Renew Uganda Ministry Brief

“Grace is love that cares . . . and stoops . . . and rescues.” John Stott

Mission: Renew the hearts and minds of Ugandan school administrators and educators through Biblical discipleship, comprehensive training, and strategic planning so schools are transformed, students are redeemed, and communities are restored.

Focus: Biblical Discipleship through Christian Education

Case Statement

a. Motto: “Kino Kyekisela” – It is Time!
b. The Challenge: Since 2014, Mark has been actively engaged in the educational
system in Uganda at all levels. The many challenges include:

  • Uganda is one of the top 10 poorest countries in the world
  • Uganda is the youngest country in the world with half its population under 15
    years old
  • The average Ugandan woman has 5.5 children
  • The population of 45 million will increase to 100 million by 2050 becoming the 21st most populous country in the world
  • Government and private school’s philosophy and values do not align with the
  • Overcrowded classrooms: Ratio of 1 teacher to 60-80 kids
  • Educational focus solely on rote learning
  • Dangerous travel for many children to and from school in the dark
  • School week extends into Saturday and Sunday
  • Clean drinking water only available on a limited basis
  • Excessive corporal punishment (beatings) administered in schools for minor
  • Many upper primary and secondary girls are sexually harassed/abused in and out
    of school
  • Extra-curricular clubs and sports activities are limited or nonexistent
  • Schools primary focus is the testing results of Ugandan standardized exams:
    • Primary Leaving Exam (PLE), Uganda Certificate of Education Exam (UCE) or
    • Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education Exam (UACE)
  • The COVID pandemic hit Uganda particularly hard. After 2 straight years of no
    education, the government advanced students to the next grade levels with no
    academic preparation.
  • In some districts, over 50% of the teenage females did not return to school after
    the pandemic because of work, pregnancy, and child marriage.

c. The Solution: Excellent Christian schools focused on the biblical transformation of children’s hearts and minds within a safe, nurturing environment. Mark came to Uganda in 2014 in response to an appeal from a large ministry to serve vulnerable children and initiate generational transformation. Three years later, he launched a classical Christian secondary boarding school that has since become a model secondary school for much of Uganda. Mark developed that school on three pillars: strong academics, servant leadership, and nurturing relationships. Combining those pillars with a classical education, biblical discipleship, a safe and healthy environment, and a strong partnership with the home leads to what the Apostle Paul calls “transformation by the renewing of the mind.”

d. The Plan: The Association of Christian Schools (ACSI) Uganda has recently been asked by the Church of Uganda (which oversees over 6000 nursery, primary, and secondary Ugandan schools as well as several teacher training colleges) and a number of other schools to provide administrator/teacher training, curriculum development, biblical integration, and discipleship instruction to all their staff and schools. Mark has been asked by ACSI Uganda to help lead this effort. This allows Mark to apply the same classical Christian philosophy/model he used at The American School of Lyon (France), Caldwell Academy (NC), and The Amazima School (Uganda) to introduce thousands of Ugandan educators and millions of students to Jesus Christ and give them the tools to become the men and women they are created to be.

Thousands of administrators, hundreds of thousands of teachers, and millions of
vulnerable students

6000 nursery, primary, secondary, and vocational Ugandan schools

Uganda/East Africa

Beginning March, 2023


  • True life transformation can only occur through nurturing life-on-life relationships with transformed and trained teachers, mentors, and house parents.
  • A person’s character and personality (who they are) are largely shaped within their first 10 years of life.
  • Training children “in the way they should go” produces godly, ambitious, critical thinking, productive adults.
  • Giving vulnerable children a loving, safe, and healthy environment enables them to become the men and women they were created to be.
  • Recognizing every child as an image-bearer of God to be seen, loved, and valued daily creates a school culture of nurture and respect.
  • Providing creative avenues within schools allows children to passionately develop their God-given talents and abilities
  • Honoring vulnerable parents and guardians enables schools to serve as their partners in the Biblical educating and training of their children
  • Developing these kinds of schools creates models

Strategic systematic regional approach built on the following pillars:


  • Socratic teaching focusing on the asking of appropriate questions by teachers and students
  • Students learning how to think rather than what to think through:
    1. Formal/Informal Logic
    2. Critical Thinking
    3. Problem Solving
    4. Interactive Dialogue
  • Students understanding the three levels to each subject/idea:
    1. Knowledge (who, what, when, where)
    2. Understanding (why)
    3. Wisdom (how) – wisdom is applying knowledge and understanding appropriately in all situations and having the courage to do so
  • Students interacting with great literature (past and present) from Uganda, East Africa, and around the world
  • Students pursuing areas of interests and developing their God-given talents and abilities
  • Teachers modeling how to learn, love, and live

  • Biblical principles organically integrated into curriculum and modeled by teachers/mentors
  • Biblical worldview shared by entire staff
  • Life-on-life mentorship
  • Every student viewed as an image-bearer of God
  • Unique, consistent, loving, and biblical restorative discipline
  • Character/morality development at an early age
  • Biblical discipleship
  • Servant leadership
  • Parental/Guardian Partnership: Honoring parents and guardians by serving as their partners (lifting their arms) – not taking over their children
    1. Parents/guardians required to visit schools every term and welcomed onto campuses anytime
    2. Administrators/Mentors actively engaged with all student families
    3. Teachers required to visit students’ families in their villages every term

  • National nursery, primary, secondary, and vocational model schools serving as salt and light to other private and public schools within the Uganda educational system
  • National model schools honoring all requirements from the Minister of Education (Janet Museveni), the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC), Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB), school inspectors, town council, and local leaders
  • National model schools training students to be proud Ugandan citizens and to honor their families, villages, country, and region
  • National model schools honoring the local tribal languages of Luganda and Lusoga while immersing the children in English


“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14

General Statistics:

  • 83% of people accept Jesus Christ as their Savior between the ages of 4-14. That percentage decreases to 10% for ages 15-30
  • Adults over 19 years old have only a 6% probability of accepting Christ
  • A child’s character is nearly set by age 6
  • A person’s personality is fully developed by age 7
  • Character development programs after primary/secondary years are minimally effective
  • Kids who have quality early childhood experiences, including attending quality early childhood programs, are more likely to graduate from secondary school, own a home, have a job, and earn a higher income. (Economics of Education Review)

Biblical Support:

  • “These words which I am commanding you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” Deut. 6:7
  • “You however continue in the things you have learned and have become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” II Tim. 3:14-17
  • Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
  • “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
  • “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” Proverbs 9:9
  • “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Ps. 119:105
  • “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition (secular public and private schools), according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Col. 2:8
  • “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Eph 6

Professional Ugandan References:

  • “Exceptional Christian education exemplified by Mark Guthrie’s current work here in Uganda will be the best means to respond to a massive opportunity to rescue a generation at risk and raise them to be leaders that can transform a nation. The future is at stake if we do not reach the disrupted generation”.Pastor Julius Rwotlonya, Senior Pastor of Watoto Church – Uganda’s largest church and children’s homes
  • “The philosophy and approach to education and discipleship Mark Guthrie brings is a powerful tool in God’s plan for redemption. Although we live in a broken world, with broken people constantly breaking everything, this Biblical discipleship approach explicitly proves that by prioritizing the valuing of people and building quality relationships centered on Christ, God demonstrably and dramatically transforms people for their good and his glory…. even the most disadvantaged among us.”Kelly Miller, Vice President of System Applications and Products (SAP) and inaugural Director of Student Life at The Amazima School in Uganda
  • “The Amazima School (secondary Ugandan school Mark Guthrie developed, launched, and directed) helps the students understand the role of God in their academics. This is done through praying before every lesson and biblically integrating lessons. The school puts God at the center of everything through devotions led by our mentors each morning. Sometimes the students lead their fellow students in the study of the Word of God. Instead of dormitories like other schools, we have houses led by family mentors. They treat us like their children, mentoring us into good citizens, connecting us where we go wrong, and most importantly, discipling us. The school has used the staff and training here to transform my mind and heart by living exemplary lives. For example, their families, how they treat others, how they put in all they have to serve the Lord has inspired me to be the lady God wants me to be and according to the purpose. In 2019, 11th November, I gave my life to Jesus and since then my life has never been the same.”Gladys Babirye, S4 Student at The Amazima School

Related Quotes:

  • “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” CS Lewis
  • “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” CS Lewis
  • “Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.” Aristotle
  • “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela

Ministry Budget:

  • Ministry Operational Expenses: $150,000 annually
  • One Time Expenses: $29,500
    1. Vehicle: $10,000
    2. Computer: $1,500
    3. Projectors: $5,000
    4. Curriculum: $10,000
    5. Training Materials: $3,000