SANU functions within a context influenced by the Church of the Nazarene. It is administered under the authority of the Board elected by the district assemblies of the Church of the Nazarene in the Kingdom of Swaziland and the rest of the Southern Africa Region.

The Church of the Nazarene is an international denomination which originated in North America and the United Kingdom but is now established in over 150 world areas. In Africa the work began in Swaziland in 1910. The church has a total world-wide membership of over one million and is a growing denomination.

From its beginning the Church of the Nazarene has placed great emphasis on education and a trained ministry. Very early in its history the denomination established liberal arts educational institutions. It has been the historic conviction of the Church of the Nazarene that a well-trained mind is completely compatible with a dynamic faith.

The commitment to higher education in the church may be seen by the high level of priority that is given in its governmental structure. A Commissioner for Higher Education heads the International Board of Education headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A. This Board is composed of representatives from the various international regions of the denomination. The denomination also has an International Education Council which includes the rectors, principals or presidents of the church’s university-level educational institutions world-wide.

SANU is a part of the church’s world-wide commitment to higher education. The commitment of SANU is to develop to its fullest potential within an African context. The goal envisioned by SANU within that commitment is developing the best possible university standards in a contextualized framework which will enable inquiring minds to grow in the diverse fields that we offer, offer an innovative environment that fosters academic freedom to stimulate critical skills which will help leaners to impact communities and transfer the knowledge that they have gained in business, education health sciences and ministry.

While administered by the Church of the Nazarene, SANU has always welcomed learners from other Christian backgrounds and is committed to advancing the mission of the Church of the Nazarene.