The St. Cyprian Theological Seminary opened its doors on October 1, 1979, to five Cicm scholastics from Kinshasa (Zaire). By “Saint-Cyprian Theological Seminary”, we meant the complex comprising the CICM formation community and the school.
Founded by the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Missionaries of Scheut) for the formation of its members, the St. Cyprian Theological Seminary welcomed, from the beginning of the 1980 academic year, religious members of other Congregations or Institutes. With regard to the teaching staff, it should be noted that, from the beginning, there were already non-cicm professors who were working as temporary professors.
It is also worth recalling that the St. Cyprian Theological Seminary was intended to be an institution for the formation of young clerical missionary clergy.
At the end of the academic year 1981-1982, when the first finalists finished the institutional course, the St. Cyprian Theological Seminary could rejoice in having welcomed 32 students. During 1982, the Saint-Cyprian Theological Seminary underwent a profound metamorphosis: meeting in Mont-Fëbe from 12 to 17 April 1982, the Select Committee of the cicm Region of Africa and the Regional Commission for Initial Training cicm decided to separate the school from the training community. From that moment on, the school was called the St. Cyprian Theological School.
The change was beneficial for the School. In the long term, it allowed him to open himself up without difficulty to the idea of a possible “Consortium”. The St. Cyprian Theological School attracted a growing number of clerical religious students, waiting to welcome religious sisters or candidates as free students. However, the cicm General Council considered that the time had come to launch the idea of a “Consortium” which would enable several Congregations or missionary Institutes to take joint and several responsibility for the School, both financially and in terms of administrative staff and teachers.
After numerous consultations with experts and general authorities of some missionary Institutes in Cameroon, the Missionaries of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and the Priests of the Sacred Heart decided to form a Consortium, with the hope that other missionary Institutes would join them.
On June 26, 1985, the Saint-Cyprian Theological School became the Saint-Cyprien Interinstitute Theological School.
New Statutes were adopted for only one year. The year 1986 was used to arrive at definitive Statutes, acceptable under Cameroonian canon law and civil law. On December 26, 1986, a Constituent General Assembly established the Association of the school of Saint Cyprian and approved its Statutes1. The Inter-Institute Theological School of St. Cyprian became the St. Cyprian Theological School.
Finally, by his decree No. 20/87/95, Archbishop Jean ZOA of Yaoundé established the Association of the Saint-Cyprien School as a private legal entity. As a result, the Saint-Cyprian Theological School was recognized as the work of the Association whose name it bears.
It should be noted that seven other Institutes joined the three «founding» Institutes: the Missionaries Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (cmf), the Xaverian Missionaries (sx), the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles (msa), the Catholic Apostolate Society (sac), the Piarists (sch. p.), the Spiritans (cssp), and the Salesians (sdb).
And it is in this serious Theological School that our young members do their four years of Theology.