Educartis had the pleasure of speaking to Winnie Chesumei, a Master of Divinity graduate from Africa International University (AIU). Winnie is currently working as a pastor at CITAM and plays an important role in teaching Christian education. She shares her experience as a student at AIU and provides valuable insights to students.
What program did you complete and why did you decide to pursue it?
I graduated from Africa International University (AIU) in July 2019 as a Master of Divinity in Biblical Studies.
Earlier, I was in a different profession and I wanted to increase my knowledge of biblical studies. This course gave me a foundation and allowed me to widen my perspective of religious studies. With a desire to communicate God’s word effectively and efficiently, I’m looking forward to creating greater impact in the community. But I am also fully aware that the transformation happens only by the power of the Holy Spirit.
What do you currently do? What is your favourite thing about your job?
Currently, I work and serve with ‘Christ is the Answer Ministries’ (CITAM) as a pastor.
Mainly, my work entails sharing God’s word to the congregants but not limited to it. My responsibilities include handling both children ministry and the youth, along with the grown-ups who are a part of various forums, such as, bible study, and prayer ministry, among others.
The best part of my role is having the opportunity to lay foundations, discipleship and Christian education. Furthermore, I equip leaders across the board (for example, the ministry workers) with the necessary tools as they facilitate various ministries.
How did your education prepare you for your current career? In your experience, which employability skills are the most important for students to gain during their studies?
During my time at AIU, I engrossed myself in the deep study of the Holy Bible. My previous interpretation of the scriptures came mainly from eisegesis, but now I can comfortably exposit the word of God.
Considering that ministry work is regarding the lives of people, meaning, the impact that I have, affects not only a man’s spirit but his whole being. AIU made a huge contribution to increasing my understanding of this. And, the education that I gained helped me handle various issues in the present world today, such as, counselling, family matters, diverse cultures and traditions across the globe, as well as the economic and political issues.
Another key thing that I learnt at AIU is the importance of soft-skills in enhancing one’s competency for a successful career. Academic skills provide technical knowledge but soft skills learnt at various activities in school will help build a great character. This shapes leadership skills, emotional and inter-relational abilities to form a whole-rounded person.
What did you most enjoy about your student experience?
When I joined AIU, I relocated to Nairobi with my two young children. My husband couldn’t move because of his work, so on top of my studies, I also needed to ensure that my children would settle well in the new environment. This experience was made slightly easier as there were residential houses and a primary school to look after my children’s education within the institute’s compound. I am glad that the values system in the community accommodated the right shaping of our children.
The leader in me couldn’t rest so I got involved in leadership forums. After joining the student leadership body as a social welfare coordinator, with God’s grace, I contributed a lot to the student body and made an impact in the community. Among the many privileges that I enjoyed as an active student, the most prominent was to gain scholarships which facilitated my studies.
By the time I graduated from AIU, I was a mother of three children. While juggling with all these responsibilities, I received a ton of academic and social support from the institution, classmates and the community around me which I truly acknowledge and I am grateful for.
AIU is rich in culture and spirituality with students from diverse backgrounds unlike any other institution in the country. Personally, I had an opportunity to interact with students of over 21 nationalities. The diversity can be witnessed in lecturers as well, who are committed to excellence and consistency. This exposure of various cultures, religions and race helped me to appreciate people from the different origins/regions and denominations, and this is what we need to embrace as a nation. I also enjoyed the events that the school organized for us, the culture week and the various seminars that were availed.
Check out the programs offered at Africa International University.
What advice would you give to new students who are about to begin their higher education journey?
It’s very easy for me to crusade for AIU, an institution that I simply love to associate with. In my opinion, you don’t have to debate or think twice before joining AIU. It is simply the best place one can ever find themselves at. With the perfect community of students, lecturers, and an internationally accepted standard of education which guarantees quality and excellence, you will be prepared to face the world better equipped.
You can find Winnie Chesumei on Facebook.
Read more interviews with different alumni and learn about their career journeys.