Africa Nazarene University is a Chartered Private Christian University sponsored by the Church of the Nazarene International and is a member of the worldwide family of Nazarene institutions
In the early 1980's, the challenges that the Nazarene Church saw in Africa demanded setting up a training facility for the clergy. As a result, the Church set out to establish an institution of higher education. During the Africa-wide search for a choice location, the Kenya 1985 Universities Act--provision for establishment of a private university--provided a ready answer. In 1985, the General Board of the Church of the Nazarene established an education commission to plan for the development of Nazarene education facilities around the world. This move set the stage for the Kenya venture. The church leaders began negotiations with the Commission for Higher Education in Kenya to establish a degree-awarding institution. After consideration of the Church's request, the Commission advised the church to open a liberal arts institution.
The foundation for the development of Africa Nazarene University was thus laid. On the 23rd of November 1993, ANU became the first institution to seek a charter under the new University Act. With Dr. Martha John as the Vice-Chancellor, ANU opened its doors in August 1994 with 63 pioneer students taking courses in Theology, Business Administration, and a Master of Arts degree in Religion.
In August 1995, a Bachelor of Science Degree program in Computer Science was added with 42 students. Prof. Leah T. Marangu was installed as the Vice-Chancellor in January 1997. Under her inspiring and able leadership, student enrollment increased from the pioneer class of 63 in 1994 to around 700 from 18 countries in 2004. The University was awarded a Charter by the Government of Kenya on the 8th of October 2002.