the Diploma and Bachelor’s degree in Ministry. The collaborative agreement was already in force since 1978 focused only on the Certificate level. The new collaboration was therefore, extended to include both the Degree and Diploma qualifications. In the collaboration agreement, the Canadian Baptist Ministries and Carey Theological College undertook to provide educational materials and academic manpower to EKIC up to the time EKIC would be able to stand on its own. The collaboration between Carey and the Divinity School was not time bound, but was a lifetime partnership agreement between the mother organizations of both institutions i.e. The Africa Brotherhood Church (ABC) and The Canadian Baptist Ministries (CBM). Collaboratively, the two institutions mutually agreed to change the name to Africa Theological College in January 2007 upgraded the level of training to include Diploma Programs with a long-term intention of progressing to Degree and Masters Programs. However, these programs would be jointly sponsored by the Africa Brotherhood Church, (ABC), the African Churches and Schools (ACC &S) and Carey Theological College. In 2009, the collaborative agreement was extended to the Master of Ministry and eventually to Doctor of Ministry although these two post-graduate qualifications were done together with three other partner churches, one in Kenya, another in Congo and one more from West Africa.
In May 2009, the College acquired a bus which was paid for by the ABC headquarters but the money was later reimbursed by the College. By 2009, the College had an enrolment for 295 students. In March, 3rd the same year, EKIC was officially assessed by the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards. The team headed by Mr. J. O Ondire (DDQAS) had two other officers a Mr. J. Okiya (SADQAS) and a Mr. D. Kirui (ADQAS). In the report it was recommended that EKIC had met the general requirements for the functioning of a Primary Teacher Training College and was to be issued with a Registration Certificate to provisionally accommodate 300 students. The staff, both teaching and non-teaching were found to be fairly competent and adequate.
The final quest for the university came on 24th May when a Trust known as The Africa Brotherhood Church Trust was formed and subsequently presented an application to the Commission for University education (CUE) in which it proposed to start with three programs namely: Bachelor of Education (Arts).Bachelor of Early Child hood Education and development and Bachelor in Divinity. On 12th January 2015, the CUE conducted a Technical Inspection of the proposed University and months later gave a written feedback through a report and further counsel through which the dream of the university was to be realised. The Board of Trustees embarked on the recommendations some of which included a reconsideration of the use of the word “church” as part of the name of the proposed university. Consequently, the Board resolved to change the name of the Trust to Eastern Kenya Integrated University Trust, in line with the name of the College. This trust was eventually registered on May 2019.
The Most. Rev Dr. Timothy Ndambuki
Archbishop of The Africa Brotherhood Church
First chancellor of the Eastern Kenya Integrated University.
About the Sponsor
The current sponsor of the Eastern Kenya Integrated College (EKIC Board of Management) which falls under the auspices of the Africa Brotherhood Church shall be revamped and transformed into the Eastern Kenya Integrated University Board of Trustees. The Trust, which shall inter alia be composed of eminent religious, acknowledged scholars, business executives and distinguished professionals shall be the Sponsor of the University on behalf of the Church. It shall hold in trust the existing and future assets of the University.
The proposed Eastern Kenya Integrated University is a new Christian university in Eastern Kenya sponsored by the Africa Brotherhood Church (ABC). The establishment of the proposed university has been commissioned by the Archbishop of ABC, Most. Rev. Dr. Timothy Ndambuki on behalf of the Trustees of Eastern Kenya Integrated College Governing Council. It is the expressed intention of ABC to respond to the need for greater access to Higher Education in the Eastern Kenya region and more so to provide value based Christian university training for the development of the nation in accordance with the biblical principles and guidelines.