wesley college faqs
Please scroll through the information below to learn more about Wesley College, the local context, and the great need for our innovative, faith-based approach to education.
With 45 million people, Tanzania is the most populated country in East Africa and the sixth most populated on the continent. It is 10% the size of the United States, or twice the size of California. Several of the most well-known African locations are found within the country: Mt. Kilimanjaro, Serengeti National Park, Gombe Chimpanzee Reserve, and Lake Victoria.
A land of generally peaceful and friendly people, 43% of Tanzania’s population is under the age of 15, making it one of the world’s youngest populations. An estimated 17.5 million people are presently between 15 and 34 years, a number expected to double by 2035.
According to the United Nation’s Human Development Index (2014), Tanzania ranks 159 out of 187 countries in poverty, with 68% of its citizens living below the poverty line of $1.25 a day.
Wesley College is located in Mwanza, the second largest city in Tanzania and a major port on the southern shore of Lake Victoria. The population of the city is 924,221, with over 2.7 million living in the greater Mwanza region. Compared to the largest city in Tanzania (Dar Es Salaam), Mwanza is generally lacking in resources, including options for higher level education.
Primary school is available to the vast majority of children today, but access to secondary education is far more limited. Currently, just 52% of the eligible school population is enrolled in lower-secondary education and far fewer complete it. Challenges include a ‘school leaving’ exam that cannot be retaken by those who fail, and economic pressures forcing youth to leave school to help support their families.
In 2015, the Tanzanian government took the important step of eliminating school fees for secondary students. While a key move resulting in more students enrolled, as an unintended result schools are now more underfunded than before -- and unequipped to serve a growing school population.
Tanzanian youth are challenged to find employment with no more than a primary or uncompleted secondary education. Entry level job requirements have risen drastically in the past 10 years, making formal work increasingly inaccessible. More and more, uneducated young people are falling through the economic cracks, a situation that Wesley College is committed to solve.
For those who can afford it, post-secondary studies in Tanzania are primarily theoretical in nature, preparing students more for continued education than for the workforce. This results in a lack of local expertise and the need to hire from other countries. Many recent university graduates find themselves unemployable, due to a mismatch between what they have learned and what the country needs. This results not only in unemployment of college graduates but low performing organizations and businesses.
Wesley College provides excellent, hands-on education. We use innovative approaches, and students practice what they learn. When they graduate, students are ready to become employed or to employ themselves. Our programs are focused on job skills for success today and success tomorrow.
At Wesley College, we are committed to students with low levels of formal education. In two years, we help students prepare for and pass secondary school exams, opening new doors for their futures.
All are welcome at Wesley College, and we aim to create an inclusive learning environment. While inspired by our Christian faith, we strive to be a diverse college with regard to religion, gender, tribe, and ideology.
We are producing servant leaders, not just educating students. Our ultimate goal is to build a better community through our graduates. We invite all those who share our passion to join us as students, staff, prayer partners, volunteers, or donors.
Our programs currently include theology, business administration, and community development. We also offer shorter-term training in computer skills and an intensive English program. Other program offerings will be added incrementally as the College grows.
Much like community colleges in the United States, Wesley College focuses on students who missed the traditional path to college, often due to poverty or poor performance in secondary school. In addition, the typical Wesley College student enrolls with a heart for community service.
In Tanzania, a large proportion of pastors have no formal training as church leaders. They are often faithful followers of God, who feel called to begin ministering the church. Also, a large number of Wesley students have a heart for ministry yet are lacking even basic secondary education. Therefore, Wesley College has developed an approach that allows students to graduate with a diploma in theological education and a diploma in secondary education at the same time.
In addition to an academic education, we know that more is needed for students to be formed as spiritual leaders. Daily prayer, worship, and weekly chapel are all part of the Wesley College experience. All theology students are assigned to host churches where they worship on Sundays and are regularly invited to teach Sunday School, preach, and learn more about the leadership of the church. Area pastors from different denominations help provide regular teaching in the application of scripture to life and leadership.
Right now, you can best support Wesley College by becoming a monthly donor. A faithful commitment, at any level, will help us to go forward in confidence. Together, we will provide innovative education to students who would otherwise never receive it. We hope that you will help us equip the next generation of capable leaders for Tanzania.
Your gift goes far in Tanzania:
--$20/month supports one student’s living costs at our College dormitory
--$42/month pays one student’s tuition
--$78/month ($940 across the year) pays one faculty member’s salary for one month
Thanks for your interest in this transforming ministry.