The original vision for Domboshawa House came about in the late ’80s as a response to several perceived problems in the area of higher education in Zimbabwe. The original visionaries, Rev. Alan Spencer and Rev. Phineas Dube felt there was a great need for a uniquely Zimbabwean theological education at the university level.
At that time, only the University of Zimbabwe was authorised to award officially recognised Theology/Religious Studies degrees, yet their religious studies program was purely academic and not designed for ministry training. Bible College diplomas were not nationally recognised, nor accredited, and there were no recognised degree programs in existence outside of that offered by the UZ. This resulted in anyone desiring higher Christian education, particularly in the area of practical ministry preparation, to look outside of Zimbabwe, with many going overseas to England or America. Several problems with this scenario were noted;
- Overseas education was extremely expensive, draining personal financial resources, and contributing nothing to the national economy of Zimbabwe.
- “Western” education was not contextually relevant to the Zimbabwean situation.
- Many who left to study overseas failed to return, thus depriving the next generation of the most fruitful years of their academic or ministerial productivity and experience.
Due to these factors, and because the University tended to trivialize and even undermine students’ faith rather than to build it up, the original vision for Domboshawa Theological College was that of a sanctuary for Christian students. A “House” attached to the University, in which students could live in a caring Christian community while learning the practical pastoral and ministry skills which would complement their academic education at the UZ. Domboshawa, as the very name implies, was to be a firm rock upon which a foundation for future ministry would be built.