The Association of African College and University Student Communities (AACUSC) will host the Campus Ministries and Inter-Faith Convention and Gospel Festival be held on 2-6 July 2014 at the University of Zululand in Kwa-Dlangezwa, Kwazulu Natal Province.
The purpose of the AACUSC Campus Ministry and Inter-Faith Convention and Gospel Festival is to provide and create an opportunity for the various faith-based student organizations/associations to interact and network with each other on matters of faith, religion and spirituality.
The Gospel Festival is targeted at showcasing talent in campus gospel performance. The motive to create opportunities for interaction and networking is driven by the need to develop an epistemological discourse about the common purpose and practice of the various “student learning communities” and their purpose in deepening inter-faith spirituality.
The defining quality of a “student learning community” is that it is driven by a culture of learning, in which everyone is involved in a collective effort of understanding.
The “community of practice” appreciates diversity of expertise among its members, who are valued for their contributions and given support to develop. It has a shared objective of continually advancing the collective knowledge and skills and places an emphasis on learning how to learn.
One of the strengths of the membership of faith-based organizations in colleges and universities is the role that such associations play to provide religious and spiritual leadership on campuses. Religious and spiritual leadership creates an opportunity to promote dialogue and social cohesion amongst the various faiths and denominations from which the members are derived.
For instance, one of the key opportunities presented is how student spiritual leaders from the African continent can create a dialogue to address the challenges of political conflict and social instability in Africa. In this regard, spiritual student communities can be a strategic constituency that can play a key role in the transformation of Africa and its people.
To achieve this noble goal, spiritual student communities must exercise leadership in their campus communities and throughout society by modelling ways to organize and mobilize the pursuit for learning and development and acquisition of knowledge to find innovative solutions in response to challenges facing the African continent and the world.
Spiritual student communities must address poverty, inequality, instability and conflict in Africa by harnessing their collective intellectual wisdom, research and curriculum development that will better serve and meet their social mandate to help create a thriving, ethical and civil society. By addressing the adverse challenges facing Africa successfully, student communities will be able to transform Africa through their leadership and institutional efforts.