Northrise seeks to transform the lives of its students through a Christ-centered education so they can can help improve the lives of others and collectively change a nation. If Zambia and other parts of Africa are ever to be released from the gripping effects of poverty, change must be initiated from the inside out. Modeled by its founders, Northrise seeks to raise up leaders who, equipped with a solid education, will choose be part of the change in Zambia. The founders’ hope is that Northrise might inspire its students, staff, faculty, friends and others to realize the Lord’s miracles around the world and to see that through Him, anything is possible.

Our Roots

Northrise University was founded in January 2004. The vision was conceived in 1988 through the experiences of its founders Dr. Moffat and Mrs. Doreen Zimba. Born in Zambia, both suffered from the lack of educational opportunities. In faith the Zimbas left Zambia to attend a Bible college in Australia. Upon completion, God called them to Southern California where Dr. Zimba received his Doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary and Mrs. Zimba received her MBA in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix.

While on this educational journey, God strengthened their vision of starting a school in Zambia. Over time, He nourished their desire to impact the living conditions of Zambians through higher education. Thus the concept of Northrise University, an institution that empowers Zambians by providing an education that nourishes and develops the spiritual and economic capacity of the Zambian people, was initiated.

Their passion for the Northrise vision, their faith, and above all God’s guidance, brought other people to the vision, and support groups were founded in Australia, the United States, and in Zambia. Many people brought intellectual and financial resources, prayer and commitment to the project, and in January 2004 the vision of Dr. Moffat and Mrs. Doreen Zimba was realized.

Northrise University is the first nationally recognized private university in Zambia and today it is a fully functioning university, empowering its students daily with the skills to succeed in the workplace while living Christ-centered lives.


The graphic below provides a history of events beginning with the Zimbas’ vision through the end of the next decade.