The University of Cape Town (UCT) is Africa’s leading teaching and research university and presents an opportunity to affect the lives of the continent’s future leaders.
Ranked first in Africa in the five major world university rankings.
CT is home to 18,000 undergrads, 12,000 postgrads, 1,250 faculty members and 3,700 other staff.
UCT boasts 30% of South Africa’s NRF A-rated researchers, considered leaders in their fields.
Most people imagine the world in compartments, separating public from private, home life from work life. Even Christians divide the sacred from secular. Christian students often struggle to connect their faith to their studies and vocations and, since the university is a secular space, receive no guidance from their faculties in this regard.
As a Christian study centre, the UCT YMCA is a space where students can experience the gospel as a vital part of their training and thinking, even within their chosen disciplines. We show how the gospel unites all of life and brings wholeness to a divided world.
The mission of the UCT YMCA Christian Study Centre is to cultivate a place of faith-life integration at the university in order to empower students for life, leadership and service.
Our vision is to promote human flourishing and the common good through Christian education and formation at UCT.
Our mission demands a skillset that is broad enough to encompass our holistic approach and deep enough to engage meaningfully with our university commons. We are fortunate to have been able to have grow an excellent team of full-time and part-time staff and associates from both academic and professional backgrounds.
Dr Annethea Grohmann:
Arts & Culture
Anri de Klerk:
The UCT YMCA at the University of Cape Town was founded in 1946 under the leadership of Rev. Percy Sitters who was the Anglican chaplain at the University. Rev. Sitters had a passion for Christian work amongst university students and strongly pushed for a centre close to the University of Cape Town. His vision was to establish a Christian residential club for ex-servicemen at UCT, because student accommodation was scarce after the Second World War, and to provide strong Christian influence that was otherwise lacking on campus.
When the Grotto Hill property, as it was then known, came up for auction, speedy action was taken by Rev Sitters to purchase it. With help from the National Council and the YMCA War Funds Trust, the YMCA at UCT and was
bought and registered in the name of the YMCA National Council on September 24, 1946.
Over the course of its 75-year history, the UCT YMCA has had the blessing of strong and sustained leadership, which has provided an ongoing sense of purpose, direction, and mission. God has blessed—and continues to bless—the efforts and ministry of the centre. There is enormous potential for this work to continue to grow and flourish.
All five leaders have been ordained ministers and have brought their theological training to their leadership roles:
1946-1956: Rev. Percy and Kathleen Sitters.
1957-1963: Rev. Carter.
1963-1975: Rev. Mick and Christine Milligan.
1976-2006: Rev. Roger and Leslie Palmer.
2007-present: Rev. Fritz and Dr Tshilidzi van der Lecq.