University of St. Athanasius the Athonite (Kinshasa)
The University of St. Athanasius the Athonite is an initiative of the Church of Alexandria through its Archdiocese of Central Africa to provide the opportunity for tuition free higher education in the Democratic Republic of Congo and other parts of sub-saharan Africa.
The Archdiocese of Central Africa initiated the establishment of the school for higher learning in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, where only few have access to higher education. The structural plan for the university is for the development of four departments: Theology, Agriculture, Informatics, and Medicine. The initial department that was opened is the Orthodox Theological School. The Theological School will be followed by schools for the other disciplines.
The establishment of a theological academy in central Africa was the dream of late Archbishop of Central Africa, Timotheos. The dream, however, came true through the efforts of his successor Archbishop Ignatios. During 2005 construction work began in a suburb of the capital, Kinshasa, on land granted to the Church by the President of the Greek Community, Mr. Constantine Sophiadis. Two years later, on September 23, 2007, Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria opened the Theological School. Education Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Masuga Rugamika, gave Patr. Ignatios the authorization for the operation of the university that was named for Saint Athanasius the Athonite. Over 60 students have been enrolled in the theological program of the university, with students coming from many African countries including Rwanda and Congo-Brazzaville in addition to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The university building, with architectural characteristics of a monastery, was constructed on the hill Kimbondo in the suburbs of the capital, funded by donations from missionary societies, friends of the mission from Greece, miscellaneous organizations, pilgrims, and hundreds of anonymous individuals.