In 1929, Rev. Justo Mwale was the first Zambian to be ordained as Minister of the Word in the Reformed Church in Zambia. Justo Mwale University is named in honour of this forefather of the Protestant faith in Zambia. This name illustrates both our origin as a ministry of the Reformed Church in Zambia, and our pride in making heard an African voice.
The institution started as a theological college for the training of ministers in the Reformed Church in Zambia. In 1989 a multi-church College Board was instituted and other churches with students at Justo Mwale began to participate in the governance of the institution. Currently, Justo Mwale University is governed by a Board consisting of members from the Reformed Church in Zambia, the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (Zambia and Harare Synods respectively), the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa and the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe.
Since its inception, and especially since its time in Lusaka, hard work was put in to improve infrastructure, to link up with other schools abroad, and to enhance the quality of education. As a result of this constant efforts, the institution is now one of the leading theological institutions in Southern and Central Africa, and is recognised internationally as an institution offering quality theological education. The Accrediting Council for Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA) accredited the Diploma in Theology programme in 1991 and the Bachelor of Theology programme in 1997. The Booth Centre for Service and Training was established in 1999.
Justo Mwale became a University College in 2008. In February 2010 the College started offering a Master of Theology programme in conjuction with the University of Free State in South Africa. Justo Mwale University has been granted the status of independent university by the Ministry of Education in Zambia in 2015.
Justo Mwale University has been attracting students not only from Zambia, but also from Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Nigeria and even the USA.