Liberia International Christian College (LICC) is God’s very special gift to the United Liberia Inland Church (ULIC), the people of Nimba County and the people of Liberia. It started with a humble but ambitious dream of a humble man, and quickly took root in the hearts of many other Liberians and their American friends who heard of the dream. LICC’s founders were mainly Liberian refuge seekers who fled the nation’s political crisis and found themselves in the United States. Some were already there before the war, but had gone there during the period of political unrest in the 1980s to study. These mainly Liberian students with no status and work thought much about their people back home. They quickly realized that individuals sending money to their families at home was great but a better way was to pull their purses and purposes together and give a huge gift that could respond to many short-term money needs—quality Christ-centered college education at home.
How Did LICC Begin?
The Liberian students in the US who thought about establishing a college back home quickly formed themselves into a non-profit organization, United Liberia Inland Church Associates and Friends (ULICAF), with help from some of their American friends, because many of them were members of United Liberia Inland Church. But ULICAF had other Liberians who were not from ULIC. They sympathized with, and participated in the project because it was first of all, one to honor Christ at home and second, it was Liberian. This combination of Christ-centeredness and Christ-honoring and Liberian informed how they named the project. They wanted a liberal arts Christian college that will grow itself into something bigger than what the pioneers envisaged, but certainly, consistent with the vision of God’s purpose for the Liberian people. Such considerations led them to name the project, “Liberia International Christian College.”
Geographically, the project would be situated in that small West African nation called Liberia because its founders were Liberian nationals from Liberia but living in the United States.
Politically and socially, the project would be international. While serving mainly Liberian nationals and resident aliens living in Liberia, LICC has an international slant to it mainly because of its American or non-Liberian friends and partners who would work with ULICAF to implement the LICC project. This would open LICC to students, faculty and staff from other nations.
Spiritually, LICC would bear a uniquely Christian character and emblem mainly because its founders were Christ-followers who sought to introduce an educational worldview that was deeply rooted in the Evangelical Christian tradition. Their college would not be just for providing head education to its students, but also giving them an opportunity to consider and grow their spiritual roots, especially those students, faculty and staff who were already themselves Christ’s disciples. They did not aim at excluding those who were not Christ-followers, but they also did not wish to compromise their own spiritual tradition in the name of creating a secular higher education institution that would give little or no thought to its students’ eternal destiny.
Educationally, LICC would be a college and not a high school or some other professional and technical school that did not award degrees to its students. It would grant degrees as it continued to serve the Liberian people and would progress in the level of degrees it would grant. This is how Liberia International Christian College became what it is.
When Was LICC Established?
When ULICAF had managed to pull together initial resources it considered sufficient to kick-start its project, it acquired 20-acres of land in Ganta because its members reasoned that Ganta was the most suitable location for such a school. Later, the school acquired an additional four acres to make a total 24-acres land space for its current operations. It was far enough from Yekepa where African Bible College University is, and yet accessible to people from mainly Nimba, Bong and Lofa. The selection of Nimba County was mainly because almost all the Liberians who formed ULICAF are from Nimba. They felt strong about giving back to their home county in their strive to serve their nation and the world. So in 2008, ULICAF established LICC. In 2009, LICC started its first classes with----students in mainly Theology and Education.
Why Do Many People in Ganta Refer to LICC as “Bible College?”
When LICC began its first classes in 2009, it offered mainly an Associate of Arts degree in Pastoral Theology (Bible) and Education. Many of its first students were Pastors and Church workers. But also, many people who stood far away and did not come close enough to investigate what was happening reasoned that because LICC did not begin to offer other programs at its inception, and was strong about students doing a certain amount of Bible courses, then, it was essentially a Bible college. But this is far from the truth. LICC has a Theology Department but it is not essentially a Bible College that offers courses only in Bible. However, all its education and programs are rooted in, and centered on the Judeo-Christian Holy Book, the Bible. LICC prefers to conduct education from a solidly Biblical, Christian and Evangelical worldview, whatever discipline it offers.
What are LICC’s Vision and Mission Statements and Core Values?
A vision not clearly stated is tension, and lacks mission. Here is LICC’s vision statement.
We envision a sustainable school with deep, long-term relationships among administration, faculty, students, alumni and global partners.
And here is its mission statement.
We equip people with the knowledge to serve Christ and build their nations.
For core values, LICC offers these because a clearly stated vision with an effective mission statement would not climb a steep hill to its top successfully were there no core values to guide the process.
- Christ Centeredness
- Cultural Engagement
- Church Connectedness
- Committed Faculty
- Comprehensive Biblical Education
An organization’s vision, mission and core values give it its character on which it builds a culture.
Is LICC Accredited?
The accreditation question is one that pops up so often even if those who ask it know little or nothing about the word “accreditation.” Many people even rename the verb “accredit” as “accreditate,” a word that is neither English nor exists in the English dictionary. Perhaps, it is a curious Liberian English rendition.
In 2009, the National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE) accredited LICC to offer Associate of Arts Degrees in Theology and Education. Later, it added Business and Agriculture and its Associate Degree accreditation status remained firm until August 19, 2020, when the NCHE elevated the already accredited LICC’s standard to enable it offer full Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts Degrees, respectively, in Agriculture, Business, Education and Theology. Beginning October 1, 2020, LICC will begin to offer the Bachelor degree programs for two years initially, and the NCHE will reevaluate the school to determine if it should continue to offer the Bachelor courses or not.
What Programs Does LICC Offer Degrees In?
The answer to this question is already in the above section. LICC offers Bachelor degrees in General Agriculture, Business (Accounting and Management). Education and Theology (Pastoral and Mission). The Education Department offers degrees in Elementary and High School Education, respectively, with emphasis on content of specialization in Math, Social Studies and Language Arts. LICC wants to produce people for specific teaching tasks in a manner that allows a person to specialize in Elementary Math, Secondary English and so forth, just as it wants to produce competent personnel in Agriculture, Business, Theology and Mission.
Why Does LICC Not Offer Nursing, Criminal Justice and Other Courses?
Is It Not a University?
Our people tend to misunderstand the designations “college” and “university.” At one level, a college is synonymous to a university. At another, it is not and that is why there are institutions with tags as “university,” “university college,” “college university,” “seminary” and “polytechnic university.” These names speak more broadly to the breath of an educational institution’s program offers than anything else. A university has many colleges with each college having departments. A college may have only departments but the basic learning that happens in all of them qualifies each to offer the degrees it is set up to offer. That is why a university and a college both may offer students the Bachelor or Master degrees. It is even possible to do a doctoral level study at a college. Many Liberian students are more concerned about the nomenclature “university” than they are about what they learn there and how well they learn it. It is much easier to get lost in the crowd of university students than it is in a college, especially a small one like LICC.
It is better to start “small-small” and grow into something bigger than to begin big and not be able to grow well. LICC has chosen to start small and grow. But even when it has grown at its greatest height, LICC will not be able to offer every academic discipline that people who wish to study there desire. This is why prospective students should always weigh their academic desires against what a particular learning institution offers. LICC cannot possibly offer all the courses other universities offer. The school’s vision and mission also guide how it proceeds to do what it does.
Besides, enlisting more programs will certainly attract more students, but it will mean more financial burdens on the institution, too. LICC wants to chew the little it can and chew it well and digest it well. So it will not jump into chewing a mouthful that it cannot chew well, swallow or digest.
Some LICC students have thought to rename the school LICC University. Unfortunately, higher education has its own protocol issues that we must respect. If LICC wants people to know it as university, it has to fulfill the National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE) requirements for doing so. Rather than focus on LICC as “college” or “university,” students should set their minds on learning what the it offers them and do their best. One day, at the proper time and with the appropriate resources, LICC will grow larger, offer more courses of study and accommodate more students. Growth is a progress and it’s better to go at it cautiously.
Do Other Institutions Know LICC and Honor It?
LICC is a member of the Association of Liberian Universities (ALU) and Liberia Association of Theological Institutions (LATI). The LICC Administration is working on building relationships between LICC and some US-based universities. Apart from this academic situation, LICC is also a part of the Association of Evangelicals of Liberia (AEL), partners with Hope in the Harvest Mission (MITHM), an Indiana-based non-profit missionary sending agency that focuses primarily on agriculture and agricultural education. Africa Mercy Partners (AMP) is another of LICC’s US-based partner organizations. United Liberia Inland Church (ULIC) and United Liberia Inland Church Associates and Friends (ULICAF), another Indiana-based organization, own LICC. The University of Maryland’s Agriculture Department (U.S.) also has relationships with LICC. We pray to develop more relationships on, and outside the continent.
How Easy is it for LICC Students and Graduates to Matriculate to Other Higher Education Institutions in Liberia?
LICC graduates and students have gone on to other schools in and outside Liberia and they are doing well there. A part of the answer depends on how well the student did or is doing at LICC prior to leaving for another school. Another is LICC’s relationships with other higher education institutions. But the NCHE has a broad-based two-year curriculum for all higher education institutions in Liberia on which each institution constructs its peculiar programs. With this, an LICC student or graduate should have no difficulty matriculating into another higher education institution in and outside Liberia if the student does not seek enrollment in a discipline and program other than the one for which she or he has obtained a degree at LICC or had pursued while at LICC. A student in healthy academic and financial standing should not have much difficulty, if any at all, enrolling into another institution at home or abroad.
Why Does LICC Require Non-Theological Students to Complete Bible Courses?
Many students and some faculty members have asked this question repeatedly and it is a good question. Some have even kicked against it, arguing that Bible courses are not relevant to their studies. Such responses are rather unfortunate when one considers that LICC is a faith-based learning institution that is also concerned about the spiritual health of its students. Many students coming into LICC want to study only what they came in to study. Unfortunately, the LICC curriculum is not structured that way. Just like a person does not eat rice only if they want to eat rice, but the rice goes with soup, meat, fish, greens, spices, oil and other ingredients, so also is the educational curriculum. It has NCHE required courses like English, Math and Science. Then LICC cares about its students’ physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual fitness. The school’s vision, mission and core values make it necessary to add Bible and theological courses to its menu for everyone the same way it adds Agriculture 131 for all because of its significance for our nation.
How effectively can a school equip people with knowledge to serve Christ and build their nations if it does not also educate them in the rudiments of Biblical faith? The question is worrisome when it comes from especially professed Christian people who have very little or faulty Bible knowledge, but who also are expected to transform their work environments, communities and the nation with the knowledge of Christ they are supposed to possess. If head knowledge without heart transformation could make a people better, Liberia should not be as corrupt and morally bankrupt as it is because very many of its educated people have expert knowledge of the disciplines they have studied. But there is a deep moral and ethical gap in our learning and LICC does not think this is acceptable, especially when we can help bridge that gap.
With no intention to turn its students into Pastors, LICC is very intentional about pointing students, faculty and staff the way that leads to life, and is not happy preparing people with knowledge that will not matter in the end. If a student leaves LICC more determined to love and serve Christ and humanity than when they entered, LICC would have realized its purpose. The Biblical and theological courses will help students put their learning in a broader context and work outside the prevalent secular worldview, or at least alongside it as they strive to follow their own paths in life. Secular perspectives are not the only ones in the world.
The education curriculum in any situation is a whole package. That is why for example, science students study some non-science subjects.
What Does It Take to Attend LICC?
LICC is a private faith-based institution that operates on mostly private funding sources, even if it receives some public funding. Its tuition and fees are affordable. For academic 2020, the per credit hour cost is $US10.00. Added to that is registration that ranges between $US 145.00 to 155.00, depending on whether a student is studying a science program like Agriculture or a non-science one like Business. At 18 credit hours then, the student will pay $US 180.00 plus $US 145.00 or $US 155.00 depending on the student’s study area. That gives a total of $US 325 or $US 335.00, respectively.
Apart from registration and tuition fees that a student pays each semester, LICC expects its students and graduates to give back to the institution. At its 2018 graduation, LICC asked graduates to contribute $US 100.00 each, a year, to help the school. There may be money that students in different departments pay outside their tuition and registration, but such fees are something the department and Administration discuss before they ask students. LICC also conducts Chapel services at which it collects offerings from worshipers.
Prior to graduation, a prospective graduating student pays a graduation fee that is not fixed. LICC accepts the Liberian Dollar equivalents to these fees at an existing exchange rate.
Dormitory students pay additional fees for room and board. We encourage students who intend to live on the dorms to meet with the Business Office for existing accommodation rates. Living on the dorms has obvious advantages for students and these include easy access to the school library and other facilities and utilities. They also do not have to bother about preparing food if they pay to be fed. Security is good and their environment healthy.
Does LICC Offer Scholarship to Students?
Financial assistances and scholarships have been a big part of LICC. In fact, every student, just by enrolling at LICC, automatically, benefits from a financial assistance package. Consider this. The average semester cost of a student’s education at LICC is between $US 750-1, 500.00. But the school requires only a fraction of that amount of students, between $US 325.00 and $US 335.00 per semester. Can it get any better than this? We encourage LICC students to look realistically at the cost of their education and develop a forward thinking mindset that will liberate all from the backward bent thinking that they should come to school at the expense of the school and pay only what they have. LICC is a private faith-based institution that has very limited funding sources.
But because many students still struggle to pay this amount, the school has, from time to time, offered scholarships and financial assistances to various students almost to the point that many students come to LICC thinking that some scholarship money should pay for their education.
In previous years, LICC offered the ULICAF Scholarship. Some students have also benefited from subsidy allocations from the Government of Liberia. Other students have benefited from financial packages from their political districts. Acelor Mettal has financed students’ education at LICC. In the recent past, some LICC students have benefited from the BKS Foundation, PNM and Covenant Foundation scholarships. Apart from other scholarship students whose sponsors pay for their education, the LICC Work Study Program is another source of financial assistance available to needy and deserving students. All the scholarships have specific requirements for qualifying and no student gets on any simply by enrolling at LICC. But at least, being an LICC student opens the school’s scholarship and financial opportunities to a student.
LICC does not now offer sports and arts scholarships or financial assistances but hopes to do so in the future when it can secure funding for these. Meanwhile, each student should carefully consider how to finance her or his education at LICC and not sit and wait around to get on some scholarship or assistance before continuing in school. College education is awesome and a great key to many doors in life, but it is not necessary for anyone’s life or for living a successful life. Neither is it an emergency. Prospective students and continuing students and their families and sponsors should carefully plan how to finance their education because not everyone will enjoy a scholarship or financial aid benefit even if they qualified. That is just how life is. Do not leave yours at the mercy of other people’s pockets and purses.
We further encourage students and their parents, guardians and sponsors to factor the cost of their education as realistically as they can before they enroll at LICC.
Does LICC Have Faculty and Student Accommodations?
The LICC Agricultural Research Center (ARC) houses the school’s Hope in the Harvest Missionaries and their families for the time they are here serving. The building has limited accommodations for short stay visitors as well. LICC has a faculty guesthouse that LICC President currently occupies until there is a President’s house. The school does not have faculty and staff on- or off-campus accommodations. Each LICC faculty and staff lives in Ganta at his or her own expense.
However, there are two dormitory units, each accommodating 16 students, who share four bunk beds per room. Dormitory students
Pay for their accommodation apart from their tuition and registration fees. The dorms are for any student who is willing to live there and can afford living there.
The school intends to feed dormitory students three meals a day but because this puts the student’s financial obligation above what many are willing and able to pay, LICC is still thinking on what to do about feeding dormitory students. This would be very easy if all dorm students pay what they should to live there.
What Advantages Do Students Have Living On Campus That They Lack Living Off Campus?
Life has comforts and discomforts, ups and downs, joys and sorrows, hopes and disappointments and all kinds of opposites. Similarly, living on-, or off-campus has advantages and disadvantages. First, the campus is a controlled environment with not too many distractions. Hence, it is student friendly and helps students work more and harder if they choose to do so. Second, the library is close to the dormitory and students who live on campus have more time to access the library more freely than those who must leave campus to return. Many off-campus students do not use the library as much as they should. Third, the student is not responsible for many of the things she or he enjoys while on the dorm. For example, the school bills the student while it pays bills for electric power and makes sure the student has running water at all times. Fourth, the water on campus is very safe for drinking and the student does not have to worry about water-borne illnesses as much as she would were she living outside campus. The electricity supply is also constant when LEC is on, and when LEC goes out, the school provides other sources of electricity for its dorm students.
Fifth, the dorms are next to the classroom block and soccer pitch to allow a student use these facilities almost at will. Six, the campus has 24/7 security watch so that the student does not have to be anxious about thieves breaking in and stealing their belongings. Seventh, the campus is calm, homely and in many ways preferable for those who wish to work harder in school without plenty disruptions. Consider trying the dorms.
When Will LICC Offer Its Nursing and Midwifery Program?
In 2019, LICC applied to the Board of Nursing and Midwifery, for permit to operate a nursing and midwifery programs. The school is still awaiting the Board’s response without which it cannot operate the programs. Meanwhile, it is working toward the permit and as soon as the Board gives the green light, LICC will offer the programs.
How Well Equipped is LICC’s Library?
People ask questions related to the library regularly. LICC’s library is small, but has more than 7, 000 content-specific entries for the programs and courses it is offering. What the LICC library is mainly short on is works by African authors. If you love reading, LICC’s rich and diverse library collection on agriculture, business, education, theology, mission, law, medicine, literature, foreign languages, mathematics, biology, chemistry, politics, sociology, statistics, botany, communication, music and arts and more, will at once engage you. These wonderful professors are waiting for any learner who wishes to fellowship with them meaningfully.
Does LICC Offer Computer Classes?
The LICC Computer Lab has more than 30 computer and monitor units on which students learn and can use. There are also professional computer courses a person may do for credit toward a diploma in computer. At LICC, emphasis is on students’ competence in using the word processor functions of a computer in order to allow them type their assignments as soon as they have spent one semester learning to use the computer. The cost of computer courses to regular students is already in the students’ registration and tuition fees. Students who enroll in LICC’s specialized computer program have a separate fee structure.
Does LICC Have Qualified Instructors?
This question raises concern and anxiety in a prospective student. The majority of LICC’s instructional faculty has earned a Master’s Degree in the respective fields. Only a handful of instructors with Bachelor’s Degrees teach at LICC. But those who teach at LICC are professionals who have earned their stripes to be where they are. However, LICC requires regular faculty enrichment exercises of its faculty members because the school wants to keep up scaling its standard and quality of education it offers.
The main concern here is the kinds of students who seek admission at LICC. When a school has qualified instructional staff with weak students, it becomes very difficult for them to achieve their desired goals as they wish. Instructors encourage students to step us and excel in the learning.
Do LICC Faculty and Staff Accept Gifts From Students?
LICC’s Code for Conduct does not encourage or permit gifts taking and giving, if the intent is to corrupt. A student may not give gifts to a faculty or staff member to seek favor or for change of grades as that amounts to corruption. And no LICC faculty or staff may demand a gift from a student. Faculty and staff members receive pay for their services to the students and should not burden any student beyond the student’s legitimate duties to the school.
What is Student Life Like at LICC?
Students are the heart and center of life at LICC. While the school administration encourages them to participate in various activities—academic, social and spiritual, the students are largely responsible for student life at LICC. A Student Council Government directs general student life. Various student groupings also operate according to their specific interests. Soccer, kickball and volleyball are three main sporting activities at LICC though others may, and should be added. Music is another student interest and activity at LICC. The school encourages all students to participate in one or more social activities on campus. Student life has great potentials for growth and LICC encourages its students to be intentional about bringing and getting the most out of their time at the institution.
However, LICC does not approve of students engaging in wild orgies on, and off campus. We know that our students are adults who can regulate their own lives. Yet, it is the school’s responsibility to help students shape their character beyond acquiring information in school. This is why LICC does not support or encourage its faculty and staff members engaging in inappropriate gatherings along with students in the name of socialization. It does not also permit wild parties, nightclub and bar attendance or programs that run deep into the night or early morning hours.
Does LICC Have Approved Dress Codes for Faculty, Staff and Students?
LICC does not wish to regulate what its faculty, staff and students wear. But it is also very concerned that they are thoughtful, moderate, decent, sensitive and attractive in what they wear. LICC does not have such laws that bar women and girls from wearing trousers, but it warns against all students wearing provocative and indecent dresses. College students should remember that they are already leaders in society and they wield influence on others by what they do, how they do it and how they appear.
T-shirts (round and V-neck) with inappropriate portraits and messages on their front or back are not decent for school. Shower slippers and slacks or shorts, too, should remain home unless when they are used for specific physical work or sports. Men and women are to be well-groomed at all times.
A general rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “Will I be happy wearing what I am wearing if I were meeting an important guest at school today?” LICC does not encourage its faculty, staff and students to push themselves into buying and wearing dress items they cannot afford just to make an impression on people. If what you can afford is inexpensive, make sure it is appropriate, clean and neat. We may not come to school wearing under wears that we do not cover with something else. Tight clothes, too, are indecent and so inappropriate. Do your best to dress decently and appropriately.
How Does LICC Deal With Immediate On-Campus Illnesses During School Time?
LICC has a small on-campus clinic it is not operating now but may do so sooner or later, if necessary. The clinic used to treat all urgent on-campus illness that did not require hospital treatment. It referred the student to hospital if the nurse determined the case was beyond what the clinic could handle. Generally, LICC encourages each student to care for her or his medical situation and go to hospital at their own expense as soon as possible.
Does LICC Have On-Campus Internet or WiFi Accessibility?
LICC’s library, Administrative Block and the Agricultural Research Center (ARC) have internet connectivity. During school time, once the school loads the system with data, students can use their mobile devices, laptops and tablets to access the campus internet for mainly academic research and not for gaming and watching movies or downloading such materials. Plans are underway to connect all the buildings on the campus so that students will have access to internet wherever they are on campus.
Is There a Place of Worship or a Church on Campus?
The LICC branch of United Liberia Inland Church (ULIC-LICC) is a small congregation of LICC families and the community that meet every Sunday morning at 9:00, to fellowship and worship. Also, when the Hope in the Harvest Missionaries are not attending service off-campus, they meet on the ARC patio for fellowship and worship.
Does LICC Allow Non-LICC People and Institutions to Use Its Facilities?
LICC is here for the community and nation. The school lets people, groups and institutions use its facilities provided that those who intend to use the facility or facilities have made proper arrangements with the Procurement and Business Offices to use the said facility or facilities.
This includes bridal parties, birthday celebrants and others coming on campus to take photographs. Unauthorized persons and groups may not use any LICC facility. The school has given its security personnel strict orders to ask anyone or group that does not obtain proper permission to use any of its facilities to leave the campus.
Also included in this is learning to ride motorbikes or drive vehicles on the LICC soccer pitch.
LICC encourages large group meetings like conferences, workshops, symposiums, trainings and the like as long as the conveners obtain prior permission to conduct such meetings on campus.
But LICC does not let anyone or group take its chairs or desks outside the campus. Those who wish to use these must do so on campus under the supervision of designated LICC staff.
LICC charges small maintenance fees for using any of its facilities.
What is LICC’s Relationship With the Community in Which it is Located?
Ever since its establishment in 2008, LICC has been a community-oriented institution. Over the years, its administration and students have strived to maintain cordial relationships with members of the Royal Community and surrounding communities because our students live in all these communities and people from the communities come to LICC. Families, grade schools, faith institutions like Churches and Mosques, business and the general Ganta public relate cordially with LICC. The school relates well with the City Corporation, para-military forces, hospitals, financial institutions, faith communities, media houses and the public.
Does LICC Have Vehicles Students Could Use?
LICC has a 25-seater bus, that’s all.