In keeping with the mission of our school: “To educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world,” ACU is providing full scholarships for several African Christian College (ACC) staff members. Currently, five staff members at ACC are enrolled with ACU Online in pursuit of graduate degrees.
This student spotlight features Tsitsi Edith Nherera, Administrative Coordinator and Registrar at ACC. She’s enrolled in the online Master of Business Administration program with a concentration in International Business.
Tsitsi’s relationship with ACC
Tsitsi recounts that she and her husband first learned about ACC in 2009. “We were at home in Zimbabwe and got invited to a Marriage and Family seminar at Nhowe Mission. The presenters were Janet and Fielden Allison. At that time, they were traveling to Swaziland from Tanzania and were going to start working at ACC.”
The Allisons shared the ACC story with Tsitsi and her husband, encouraging them to apply. “But we were not ready at that time. It was in September, and we felt that starting school in three months was not enough time for us to prepare and leave home. So, we promised them that we would apply in 2010 to be enrolled in 2011.”
When the Allisons returned in September 2010 and discovered the couple had not yet applied to ACC, they again encouraged them. This time the inspiration took. Tsitsi and her husband had spent a year getting used to the idea of relocating, so the decision came more easily. The Allisons wrote a recommendation letter to ACC on behalf of the couple, believing so strongly in their capacity to be excellent students.
The journey from Zimbabwe to ACC was a long one. “We had to travel by road for a distance of between 18 and 24 hours. I was anxious since it was my first time leaving home to stay in another country,” Tsitsi shares.
“Doing life together” at ACC
When asked how she feels about the current arrangement at ACC in which faculty and staff members and their families, as well as students and their families, all live on campus together, Tsitsi says: “I am glad that I came here with my husband. If coming together as families wasn’t a requirement, I probably would have stayed at home and let my husband come alone since it was a ‘Bible School,’ after all.”
She continues, “Some people have a mentality that it’s only men who can attend theological colleges. I am sure a number of wives would have done the same. But what I have learned over the years is that when one is at ACC, there is a transformation of life and culture that takes place. So, for a married couple, if that change happens to one person, it will be difficult to get along. But if it happens to both, they will both be at the same level of thinking or reasoning.”
Tsitsi received her Bachelor of Theology degree with a major in Counseling from ACC in 2013. Following that, she accepted an employment offer from ACC.
A day in the life of Tsitsi Nherera
When asked what she enjoys most about working at ACC, Tsitsi replies, “Being in a cross-cultural community and building relationships.” While her “typical day” depends on the time of year, her core responsibilities include:
- Supervision of two full-time employees, including the accounts office
- Management of student records including visas, grades, disciplinary records, and transcript requests
- Coordination of events and campus communications
- Financial management
- Compliance records
- Institutional administration
The beginning of the school year finds Tsitsi updating student records, readying financial records for audit, and preparing the paperwork for student study visa applications. She oversees event coordination, including end-of-year graduation preparations.
Choosing ACU Online for her MBA degree
Tsitsi credits her supervisor, an ACU alumnus, with making her enrollment in ACU’s online MBA program possible. She shares, “I had reached a point where I felt I no longer had the capacity or what it takes to lead a team and handle or manage the growing responsibilities. I began to lose confidence due to the incompetence.”
The flexibility of being able to study while working was very important for Tsitsi. She also finds great value in being able to apply what she’s learning in her coursework to her current role as Registrar and Administrative Coordinator.
Tsitsi says, “The leadership course helped me learn how to manage and lead myself before leading others. I also learned that leadership is not about me, but about people. I am looking forward to taking Accounting and Finance for Managers, among other courses, to become a competent administrator.”
Tsitsi’s experience as an ACU Online MBA student
Is taking classes online at such a long distance a challenge for Tsitsi? “The distance is not a factor. The way we interact on the discussion forum or on group assignments feels as if we are close together. Technology has made it easier.”
Tsitsi has also found a scheduling system that works for her busy life: “Before coming to work, I do my assignments or readings in the morning when I still feel fresh and rested.”
Tsitsi appreciates the quick responses she receives when she reaches out to her professors. She also credits her advisors, Elisabeth Evan (New Student Ambassador) and Krystal Jackson (Student Services Advisor) with being a great help. “We communicate through email and phone. They have been so helpful and encouraging. At one point in the beginning, I felt overwhelmed with work and school, and I thought that was going to be the end. Elisabeth was there to pray and encourage me. She is no longer my advisor, and I miss her already.”
What does Tsitsi want from her ACU Online degree?
“My goal is to become competent in my administrative role. After acquiring the skills that I lacked, I will rise up to be a competent leader and administrator. In the process, I will influence other women to rise up, get an education, and work as exemplary, competent, and intelligent leaders. Above all, not losing my commitment to servanthood leadership. That’s what ACC is all about.”
Tsitsi believes the ACU partnership “is a great blessing to ACC and Africa, more than words can express. I feel that this is just the beginning of greater things to come. I would not have managed to enroll in a master’s program without this privilege of a scholarship from ACU.”
Tsitsi concludes: “God is showing that the impossibilities or stumbling blocks that we see as human beings are nothing when His hand is in it. Who would have thought that I would be studying with ACU?”
Do you aspire to lead with purpose based upon the foundation of Christian vocation? If you’re ready to be a part of a rigorous, respected, and flexible online program that allows you to take your leadership skills to a new level, learn more about ACU’s online Master of Business Administration.