International Leadership University – ILU (formerly Nairobi International School of Theology) is situated 5 kilometers from the city centre in a quiet
and serene neighborhood on Mtito Andei Road off the roads Jabavu and Lenana, a block from Kilimani Police Station.
The roots of the International Leadership University (ILU) are found in the philosophy and history of Campus Crusade for Christ International (CCCI). Campus Crusade for Christ, which in Kenya is known as Life Ministry, Kenya. In the 1970s, Campus Crusade for Christ International began its work in East Africa. At this time it was observed that no evangelical theological graduate level theological institution existed in Africa which could integrate the highest standards of academic excellence in the study of scripture with the best, most practical methods of communicating that truth to a dying world. There was a cry for one such institution from many sectors.
In response to the growing need for a graduate level theological institution, the school was established in 1980 by the Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC), International. In that year, the first Board of Directors initially had the seminary legally incorporated in Kenya as International Christian Graduate University and began its first classes in August 1981with five
In 1980, six people formed a Board of Directors and legally incorporated International Christian Graduate University in Kenya. In August 1981, the University admitted the first Master’s Degree class comprising five full-time students. Qualified administrative staff and lecturers began their work at the institution and the first class of students graduated from NIST in June
1983. The University endeavored to maintain a distinct emphasis on a balanced and integrated approach to academic excellence, character formation, field ministry orientation and transformational leadership development. In 1983 the first class of students graduated.
In 1985 Rev. Prof. Lazarus Seruyange became the first African Principal of NIST. In 1989 Dr. Dela Adadevoh became the first African Provost. By January 2003 total enrolment had reached 153 and NIST had a library book collection of 27,000. Mr. Bekele Shanko, a Statistician and
Director of Affairs for CCC Southern and Eastern Africa became the NIST Provost in July, 1997. Dr. Benjamin Musyoka was installed as the School’s third Principal in June 2003. Prof. Emmanuel Bellon was appointed Vice- Chancellor in 2008 followed by Prof Eric Aseka in 2013.
In 1989, the school was registered by the Kenya Commission for Higher Education (CHE) as a degree granting university that existed before 1985 Act of Parliament. In 1993 NIST became the first graduate level seminary in Africa to be accredited by the Accrediting Council for
Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA)
The institution established a reputable history of high quality theological training for Christian ministers for the entire African continent. On May 24th, 1985 the International Christian Graduate University changed its name to Nairobi International School of Theology (NIST), a name it retained until June 2012 when it became International Leadership University in accordance with the approval of the Commission for Higher Education (CHE) on June 11, 2012.
In February 2008, NIST acquired 50 acres of land in Kitengela, Kajiado as required by the Commission for Higher Education (CHE), Commission for University Education (CUE), under which the University is seeking to be chartered, further to its current accreditation to the Accrediting Council for Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA). The university diversified her programs to include programs in leadership, governance, counseling and psychology, theology, missions, business and entrepreneurship, management, education, community development, Peace & Conflict at various levels. On August 26th, 2014 the University received its Letter of Interim Authority (LIA), following the removal of “registered universities” category by parliament. The LIA is to subsequently lead to the granting of a Charter by the Commission for University Education under the name International Leadership University.