SEU Launches First International Partnership
This fall, Southeastern University will introduce our first international partnership in East Africa through The Christian Hall at Watoto Church in Kampala, Uganda. This church-based partnership will provide Christ-centered online degree programs in business and leadership for students based in East Africa.
“We are excited for this partnership, and we look forward to welcoming people from East Africa into our SEU community,” said Dr. Kent Ingle, Southeastern University president. “Our goal is to continue to partner with local churches in order to provide an innovative delivery of Christian higher education around the world.”
About Watoto Church
Southeastern is working with Watoto Church in Uganda to support the Hall. Planted during a civil war in 1984, Watoto Church aimed to provide hope and life to the nation of Uganda. Since then, Watoto has placed thousands of orphans into families and rescued babies and former child soldiers. They have also empowered vulnerable women to reach their communities and sent children’s choirs across six continents. The church currently has 12 campuses across Uganda, and in Juba, South Sudan.
About the International Partnership Program
“The international partnership program at Watoto Church will serve as a model for other global education initiatives for the university,” said Nick Wallsteadt, vice president of Southeastern University’s School of Unrestricted Education. Students at the Hall will benefit from mentorship, coaching, tutorials and other opportunities, with a strong focus on innovating the marketplace of Kampala and East Africa. The Hall offers logistical support to its membership, including enrollment in academic programs, technical support, and spiritual and vocational formation.
“Members of the Hall who enroll at Southeastern University have the unique opportunity of attending a U.S. academic institution, while benefiting from significant investment in their intellectual, spiritual and vocational formation by the staff and volunteers at the church,” said Dr. Nicholas Ellis, director of The Christian Hall at Watoto Church.
A dean of students from the Hall will oversee the operations of the programs and necessary academic and non-academic support to students. Students will be assigned academic and spiritual mentor to help them adapt to the rhythms of student life. Mentors will also provide accountability and spiritual support, and help find pathways for marketplace innovation and ministry opportunities. The classes will be taught online by Southeastern faculty members.
“The vision of the partnership is to match high-quality academic study with deeply-integrated formation of the whole person,” said Ellis. “We believe this kind of close partnership is a unique approach to providing personal and social transformation.” The programs offered in the fall include a Bachelor of Business Administration, a Bachelor of Science in Business and Professional Leadership, and a Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership, which can be used as the first step toward a master’s degree.
The Value of Education
“Often times, there are not opportunities of Christian higher education in other countries,” said Wallsteadt. “Education is a tool or mechanism that can break cycles of poverty.” Southeastern’s reach extends beyond our Lakeland campus to more than 110 extension sites across the United States, with an anticipated enrollment of 8,000 students this fall. Southeastern’s goal is to continue partnerships with local churches in various countries around the world and open other online learning opportunities in countries including Brazil and Southeast Asia.