West Africa Theological Seminary in Lagos, Nigeria, is working to answer this need. The seminary combines academic excellence and Christian spiritual formation to prepare leaders who are transformed, equipped, and anointed by the Holy Spirit for spiritual awakening and holy living so that God’s mission can be accomplished throughout Africa and beyond.
Founded in 1989 by a group of expatriate and Nigerian Christian leaders, WATS has experienced a great deal of growth, graduating more than 1,000 pastors and providing training to more than 2,000 students.
Upon its founding, WATS was known as Wesley International Bible College and was located in Owerri, Imo State, in eastern Nigeria. Later, the school was Wesley International Theological Seminary and was finally given its current title of West Africa Theological Seminary. In 2001, when it relocated to Lagos.
WATS is the largest nondenominational seminary in Africa. More than 700 students, ages 16 to 60, currently study at WATS, representing over 100 Christian denominations, about 30 of the 36 Nigerian states, more than 10 African countries, and over 40 native tongues.
Programs offered at the seminary include bachelor’s degrees in theology and religion and master’s degrees in divinity, biblical studies, Christian leadership, intercultural studies, and Christian education. WATS is also preparing to launch a master’s degree in counseling. In addition to the seminary’s academic offerings, there is a strong emphasis on discipleship and individual spiritual development and meeting the students’ intellectual and spiritual needs.
The faculty of WATS consists of adjunct and resident professors from around the world. WGM’s role with WATS is to equip and send missionaries to serve as faculty members and advisors to the administration as well as provide other resources to help WATS meet its goal and train future leaders of the church in Africa.