March 31, 2023

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Church Universities: For God or For Money?

4 min read

Back in the past when the missionaries were at the helm of things in most schools in Nigeria, education was then considered a thing for all and it was because of this that many were educated in Nigeria today. This helped to bridge the gap between the very privileged few who were able to go to school and those whose fathers could not afford to pay school fees.

Just like the foreign missionaries, who really turned around the education sector to accommodate even the poor, many were of the belief that the new generation missionaries should at least emulate their predecessors. But to the surprise of many in their congregations, the school fees are such that are not affordable to their members, and in some cases the churches raise offering among their congregations to build the schools only for the pastors to complete the schools and deny them the chance of sending their children to such schools.

People of these church-owned schools are more expensive than other universities that are not affiliated to any church. We did some research into some supposed missionary tertiary institutions in Nigeria and the range of the amount an average student pays per session or semester. Our findings were interesting.

Winners’ Chapel’s Covenant University

It is regarded as one of the best universities in the country, built on expansive land somewhere along Idi-Iroko road, Ota, inside the premises of the headquarters of the Living Faith Church Mission or Winners’ Chapel as it’s called. Though the founder and leader of the church, Bishop David Oyedepo had at different time stated that he did not collect money from the church to erect the structure, many are of the opinion that the claims of the bishop may be far from the truth as he was not known to be doing any other work apart from the one he’s doing in the church. The school which was built with the assistance of people God sent to help the ministry, as most pastors claim, was supposed to help give quality education to children of every member of the church, but the case is that the church’s school ended up being one of the most expensive schools in the country, with school fees ranging from between N300,000 and N450,000, which makes it not a school for the child of an average member of the church.

Baptist Church’s Bowen University

It is one of the oldest church-owned universities in Nigeria. The university, which is in Iwo town in Osun State, was built by the Nigerian Baptist Convention headed by the Secretary-General, Reverend (Dr.) Olasupo Ayokunle. Like other church-owned universities, it was the belief that it would help educate ordinary members of the church as well as the rich. But it seems the school is now a school for the rich, as the school fees are between N400,000 and N500,000.

Christ Apostolic Church’s Joseph Ayo Babalola University

It is one of the newest church-owned universities. Information revealed that the church, led by Pastor E H L Olusheye, collected offerings and donations from the congregation towards the building of the school, only for the school to become something that is beyond the people that contributed towards its construction. The school fees, it was revealed, go for nothing less than N300,000 per session.

Anglican Church of Nigeria’s Ajayi Crowther University

Coming from a church that has a huge number of the society’s so-called elite, many would have expected them to have done all in their power to make quality education accessible to members of the church as they were mostly products of cheap or even free, quality education. But investigation revealed that the school’s tuition fee goes for between N350,000 and N500,000 per session, thereby dashing the hope of many members of the church who felt Ajayi Crowther was a product of free education and that the institution named after him would provide affordable, quality education for them.

Catholic Church’s Madonna University

It is the oldest church-owned university in Nigeria and it belongs to the oldest church in Nigeria, the Catholic Church, a church known for its philanthropy and its care for the needy. Many would have expected that the church would make education easier for the congregation but investigation revealed that the fees at the church-owned Madonna go for between N300,000 and N350,000.

Apostolic Faith’s Crawford University

This university which belongs to a church which is known for it principle on the way things should be done and with the population of most of the members tilting comfortably towards the average income earning ordinary Nigerian, people would have expected they would take into consideration their congregation while fixing the school fees but the N350,000 or more, depending the course of study, does not seem to justify this position.

Redeemed Christian Church of God’s Redeemers’ University

The church is one of the largest in the country. There is a saying that there is a Redeemed Church every one or two poles to another, which invariably means it is a church for the masses who cannot afford to send their children to any of the private schools in town. But it is appalling that the church has chosen not to put into consideration the majority of its congregation by competing with other schools out there. It has fixed its school fees for between N325,000 and N400,000 per session, which makes it not a school for the masses, against what the church is to the people.

22 thoughts on “Church Universities: For God or For Money?

  1. I was very surprised to see a church in port harcourt that has a free school with free books, free school bag, free school uniform. This is amazing. It is omega power ministry alias opm Doctor Jesus. It is at No 1 opm close, off Eliozu new Airport road, port harcourt

  2. whoever wrote this report, i think you have to do your research and please do it accurately. its the ethics of journalism and one of the many qualities a reporter must posses.
    well, commenting on your report and findings as you know already nigeria has become a country of survival of the fittest. if these missionary universities follow the vision of the first missionaries in nigeria (providing free education for all) they would be running at a serious loss.
    they are not like Government owned institutions were there is a subsidy on education. come to think of it when you compare the fees of other owned private institutions and these missionary institutions you would find out that, that of the private is much higher than that of missionary institutions. which means they still try to subsidize.
    so next time you are doing a special report like this, try not to inject your opinion and give an accurate report.

    1. Funmi, please be wise in your judgement and say the truth and let the truth set you free. This so call University,are money making many of thier members can pay 300,000 to 400,000. For Christ sake? with 18,000. Wages. Why is it difficult for the church to subsidies the pay,but you see them flying in private jet.

    2. Fumi when did the Church of Christ become a profit making institution? The money they are making, where will they take it to, heaven or hell? When you take money from the poor and build a University and shut them out of the same with high school fees, its is sin, and must attract consequences. These General Overseers, most of whom attended missionary schools for free must answer for this wickedness on the day of judgement. I suspect you must be a wife of one of them.

  3. Sister or Mrs. Funmi, how much did you spend when you were in school? How many of your children or siblings are in these church-owned institutions? We all contributed to the building of these institutions and the CEO or General Oversears are raping us in the name of religion. Jesus is right…’if I come back, will I still meet the same faith, indgrity, leadership, goals etc I left behind’? Over to you Mrs. Funmi

  4. Sister or Mrs. Funmi, how much did you spend when you were in school? How many of your children or siblings are in these church-owned institutions? We all contributed to the building of these institutions and the CEO or General Oversears are raping us in the name of religion. Jesus is right…’if I come back, will I still meet the same faith, integrity, leadership, goals etc I left behind’? Over to you Mrs. Funmi

  5. It’s very unfortunate the trend our religious leaders are going. They should not let the poor come to term with reality, else, their lucrative church business will collapse. The moment Nigerians realize they are being duped in the name of religion, the influence of church will go down.

    Nigerians have lately realized the marginalization from politicians but yet to come to terms with that of the church. When they do, the level of resistance will better be imagined than described. Watch out!

  6. It is very sad, that the woman selling salt in the Market contributed in the building of the school, the truck pusher contributed, the bank manager contributed. But sad it is only the bank manager that have access to the school. This is robbery. God really need to deliver us.
    I clicked on doctor Jesus opm on YouTube and was amazed to find a church building free houses for poor widow, built a free school with free books with free school uniform, free school bags, free books. Also built a hall inside elele prison and stock it with computers and employed teachers to teach them. Giving out free cars for taxi to poor people. 70 university students enjoying scholarship. Build an estate and gave it out to people that can not pay house rent. The list is so many. You can watch some of the things the church is doing on YouTube , click doctorjesus opm apostle chibuzor gift chinyere 03

  7. Lets pray to God to save us from these ministers of finance instead of ministers of d Gospel.D church has become worldly & d worldly churchy.

  8. The schools are private institutions. The churches are also private institutions. You dont have to attend. God created smart people and morons. If you take from the church you are smart . If you give to the church you a moron. Worshippers always leave service poorer. When are they gointo wake up. Idiots!

  9. I suggest that this reporter should visit these universities and hold one on one discussion with their VC’s. A good journalist should give a balanced report so as not to deliberately mislead the public. Most of these schools are new and still have some teething issues to grapple with. Some of them took bank loans that must be defrayed. Some are still building and also trying to meet up with NUC standards or the standards they set for themselves. I believe that a closer look at the truth will change the opinion of many. Mr. Journalist, please go and do a more thorough job.

  10. its very disheartened that religious has been commercialized in Nigeria. Not only that Nigerian churches are very exploitative, exploiting the poor and the rich all in the name of giving to GOD, whereas, the religious thieves are the one taking the so called gift to God. Many of them are using aircraft, homer jeep, did Jesus use similar thing when he was on earth? When he was to appear as king he rode on common donkey.

  11. You could certainly see your expertise in the work you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

  12. How many Nigerians know that fees in Government ownned Universities are heavily subsidiesed by the government? Federal Gov. subsidises about 85% of fees in Federal Universities, Poly/Monotechnics & Collages of Education. States, subsidises state ownned institution to about 55%. Can’t we appreciate the fact the we don’t have enough Uni. for our Kids to attend. If a church has upted out to solve part of our problems, why can’t we support them. Where do we think they get money to pay PHD./MSc. staff? OFFERING!

  13. I’m presently writing an article on the subject titled “Men of God or Men of Wealth”; “God;s Servants or Wealth Servants”.
    It is certainly amusing that men and women who are professing to be like Jesus the Patron of the Christian faith will be moving around in private jets while our Lord moved and preached on borrowed Ass and boats.
    They are competing to out do each other in terms of number of universities and secondary/primary schools which in most cases is out of the financial power of majority of their members.
    Jesus taught us to Love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, followed by love of our neighbors as ourselves, but are obeying this commandment?
    A dedicated member of a Church will be prevented from seeing is General Overseer simply because he or she did not go with a jeep, but non-members will be given access because always go with jeeps and bodyguards to impress, and the GO will see them and announced later in the pulpit that certain UN-named important persons visited him Nichodemously.
    God help us from this men of Wealth and wealth servants who thinks they are men and servants of God.

  14. Sustainability of the wage bill is a crucial factor. Maintaining 30 Prof annually gulp 0.2 billion Naira not to talk of many Readers, Senior Lecturer and other non academic staff.I wonder which kind of half-baked journalist we are bent on misleading the public

  15. God’s money should be for God’s people. Church school must be free free. Enough of the wickedness. What does it take to run a free school when compared to the income that comes through tithe and all manner of offerings collected by the GOS. Not to talk if different seeds. You can never separate the wealth of these GOs from d churches they esyerblished..period

  16. After going through the previous comments, i would like to draw our attention to the point made by most people here, thats in the area of the missionaries providing free education to the people. We all need to thread with caution in addressing issues of this nature. They don’t have the financial stability to manage the professors, senior lecturers etc whom they have employed to enhance good and solid education in the institutions if they decides making it a free market to everybody. Having said this, my suggestion is that there should be a platform whereby the fees can be judiciously subsidized in a manner that it will be affordable to both well to do and an average family in the society. And also in such manner that the standard and the authentication of the institutions will not be jeopardized. God bless us all.

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