With just seven months in the role of University Chaplain, Rev. Maudy Muchanyereyi says that the assignment still feels like an adventure.
Muchanyereyi, who earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Africa University in 2005, returned to her alma mater to serve as chaplain in January 2019. She is the first female chaplain in the institution’s 27-year history.
“Working with the young people and helping to shape them through (spiritual) guidance, counseling, and mentoring is so enriching in my personal Christian journey,” said Muchanyereyi.
She is the seventh child in a family of eight. Born and reared in a rural setting in the Marange district—about 90 minutes’ drive south of the Africa University campus at Old Mutare—Muchanyereyi was sent to Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo, to finish primary school and attend high school.
Muchanyereyi recalls that as a teenager in high school in the mid-1990s, she was haunted by a dream in which people were enlisting in the army in preparation for war. In the dream, she joined the queue to enlist but instead of being handed a gun as others were, she was given a bible and told that she would fight her battles with it. However, it took years of counseling and mentoring before she accepted God’s calling in 2000.
“I was active at church, but I never wished to be a pastor,” said Muchanyereyi. “I knew the kind of life that pastors led and how badly they were treated by their parishioners sometimes. I tried my best to forget about the dream.”
Muchanyereyi has been active in pastoral ministry for more than 17 years, with appointments to both rural circuits and large urban congregations. She isn’t new to ministry in an educational setting, having served for seven years as the schools’ chaplain at the Murewa United Methodist Mission Center. She is passionately committed to life-long learning. After leaving Murewa, she earned an MBA degree from Midlands State University and is preparing to begin doctoral studies in 2020.
“Few women in my church have attained this level of education,” Muchanyereyi said. “As a University Chaplain, the position in itself calls for one to be academically advanced as a way of inspiration, and as a role model to the community that I lead.”
Her call story and journey in ministry have shaped an understanding of the importance of campus-based ministry. Muchanyereyi describes interacting with the students, faculty members, and administrators as she seeks to deepen and grow the spiritual life experiences of the Africa University campus community as humbling.
excerpt from a story by Andra M. Stevens, Director, Communications, Africa University Development Office
One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Africa University Fund transforms Africa by educating and empowering students from across the continent through Africa University, the first fully accredited, United Methodist-related educational institution on the continent. The Africa University Fund supports the general operating expenses of Africa University including faculty and staff salaries and vital infrastructure. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Africa University Fund at 100 percent.