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founding of wesley college

Wesley College began as a dream of American United Methodist missionaries, Liz and Eric Soard. They had spent their first few years of service in rural Tanzania (the Mara region) planting churches and working alongside ministries supporting orphans, village women, and street children.  Over time, Eric was struck that there were so many people in the villages who had huge hearts and obvious leadership potential. But higher education was out of reach for them. Many had not even completed secondary school.


Eric began to believe that education was the best route to both transform individuals and build a better community. 

In 2014, a group of Tanzanian United Methodist pastors came together to consider starting a college. As they dreamed together and developed a vision, they didn’t look at what other colleges in the region were doing. Instead they considered the unique needs of the people of Tanzania. Soon they were working through the accreditation process and looking for land. Wesley College was endorsed by the United Methodist Church in 2015, and it opened its doors to students in February 2017.


After serving as Wesley College Principal for its first three years, Eric Soard transitioned with his family to Nashville, Tennessee in mid-2020. He now serves as Executive Director of Wesley College Foundation, which exists to support the ministry in Tanzania. Read Eric's bio here.


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