Iris University

About Us

Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31)

In our ambition to please Him, we now express our vision for a venture far beyond anything we have dared to imagine in Him so far. We envision a university radiating the glory of God in a wide variety of spheres in the power of the Holy Spirit.

We know education, both lower and higher, to be an essential element in the development of any society, and here we speak of education founded in the knowledge of God and in the full riches of complete understanding, in order that many may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge
(Col. 2:2–3).

Our Board of Directors

Heidi Baker
Executive chairman of the board and Chancellor
Ph.D. in Systematic Theology, King’s College, University of London

Heidi Baker founded Iris Global in 1980 with her husband Rolland, and began ministering together in Asia. In 1995 they were called to the poorest country in the world at the time, Mozambique, and faced an extreme test of the Gospel. They began by pouring out their lives among abandoned street children, and as the Holy Spirit moved miraculously in many ways a revival movement spread to adults, pastors, churches and then throughout the bush all across Mozambique's ten provinces. Heidi is now 'Mama Heidi' to thousands of children, and oversees a broad holistic ministry that includes primary and secondary schools, Bible schools, medical clinics, church-based orphan care, well drilling, outreaches in remote villages, food aid and disaster relief, and a network of thousands of churches. She has BA, MA and PhD degrees, has authored four books, and travels the world as a conference speaker.

Our Team on the Ground

Fidel Terenciano
Director of Startup Committee
Ph.D. in Political Science, Instituições Públicas na Universidade Federal de São Carlos

Fidel Terenciano was born in Pemba, Mozambique. He has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Instituições Públicas na Universidade Federal de São Carlos in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He is one of the first people of the Makua tribe to have a Ph.D. He currently serves as the director of the installing committee for Iris University. He has experience in teaching in Postgraduate courses in Economic Development, Public Administration and Business at the Catholic University of Mozambique. His areas of research interest are designing government projects, management and technological innovation, and public policy management.

Zainabo Jose Opaite Mussa
Project Manager
B.A. in Public Administration, Universidade Católica de Moçambique

Zainabo is Mozambican and a native of Maputo. She moved to Pemba to seek the calling of God, serving in different areas of Iris Ministries: staff at the Harvest School of Missions, musician, director of Iris Theological College, and scholarship management. She also assists and leads students to participate in the Stanford International Institutes summer program in California in conjunction with Academic Bridges. She currently serves as a project manager and oversees academic records at Iris University. Her main focus in life is to impact people in different areas of life, but mainly women, seeking to encourage them to have a voice and be heard and giving them space to express their feelings in order to receive their healing.

Nadia Benbernou
Project Director
Ph.D. in Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Nadia Benbernou left her tech job in late 2019 to help build a university in Mozambique, one of the poorest nations on the planet. She is a former senior software engineer and product manager at Google and has worked extensively on wearables and mobile payments. She has a Ph.D in applied mathematics from MIT. She loves Jesus with all of her heart, soul, mind and strength and is passionate to empower and equip people to walk in the fullness of who they are in Christ.

Adelia Boaventura
Executive Assistant
B.A. in Law, Universidade Católica de Moçambique

Adelia was born in Maputo, Mozambique. She grew up in the children’s center at Iris Ministries and she started working as a children’s educator there. She graduated in law from the Catholic University of Mozambique. She is currently working as an executive assistant at Iris University.

Edmilsa Albino
Library Assistant
B.A. candidate in Accounting and Auditing

Edmilsa was born in Maputo, Mozambique. She is currently working on her bachelor’s degree in accounting and auditing. She works as an admin at Iris University and helps out in the library to catalog books.

Marina Vilela
Lead Educational Researcher

Marina Vilela has a Bachelor of Theology from UniCesumar, Brazil, and is a post-graduate candidate in New Testament Biblical Studies from UniCesumar. At the age of 19 after a powerful encounter with Jesus, she left her College studies in NYC and family to serve in full time missions. She has ministered to diverse communities bringing the gospel to people of all walks of life through love, counseling, teaching and discipleship. She currently serves our local church in Pemba and teaches at its Biblical Institute. At Iris University, Marina is an educational researcher and is a core member of the university start up team. In addition, she oversees logistics for relief and development in northern Mozambique and is the focal point for the Food Security Cluster of the UN’s World Food Program in Pemba Mozambique.

Ernesto Albino
Facilities Manager

Ernesto Albino was born in Maputo and grew up in Iris Ministries. His first job was as a driver for the children's boarding school and he also worked in hospitality and as the head of maintenance. He graduated as a Customs Broker from the Technical Customs Institute of Mozambique. He takes care of all the facilities and infrastructure at the university.