South Sudan – The Catholic University

The Catholic University of South Sudan

Motto: “The truth will set you free.”

“Building a nation is not something that can be done in a month or a year. It is the work of this generation and the next and beyond.” Fr Michael Schultheis SJ knows what he is writing about, as a veteran educator in Africa currently based in the world’s youngest country, the republic of South Sudan.

Fr Michael is the vice-chancellor of the Catholic University of South Sudan, which so far has two campuses, one in Juba and a second in Wau, in the south. The university is training young men and women in skills and expertise that the new nation desperately needs, offering education rooted in Catholic social teaching. Fr Michael says the institution is already “making a modest contribution to training the next generation of leaders for the new Sudan”.

The Catholic University is a dream come true of Church leaders, starting with John Paul II, who in 1983 talked of an institution of higher education in the Sudan. The idea became possible after a peace agreement was signed between the north and south of Sudan in 2005. In July 2007 the bishops decided to establish the Catholic University as a national institution and, in late September 2008, a pioneer group of students began their studies in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in Juba. In Wau, the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences was set up the following year and a Faculty of Engineering Sciences in August 2011. Today there are more than 500 students. The pioneer students in Juba will graduate in May, with a bachelor’s degree that will be granted initially by the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

Vice-Chancellor: Fr Michael Schultheis SJ