The Department was established in the Faculty of Arts in 1969. In its earlier years, the composition of the academic staff was predominantly expatriate, but since the 1980’s, a strong and successful programme of Kenyanization was implemented. The Department continued to grow steadily and was split in 1980 into two separate departments: (i) Department of Philosophy and (ii) Department of Religious Studies. In 2005, the two departments were merged with the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies of the College of Education and External Studies based at Kikuyu campus of the University of Nairobi to form a combined Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.
The combined Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies offers Certificate, Diploma, undergraduate, Masters and Doctoral (PhD) programmes in both philosophy and religious studies. It also services the College of Education and External Studies (CEES), College of Architecture and Engineering, the School of Economics and School of Mathematics by offering Faculty of Arts approved common undergraduate degree courses in Philosophy and Religious studies. There are three modes of learning: full- time, module II (day and evening) and distance learning.
The Department has twenty- nine members of staff who include Professors, Associate Professors, Senior lecturers, Lecturers, Assistant lecturers and tutorial Fellows. The Department is headed by a Chairman. There are:
1. Two administrative staff: Margaret Musambayi and Helen Gacheru (Secretaries) and Peter Wainaina (Clerk)
3. The Coordinator of the Centre for Human Rights and Peace: Dr. J. B. Ndohvu
There are five standing committees each chaired by a member of staff elected by the members of the department:
1. Curriculum and Timetabling committee
2. Seminars and Research Committee
3. Postgraduate Studies Committee
4. Library Committee
5. Welfare Committee
I am proud to report that during the past few years,the department has continued to make progress in all key fronts: in creating and offering new and exciting variety of programmes; in research, publications, workshops, guest lectures, physical and infrastructural development, development of academic programmes and of the required human resource capacity, growth of student enrolment, and networking with its peers nationally and internationally.
Only recently a new unit, the Centre for Human Rights and Peace was established and is housed in the Department. Through the Centre, the Department admitted its first batch of students in the Master of Arts Degree programme in Human Rights in September 2012. The Centre undertakes workshops, links, exchanges, attachments, and collaborative multidisciplinary research in human rights and peace.
Mine is just to welcome you to this Department---your department of choice. Joining the Department gives you the opportunity to study events and ideas of profound significance for human beings. It offers academic programmes which prepare you for opportunities in diverse careers such as researchers, teachers, counselors, and human rights monitors and managers.
Prof. Stephen Ifedha Akaranga, HEAD OF DEPARTMENT