Alumnus to Open University in Haiti
By Rachel Judy
July 15, 2011
Jean Marc Zamor
The idea of Christian Leadership to Change the World echoes throughout the Regent University campus. It is also one that has been instilled in its students—students like current School of Education doctoral student Jean Marc Zamor '97 (Education). A native of Haiti, Zamor is leading a group in starting a Christian university located just an hour east of Port-au-Prince.
After earning his master's degree from Regent, Zamor went back to Haiti to work as both an educator and a pastor. While a significant portion of the country's citizens claim Christianity, Zamor explained, something still wasn't adding up. "When it comes to applying it to all other spheres like government and in their professional lives, it's a different story," he said. "I came to the conclusion that part of the problem is that Christianity in Haiti is still superficial; it doesn't go as deep as it should, and a lot of people are not applying really Biblical principles to their lives."
Also, because Haiti is such a poor country, Zamor explained, many who do have degrees also find ways to leave—a problem that has grown since the massive earthquake in 2010.
Over time, Zamor began developing plans to build Université Providence d'Haïti (Haiti Providence University). Haiti Providence University plans to open its doors to its first group of students in October 2011. "The Lord put it on my heart to start a university where we will train people who will really be taught how to apply Biblical principles in all areas of their lives," he said. "So, I decided that's what we should do—start a university where we can show excellence with academic rigor but also deal with the character of the people."
The need for Christian professionals in Haiti is vast. "In talking to people we saw that ... there was not much difference between a Christian professional and a non-Christian professional," Zamor explained. "We're training people to become Christ-like."
When the university opens, it will offer liberal arts undergraduate degrees in education, business, theology and nursing. The university will house both traditional and adult students.
Construction on the first building began in December 2010, less than a year after the earthquake that left Zamor and his family without a home. "A lot of the world at some point thought Haiti was dying, and we wanted to send a firm message we are not dying; in fact, we are committed to leading, we are very resilient," he said.
The residential component of the university is especially important, Zamor said. "Coming out of high school, these young people will be required ... to be residential because this is where we're going to have the most impact in helping them see things differently and inspiring them, giving them hope."
Mindy Hughes, Public Relations
Phone: 757.352.4095 Fax: 757.352.4888