Joseph Kazibwe Ntuwa
Country of origin: Uganda
MSc ITMOC, 2005
“Why on earth do you have to read Information Technology and Management? As a priest, we would expect you to specialise in fields like Theology, Scripture or Canon Law.” This was a recurring question people put to me when I enrolled for the at Lancaster University Management School.
It is a valid question, as many people do not expect a priest to invest his energies reading what are termed ‘secular disciplines’. Well, since I was ordained a priest in 1988, my ministry has mainly been in education-related fields: as a teacher at Kisubi Seminaryin Uganda, and later as a visiting lecturer at Uganda Martyrs University.
Since its arrival in 1879, the Church in Uganda has been at the forefront of, and pivotal to, many programmes geared towards the integral development of the Ugandan people. The missionaries established many educational institutions and hospitals. Having inherited such a wonderful legacy from the missionaries, the present indigenous religious people and clergy in Uganda have a task and duty to uphold: to improve on whatever was initiated in the fields of education and social outreach.
Having been a student at Lancaster University between 1993 and 1997 for my BSc in Physics, and for a Masters Degree in Physics and Education, the choice to come back and join the Management School was an easy one. I was well aware of the quality of the programmes offered and the global reputation that Lancaster University Management School has maintained over the years. My expectations have again been met.
I was attracted to the ITMOC programme because of the innovative way it provides students with valuable skills in information technology, and its effectiveness in this complex and ever-changing world of current and future organisations.
The 2004/5 ITMOC cohort was made up of a wonderful batch of students with a rich multi-cultural representation. It was a delight and honour to interact and work with people from many different nationalities, educational backgrounds and experiences. The collaboration amongst us in the Learning Groups equipped us with really valuable skills in managing group dynamics. The input and commitment of lecturers and availability of staff enabled the programme to run smoothly. I couldn’t have made a better choice.
My future prospects
As a result of my dissertation – about the Church and the Information Age – I have come to appreciate the unique opportunity the digital age provides for the church in its evangelising mission. The new technologies, particularly in their role as communication facilitators, offer the possibility of profoundly changing aspects of human interaction, and they present an opportunity for the Church to take the Gospel to today’s major market place: the Internet.
Despite the proliferation of computer applications, the implementation of information systems remains a significant issue – especially in developing countries like Uganda. So, after completing ITMOC I started a one-year internship period in Church settings using developed information systems. This period in North Carolina in the USA provided me with ‘hands-on’ practical experience in Church-related issues and helped me to deepen the learning from the wealth of knowledge obtained at Lancaster.
Life is full of so many choices. It's a good thing I chose the ITMOC programme at this stage in my career. Sincere thanks to all the staff and students for the wonderful memories.