The National Accreditation Board, at its 61st Meeting held on 29th March, 2007 granted approval for the then Ghana Christian College and Seminary to change its status to a University College. Prior to that, at its 15th Meeting held on 25th September, 1997 the Board had granted a two-year Interim Accreditation status to the B. A. in Christian Ministries programme offered in the institution with effect from that date (National Accreditation Board’s letter of 14th July 1998).
Ghana Christian College and Seminary had been established by Gerald A. Gibson, in Kumasi in June 1966 with the main objective to add a “strong, trained biblically based leadership to the future of the spiritual and independent churches in Ghana with no seminaries of their own”
The College was relocated in Nima, Accra, in July the same year, with its five students from Kumasi to enable Gibson complete the paper work required to officially establish it as a private school. It received the Ministry of Education’s approval on 22nd August, the same year with classes starting on the 4th October. In January, 1967 it moved again to Kokomlemle, with its student population of thirty (30).
- African Evangelism Mission Faculty
Apart from Gerald A. Gibson, the families of missionaries who joined the faculty later were first, Richard Hostetter M. A. graduate from Kentucky Christian College (16th January, 1967), Cyril C. Simkins (16th February, 1967), Kent Taylor (22nd September, 1967), Ronald Rife, who Gibson had been chasing long time ago to join him (22nd October, 1967) and Derrence Smaage (22nd November, 1967). Gibson had left in April, 1967 and had handed over to Simkins who also handed over to Rife on 13th December (three months after his arrival) to go on his furlough. He returned in 8th September, 1969, but left on 11th January, 1970 for good.
It was Rife who initiated more improvement programmes, a two-year curriculum and a four-year degree programme. The school week was extended from three to four days (Tuesday – Friday). Three evening classes a week were introduced. On April 12, 1968, Ms. Dorothy Eunson joined the faculty from Milligan University for the first time.
In late 1967, Cyril C. Simkins succeeded in incorporating a mission that could be used for the entire continent. African Mission Evangelism was incorporated in Tennessee. Its initial incorporated members who had to be residents in Tennessee were Simkins, Robert and Juanita Mize, Roy Lumpkin Jnr., and Erwin Wize Peaze. In 1969, its constitution was amended to include the missionaries associated with the College at that time – Rife, Hostetter, Smaage, Taylor and Eunson. Its first President was Robert Mize (1968 – 71), with Roy Lumpkin Jnr. as Secretary/Treasurer (1968-71), Kent Taylor 1971 – 72), to be followed by Richard Nischan (1972 – 74), Ronald Rife (1974-78). It was this body that constituted the Board of Directors.
- Ghanaian Faculty:
The first Ghanaian faculty member to be engaged in 1970 was Christian Patrick Adjei who had enrolled in 1966 and completed his B. A. degree as the first degree graduate. The next to follow Christian Patrick Adjei was Joseph Nsiah on September, 1973 who had graduated in 1972 with B. A. in Pastoral Ministries. He was engaged to take over the Takoradi Extension from David Kalb. On 16th May, 1977 he left for his Masters Degree course at Cincinnati Christian Seminary up to 10th September, 1978. Incidentally, both Ghanaians later reached the highest offices of Principal and Vice-Principal.
Following them in the enrolment as faculty members in the School of Theology were: Akua Eghagha (1985), Enoch Nyador (1986), Manuel Budu Adjei (1987), Nelson Swedstrup Ahlijah (1989), Afua Wiafe (2001), Christopher Rockson Adjei (2001), James Yamoah (2002), Juliana Lartey (2005), Gabriel Sodja Annan (2006), John Kofi Avorgah (2009), Johnson Asibuo (2009), Frank Tetteh Akuwayo (2010), Ernest Odei (2013) and David Dosoo (2015).
Africanization of Leadership
By 1982, the Board of Directors was prepared to accept granting the Faculty the responsibility for the daily operations of the College. Carl Bridges’ recommendation at the Fourteenth Annual Meeting in October 9, 1982 for Christian Pat Adjei and Joseph Nsiah to take over from him (Bridges) and his wife in July 1983, as the Principal and Treasurer respectively, and was unanimously approved. This marked the beginning of Africanization of the College’s leadership. Mr. Joseph Nsiah was promoted to the position of the Vice-Principal (Academic) later and was succeeded by Manuel Budu Adjei who had been hired in 1987 as an Instructor. When Christian Adjei retired in March 2006, Manuel Budu Adjei who had obtained his Masters was appointed in April of the same year to succeed him as the President (as the post had then been re-designated). Currently, the College is under the Presidency of Dr. Nelson Swedstrup Ahlijah.
On January 21, 1970 after a search of nearly two years, a campus was purchased in Abeka-Accra where the College moved again to accommodate the growing student and faculty population. When the College grew, the current 33 acres of land at Amrahia (Dodowa Road) were acquired from funds raised by David Kalb for the purpose of building the current campus on which the College has been since the 2003/4 academic year.
In 1981, the College became “Affiliated Member” with the Accredited Consortium for Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA) in the United States of America and, a “Full Member” in November, 1985.
In 1998, with the inception of the National Accreditation Board (NAB) of the Ghana Ministry of Education (after the formation of National Council for Higher Education), the College was granted the authority to continue awarding its own Diplomas and Degrees in Theological Studies. It became one of the only two of such institutions to be provisionally accredited by the National Accreditation Board in its initial accreditation awards.
- University of Wales
The new Tertiary Education Act of 1993 (Act 454) required that Ghana Christian University College should look for a Chartered University to validate its tertiary programmes till it got its own Presidential Charter. The University of Wales entered into an affiliation agreement with the College on 1st February, 2007 to September, 2013 to validate the B. A. (Hons) Theology, B. A. (Hons) Community Development and M. A. Christian Organizational Leadership programmes. The accreditation of the third is pending.
- University for Development Studies and the Akrofi-Christaller Institute
Since 2013/2014 academic year, the University College has been under the validation of the University for Development Studies, Tamale for Development Management (including Nursing) with Akrofi-Christaller Institute, Akropong-Akwapim, for Theology. In-between the exit of the University of Wales, UK, and the entry of Akrofi-Christaller Institute, Akropong Akwapim, South African Theology Seminary (SATS) filled the gap for the validation of the 2013/14 finalists for Theology who graduated in 2015.
- Professional Programmes
The College has the mandate to run the Professional courses on tutorial basis for the Diplomas and Graduate Diplomas of the Institute of Commercial Management (ICM, UK), Association of Business Executives (ABE), UK, Institute for Professional & Executive Development (IPED), UK and for the various levels of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG).
- HND & COTVET
Steps are in progress with the National Board for Professional and Technical Examinations (NABPTEX) and the Technical Education Unit of the Ghana Education Service for Higher National Diploma and Diploma in Business Studies courses respectively. Also under discussion with the COTVET Secretariat are the efforts to introduce Levels 100 – 500 COTVET Certificate and Diploma programmes.
- Science and Technology
Discussions have reached an advanced stage for the establishment of Degree and HND programmes for the School of Science and Technology to beef up the numbers of existing Schools and students’ enrolment.