A Brief Historical Background of the Spiritan Missionary Seminary
The building of the Spiritan Missionary Seminary (SMS) began in December 1985 and the first intake of 27 students took place in October 1986. Previous to this, all the Spiritan aspirants had been attending the Tanzanian Diocesan Houses of Philosophy at Kibosho and at Ntungamo. When these began to overflow, the Bishops requested the Congregation to establish its own house of philosophy.
Only two buildings were complete when the seminary opened; other buildings were added later: the kitchen and the dining room (1987); first dormitory block for 40 students (1988); second dormitory block for 40 students (1989); chapel and library complex (1992); staff house (1995); two lecture halls (1998); and a social hall (2000).
The programme of philosophy was first conceived as a two year philosophy course following the model of the diocesan seminaries.
The first five groups of students followed this programme. In 1991, the programme was changed to a three year course to allow for more detailed study of philosophy and with a view to affiliating with the Urbaniana University (Rome). The process of affiliation was complete in May 1994, and the first group of students sat for the Bachelor in Philosophy (B.A.) examination in June 1994. Since 2006, Spiritan Missionary Seminary has been affiliated with the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.
Initially, the Seminary was intended for the philosophical training of aspirants to the Congregation of Holy Ghost (Spiritans) but later it was opened to other religious congregations including the following: the Benedictines, the Pallottines, the Passionists, the Dominicans, the Augustinians of the Assumption, the Missionary Community of St. Paul the Apostle and Mary Mother of the Church and the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) etc.
The number of students in the programme has grown gradually to over 100. Growth has also taken place within the teaching staff, which now numbers about 15.
The Governing structure is composed of: Board of Governors, Consultative Board, Seminary Board and Academic Board. The day-by-day academic programme is run by the Rector, Vice Rector Academic and Bursar of the Seminary, assisted by an Academic Board.