Academic & Students Affairs History

About Our Academic & Students Affairs History

With the introduction of the new four year programme in 1963 the Theological Centre also received a new name and was called the Theological College Nyasoso. From this time onwards the students at the college had to sign bonds by which they committed themselves to work at least five years in the church upon graduation. A common kitchen was introduced in 1965 to prepare meals for the single students, who hitherto had to grow their own food. The admission of a second batch of students in 1965 necessitated some adjustments in the internal administration of the institution with the students assigned certain functions concerning their own affairs. This step eventually led to the formation of the Student Government. In addition, 1966 internal regulations were established to guide, direct and order the relationships between the members of the community and to define the rights and duties of each stakeholder/member. All of these are contained in the document titled: “Community Life.”

Besides this development, the first administrative/finance clerk was employed. In the same year the college joined the “Association des Écoles de Théologied´Afrique Occidentale et Centrale” (ASTHEOL), which provided and still provides an important forum for exchange of views between the institutions on many pertinent and common concerns that deal with curriculum, entrance requirements, the qualifications of lecturers, and organisational features of the member institutions, to mention these.

 Another important development was the launching of the college journal, the Drum – Call, in 1967. It has now published about 128 issues contributing greatly to the life of the institution and the church.

By 1969 the initial Internal Regulations were replaced by Rules and Regulations, which were meant to provide guidance and directives concerning the external affairs of the college and its overall administration within the set-up of the Church and its relationship with the latter´s ruling bodies. In 1970 the college started giving out its own Diploma in Theology (with a research paper in partial fulfilment of the award of a Diploma) in place of the Certificate of Training.

The college could have already metamorphosed into a co-educational institution since 1972 when three female candidates applied for the entrance. The one who was eventually admitted turned down her admission. It was later on in 1980 that women started entering the college. In 1974 the college joined the West African Association of Theological Institutions (WAATI) being the Anglophone equivalent of “ASTHEOL”.

The idea of sending students for practicum was established in 1975. It started then with a month of exposure to the field and was called Practical Month.  Later on the duration was extended to six weeks and the exercise is presently known as Field Research (Practicum), evaluated as other academic courses.

The college was transferred to Kumba where the housing facilities had been improved and there was space to increase the institutional infrastructures as the need arises based on the yearly intake of students. With the entry of a new batch in 1989 all the four classes became operational; the overall student population was 57.  Also, the association of Friends of the Theological College saw its birth in 1990 as a group of committed Presbyterians dedicated to support the development of the institution´s infrastructures.

Since the college was transferred to Kumba the following institutional and curriculum adjustments have come to light: upgrading of the college to a degree awarding institution begun in 1994 with the introduction of a one year Bachelor of Theology programme. This programme admitted former graduates of the Diploma programmes and served to advance their studies. This programme was later phased out when it was believed that all the pastors who were qualified had been effectively trained and their capacity upgraded. A change of the institution´s name followed in 1994 from the Presbyterian Theological College Kumba to Presbyterian Theological Seminary Kumba. The internal administrative structure was also adjusted to suit this new status. The office of the Principal and the Vice Principal were respectively changed to Dean and Vice Dean. Meanwhile the posts of Director of Academic Affairs, Director of Student Affairs, Chaplain, and Librarian were introduced. The tutors became lecturers (following their academic qualifications and years put in) and their meeting was called the Senate (to meet the new configuration in the institution with the introduction of different departments). The posts of Director of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs have since 2011 become Vice Dean in charge of Academic Affairs and Vice Dean in charge of Student Affairs respectively. The meeting is currently known as the Faculty.

In 1999, with the recommendation by the Senate that only Advanced level students could be admitted into the Seminary, the duration of studies was reduced from four years to three with the award of a Bachelor of Theology Degree upon successful completion. This was in line with other Universities and higher institutions. At this point the curriculum and syllabi of the various courses were seriously revised and the method of evaluation of students, was also changed. With the decision of the Synod of the Church in 2012 to extend the duration of studies to five years so that students can better fit into the contemporary Cameroonian society, work started in 2013 to again revise the curriculum, and syllabi of the Presbyterian Theological Seminary Kumba. With the introduction of the five years programme in August 2014 the three years programme eventually phased out in 2016. Upon successful completion the students of the five years programme will be awarded a Master of Divinity Degree.  In addition to these changes the Seminary has been operating a Master of Theology Degree programme with the first batch admitted in 2008 to further the theological education of the pastors who had graduated with the Bachelor of theology Degree.

At the moment the Seminary is opened not only to pastors of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon. It also admits students from other denominations. Admission is also possible for the laity who simply wish to acquire theological education without necessarily becoming pastors of any Church. At this juncture it is important to note that the Seminary has so far trained more than 500 pastors of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon and a handful of pastors from other denominations, including: The Apostolic Church Cameroon; Eglise Evangeligue du Camerun; Cameroon Baptist Convention; and other lay faithful.

Since April 2016, the PTS is officially affiliated to the Protestant University of Central Africa in Yaounde, Cameroon.