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Strathmore University: Blending a Christian Identity with Professional Excellence

Strathmore University: Blending a Christian Identity with Professional Excellence

As at the last population census in 2019, Kenya’s population is predominantly Christian with about 85% of Kenyans professing Christian faith. Given this context, does a university explicitly stating its Christian identity truly matter? Strathmore University, a privately chartered institution with a Catholic foundation, offers a unique perspective.

While Christianity has propelled social, cultural, and economic development through education, some, especially scholars, have criticized it as being a white man’s religion that exposed the African continent to great exploitation. Strathmore, however, approaches its Christian identity differently. Founded in the 1960s by individuals inspired by St. Josemaria Escriva (now a Saint in the Catholic Church), their mission wasn’t to spread Christianity, but to address Kenya’s immediate need for quality education. They arrived not as missionaries, but as professionals, driven by a vision to establish an institution focused on producing exceptional graduates. At the time, Kenya was just on the brink of attaining independence from British colonial masters, and for those sent by St. Josemaria to Kenya, the realization came quickly that the greatest need for Kenya at that time was not a university, but a multi-racial A’ Level College.

Fast forward to 60 years later, Strathmore’s dream of becoming a university has been realized. Its journey towards becoming an institution of higher learning has been long and marked by various obstacles over the decades. Despite these many hurdles, one tangible impact in current society is what Strathmore’s educational philosophy stands for. Following the inspiration of St. Josemaria Escriva, who often stressed that integral education should help students to develop in character and especially in human virtues; this has been a guiding principle of Strathmore’s educational offering over the years. An education based on holistic formation seeks to inculcate virtues, laying great emphasis on ethics while anchoring one in excellence in their work.

The results are evident. Over the years, Strathmore graduates – regardless of their religious background – have consistently exhibited the university’s values in their careers across government, corporate organisations or even entrepreneurship across the country and region. Their impact embodies the true essence of Strathmore’s Christian identity – it is seen, rather than heard. Ultimately, while the university is anchored and founded in Christian values, they’re subtly embedded in its ethos, evident in the caliber of graduates who excel across diverse sectors.

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