Africa has experienced the most phenomenal growth in Christian population in the 20th century. In 1910 the population was less than 10 million. By the end of the century, the Christian population reached about 400 million. This is about 50% of the total population of the continent. The current Christian population of Africa is about 500 million.
In spite of this phenomenal growth, the development of quality leaders to consolidate these gains and ensure in-depth biblical discipleship has received little attention. For a continent that has about 500 million Christians there are less than 50 accredited graduate theological and Christian leadership development institutions (public/government accreditation).
If Christian leadership is developed in Africa, the continent can be a major mission force in the 21st century. At a time that Christianity in the northern hemisphere is dwindling in both quantity and quality, a vibrant African Christianity can help in ensuring the growth of sound Christian doctrine around the world.
Biblical Christianity in the 21st century is under new threats from post-modernism, relativity of truth, and the acceptance of plurality of religions. It is quite possible that if there are enough trained African theologians and Christian leaders they will contribute to guarding and nurturing biblical Christianity. Africa has not embraced Enlightenment Theory, Evolution Theory and will most likely not be overtaken by Post-Modernism. This is due to a deep-rooted religiosity that has survived five millennia of history.
The church of the 21st century is facing another crisis. Missions in the 20th century created a divide between the spiritual and the material; the sacred and the secular. Christianity has concerned itself especially in the second half of the 20th century mainly with the spiritual aspects of human life and existence. This has its advantages but it also has serious disadvantages. A notable one is that though there has been an increase in the Christian population of the world (over 2 billion), the impact of Christians on society has been weak. Most Christians do not know how to translate their spiritual faith and beliefs into the social and material arenas of life. The implication is that we are not able to be the salt and light of the world that our Lord Jesus commands us to be.
African Christians, benefiting from an African worldview that is holistic (keeping all spheres of life integrated as one whole), have developed a new theology of missions that is looking at the transformation of the whole person, and his/her life situation. This new integrated theology is going to help Christianity in Africa and elsewhere not to become something of historical significance and little practical relevance in the contemporary context.
ILU-Africa is committed to developing godly leaders of integrity who are committed to spearheading total transformation in Africa. The theological and leadership studies offered through ILU are both biblical and relevant to the African context.
To accelerate the development of leaders, the International Leadership Foundation (ILF) was set up as a professional leadership development institution. ILF and ILU jointly sponsor short-term leadership trainings for government, business, professional and church leaders. The Transforming Leadership and Governance Seminars (TLGS) focus on helping leaders experience personal life transformation, and obtain essential leadership skills to lead positive godly change in society. A biblical version of TLGS (B-TLGS) helps equip Christian leaders with the skills for being effective witnesses of Christ in all spheres of society leading to Christ-centered transformation in society.