Ajayi Crowther lived here in Abeokuta, that is, Crowther Graduate Theological Seminary premises with his wife and children right from the time he got to Abeokuta in 1846-47. Ajayi Crowther was born in Osogun in present-day Oyo State around 1806.
He was captured and enslaved by the Hausa-Fulani in 1821, he regained his freedom in 1822 through the intervention of the British Navy and was taken to Sierra Leone. When the Yoruba mission started in 1846, Crowther was part of it. Henry Townsend settled in Ake while Crowther settled here in Igbein and started St. John Anglican Church next door. This was where he did most of translation work.
This historical building was built in 1910 at the time of Oba Gbadebo, the grandfather of the current Alake of Egbaland. The Ransome-Kuti family lived here as well as Prof. Wole Soyinka. The premises was taken over by the Federal Government, and many institutions started here, the last being FUNAAB. This premises was restored to the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) through the help of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. The Most Revd. Dr. Peter Jasper Akinola played a unique role in this, because he was the one who approached Obasanjo for the Federal Government to release the premises back to the Church.
The present Chapel, Henry Townsend and Olufosoye Halls of residence were built by FUNAAB. We are grateful to them.
GENESIS OF CGTS
At the All African Bishops’ Conference which was held in Lagos in 2004, it was resolved that Orthodox Anglican Provinces should establish a major institution of sound theological Institution for the training of personnel as an alternative to training in overseas liberal and controversial institutions. Most of these overseas institutions deny the incarnation and divinity of Christ, deny his miracles and His resurrection, promote homosexuality, lesbianism and so on.
CGTS was formally established in 2009 and the first intake of students was in March 2010 with Rt. Revd. Prof. Dapo F. Asaju, the current Vice Chancellor of Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo as the foundation Rector. We salute the courage and fighting spirit of Rt. Revd. Prof. Asaju who gave the Seminary a sound footing before leaving for ACU Oyo.
- There are many parts to CGTS. It has the School of Language and Ministerial Studies. Students from our seven theological Colleges (Immanuel, Vinning, Ezekiel, Okene, Wusasa, Umuahia and Awka) come here to study Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba etc…and serve for four months in any part of Nigeria apart from their own area of origin.
- The Special B.Th programme to cater for the priests who have no first degrees.
- Post Graduate Diploma in Theological Training for Ordination.
- Th Academic & PGD.RS.
- Masters degree programmes: M.A, MTh, M.DIV. M.Missions.
- Doctoral Programmes: D.Min and Ph.D
- Short term training programmes on request under Anglican Communion Studies. Under this programme we have trained missionaries and pastors from Togo, USA, and Nigeria.
- Crowther was a great man, a missionary, educator, linguist, translator, explorer, and Bishop. He operated in Sierra Leone, Abeokuta, Badagry, Lagos, Onitsha, Lokoja, Aboh, Niger Delta, etc. he is being celebrated in Onitsha, i.e. Diocese on the Niger and also in the Niger Delta. Crowther as a Yoruba man. Those of us in Yorubaland ought to celebrate him the more. The Church recognizes this and made October 3rd Crowther day. We decided to celebrate Crowther Week in November when all our students are supposed to be on ground: Postulants, Special B.Th and all Post graduate students.
- The work here is enormous and there is need for giving the premises a face-lift as well as expansion. The school fees and the modest subvention we get from Abuja, the Primate’s office in Abuja cannot sustain our vision and mission. We need to recruit sound full-time professors and lecturers who need to be well paid. The labourer deserves his wages. We need to train new staff to take over from us. That is why we are launching for funds. We need help from individuals, the private sector and the government, as well as international donor agencies. We are calling on all and sundry to come and celebrate with us and help us.
To train and equip people of all nations in sound and orthodox biblical faith, genuine worship and service to God and humanity through Theological Education and character formation for effective ministry and practical missions and advancement of the Kingdom of God.
Rt. Revd. Prof. Andrew O. Igenoza
Bishop and Rector