About ISAR

ISAR (Institute for the Study of African Realities) is a constituent school of Africa International University. In line with the AIU’s vision and mission, and also with its core values, ISAR sets its goals as follows:

 

ISAR seeks to listen to diverse African voices so that it can provide an environment for a profound examination of crucial issues that Africa is facing today. In so doing, ISAR attempts to apply the vision and values of Jesus and Christian worldview to our training and research programs. ISAR basically exists to bridge any existing gap between Christian academia and communities to which we belong. ISAR continues to make efforts to synthesize “real-world” solutions that promote justice and peace in our societies. Thus, ISAR’s programs are designed to aim at transforming individuals, communities, and systems throughout Africa, in line with AIU’s vision and core values.

 

With these goals, ISAR pursues Christian values for evangelical scholarship, interdisciplinary studies (as demanded by varied academic and practical fields), and academic research and writing. ISAR also makes all efforts to increase learning resources and technology. ISAR exists ultimately to serve the body of Christ in Africa and beyond.


Centers under ISAR:

Center for Values, Ethics, Law, Leadership, Governance, and Public Policy (CVELLGPP)

There is a critical need in Africa today for excellence in leadership and management of public affairs. The center seeks to empower and resource Christians who are called to serve in the judiciary, legislative bodies and the civil service of African countries so that they may bring change and institute national policies and systems motivated by national interest.

ISAR’s passion is to see Christians in Africa live a life of integrity and upholding moral and spiritual values presented in the Bible, the only foundation on which a just and prosperous society can be built. The center prepares leaders who will participate in the strengthening of the economic and political systems in their nations. We therefore seek to nurture African “statesmen” who will be distinguished by the compelling wisdom of their solutions for the complexities of African society.

 

 

Center for the Study of Religions (CSR)

Today it is a conspicuous reality around the world that religions are becoming more and more a delicate and sensitive issue encompassing almost all aspects of human life. It is also observed that they often create volatile environments that hinder a peaceful maintenance of social life. In view of this present reality facing churches in Africa, the center seeks to understand people’s life in other faiths in order to make contributions towards promoting irenic relationships between religions and also to construct a more relevant way to share the Gospel of Jesus peacefully with people of other faiths.

Thus, the center’s main objectives are as follows: it endeavors to produce high level (PhD and post-doctoral levels) of scholarship in studying world religions (especially Islam in Africa as well as African Traditional Religions(s)), to provide needed information for the body of Christ (particularly in Africa) with regard to world religions, to promote peaceful relationships with people of other religions (especially with Muslim neighbors in sub-Saharan Africa), and to develop effective ways to share the gospel of Jesus with people of other faiths.

 

Center for Research and Publication

The center is a learning environment in which Christian scholars and practitioners across the African continent and beyond are engaging in a rigorous scholarly examination of the complex issues facing Africans in the 21st century. The center forms African thinkers and researchers who are equipped to empower the Christian movement to manifest the “shalom” of God’s kingdom in an informed way.

Given that all truth is God’s truth, the scope of Christian research and analysis must not be limited. The values and wisdom of the Christian worldview must be articulated as they inform every sphere of knowledge. The center promotes interdisciplinary research in order to articulate the integration of social sciences and theological insights in an attempt to impact every dimension of African experience. The finest scholars from various fields of study come together to forge syntheses which are thoroughly Christian and at the same time based on rigorous research.

The heart of the center is to promote a thorough scholarly investigation of the constellation of socio-political crises which confront the continent; land, human rights, poverty, tribalism, corruption, HIV-AIDS, political instability, etc. Interdisciplinary dialogue is promoted among theological and non-theological scholars, academicians and field practitioners. Findings from research and academic colloquium are published in an academic journal that is accessible worldwide.

Copies of the books that have so far been published are:

Kim, Chul-Soo Caleb. Islam among the Swahili in East Africa, 2nd edt. Nairobi: Acton Publishers.

Mutuku Stephen et.al. African Missiology: Contribution of Contemporary Thought. Nairobi: Uzima Publishing House, 2009.

Center for Church Empowerment and Community Engagement

The center’s goal is threefold. First, the center partners with local churches and Christian organizations to provide a variety of non-formal and continuing education opportunities that promote “Jesus-style leadership” for believers who have a passion to shape and sharpen their talents and spiritual gifts for service in God’s kingdom. Second, the center offers to church leaders’ cutting-edge training of current issues that the African church is facing, most of which is not offered in theological schools. Thirdly, the center seeks to develop sustainable projects that should serve as a bridge for the university to engage the community in a holistic way.

Center for Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation

The center is rooted in the teaching and example of Jesus who is “our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility” (Eph. 2:14). The center’s agenda is to transform conflict in Africa at all levels: personal, family, churches and organizations, between communities and at national levels. The center’s philosophy is the promotion of theological teaching integrating grace, truth and justice for a true “shalom.” Thus, its goal is to equip Christians in diverse arenas to intervene with skill and discernment in conflict situations and to build deep-rooted peace.

The center is an environment for research and writing concerning issues of peace-building in African contexts. This research will lead to home-grown solutions to the conflict issues that the continent is facing. In addition, the center offers mediation and arbitration services.

Faculty of the Department

The ISAR (Institute for the Study of African Realities) faculty comprising of:

Prof. C.S. Caleb Kim, PhD,

ISAR Director                 

Th.M. in Intercultural Studies (Islamic emphasis) (Fuller Theological Seminary)

M.Div. in OT (Chong-Shin Presbyterian Theological Seminary)

B.A. in Linguistics (Kon-Kuk University, South Korea)

Ph.D. Fuller Theological Seminary

Josephine Mutuku

Ag. Coordinator, ISAR short courses

 

Rev. Enoch Opuka

Coordinator Research & Publications

 

Rev. Nimrod Mbae

Coordinator (CVELLGPP)

 

Rev. Lawrence Oseje

ISAR Administrator

 

ISAR Events Calendar

Dates

Events

20th Jan

Consultative meeting between ISAR AB and Sarah Kimani, 3pm

3rd & 4th Feb

Understanding Islam; Folk Islam and Power Encounter (8am-4pm)

23rd & 24th Feb

Mediation, Conflict Resolution, Peace Building and Reconciliation

1st-3rd March

IRB Training for ISAR AB Plus other AIU staff-Kenyatta National Hospital

14th March

Project writing Proposals (11am-1pm) by Rev’d Enock Opuka

21st & 22nd March

Understanding Islam; Folk Islam and Power Encounter (8am-12noon)

15th April

Discipleship Making Initiatives c/o Pst George Mutuku and Dr. Olando

March/April (TBA)

Ethics and Value Based Leadership c/o Nimrod Mbai

25th & 26th May

AIU Conference on “Witchcraft” and Prof. Kim’s Book Launch

8th-14th August

Forum for ACIW (Africa Christian Islam Women)

Oct/Nov (TBA)

Intervarsity Conference on “Ethics and Governance” c/o Rev’d Opuka