BY RONALD AWANY
In 2003 Uganda Christian University (UCU) spread its wings to the West Nile region.
The suitable location turned out to be nine kilometres from the Arua–Nebbi–Kampala road; and the UCU, St Paul’s Ringli Study Centre was launched, with 23 students and three degree and diploma programmes in Theology, Social Work and Social Administration and Business Administration.
However, it is impossible to speak about the history of Arua Campus without mentioning Dr John Milton Anguyo, the first director of the campus, whose tenure ended on August 25, 2009.
“Upon completion of my PhD studies in 2002, I had a meeting with the Chancellor, the then Archbishop Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo, with whom I shared the idea of starting a regional study centre in West Nile.
“He was impressed by the idea and sent me to the then Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Noll, together with my dissertation and letter of introduction.
“After examining my resume and idea, Prof. Noll also deemed it strategic to start a campus in Arua,” he says.
In 2003, St. Paul’s Theological College changed status to become a campus of UCU.
The campus has since expanded its programmes to diploma courses in Community Health, Education, and Project Planning and Management; and degree courses in Development Studies, Education, and Public A d m i n i s t r a t i o n and Management.
Day time teaching is conducted at Ringli and the evening sessions at Mvara Mission in Arua town.
The UCU Arua Campus was first the home of a Rural Trade School founded in 1959 by the African Inland Mission (AIM) under the leadership of Rev. Robert Booth.
Booth, a missionary from the USA, laid the foundation of this training institution at Ringli in the West Nile region of Uganda.
In the 1960s, the school became a Lugbara language Lay Readers’ Training College.
Later during the 1970s, the course was then taught in English. In 1978, a priests ordination course was started.
This was a residential training programme that allowed the students to come with their families.
For 25 years, this institution has been training spiritual leaders from Uganda and beyond.
Since its inception, the campus has had three directors: Rev Can Dr. John Milton Anguyo, who was succeeded by Christopher Yiiki and later Canon Feni Onzima in the interim before Canon Bob Betti Nzima was installed on June 12, 2016.