The ACU Story:
We refer to West Africa Theological Seminary as the “soul,” or core, of African Christian University. It is Africas’s largest non-denominational seminary.
WATS will now provide required training in Spiritual Formation and Christian Worldview for all of the ACU faculties – eventually impacting tens of thousands of university students.
The vision for an unprecedented Christian mega university was first conceived in 1999, and announced in 2000. The Christian Development Foundation (CDF) was subsequently established with the primary purpose of pursuing this enormous vision. The CDF motto is “God’s work, God’s way, in God’s time.” CDF has been incorporated both in Nigeria and the USA, the original visioners, Dr. James Rose and Professor Gary S. Maxey, are joined by the CDF Nigeria chairman, Elder Felix Ohiwerei to carry out this dynamic vision.
The Key to Africa's Best Future:
Africa is a continent of immense and largely untapped resources. It is true that colonialists picked some of the low-hanging fruit, but those year are long gone. We can be assured they did not touch even 5% of the richness with which God has endowed Africa. Today our huge challenge is to unleash more and more of the power of Africa’s divinely-given endowments. What we call natural resources are here in amazing abundance. Yet far beyond those resources in value, hope and strength are our enormous human resources. The key to Africa’s best future is the nurturing, educating, godly mentoring and inspiring of our burgeoning youth population. They are the leaders of tomorrow. Among them are some of the brightest people on Planet Earth. Preparing these continental treasures in body, soul and spirit to follow God and excel in their chosen professions is our greatest hope for the transformation of Africa. Never before has this been so crucial and hopeful both for Africa and for global Christianity.
The ACU vision has attracted hundreds of partners and leadership participants, especially since 2016 with our move to Imala. Dr. Eric Ighalo is the director of CDF Nigeria. Dr. Victoria Ezeokoli was highly active in the earliest days of the CDF vision, and after some time off in the USA is returning fully to the ACU vision in early 2022. Dr. Tony Rapu, retired medical doctor and church leader, has served on the CDF Nigeria board since its beginning. CDF employs more than 50 workers to carry out its various programs in Imala, all in preparation fortheACU vision.
Commercial partners include John-Bede Antonio, an architect helping with the family home program, who is also an expert in agricultural business and brings experience in Christian University startups. Dr Ifepo Sofola, a US-based plastic surgeon, has announced plans to Ogun state leaders that he will build a specialty hospital as a part of this project, including specialty nursing training.
Behind all of this are four primary leaders:
(1) Alaiyeluwa Oba (Apostle) Moses Adelani Adegboyega Olabode, Omola of Imala, Odunfa II. He has ruled as the Kabiyesi (king) of Imalaland since 2005. He is a deeply committed Christian believer. His vision to establish a Christian university in Imala and his hands-on engagement as the head of the ILDF, in close coordination with CDF, is an invaluable boon to the ACU vision.
(2) Elder Felix Ohiwerei. Elder Ohiwerei is chairman of the Christian Development Foundation (CDF) of Nigeria. He is one of the most highly respected Christian laymen in Nigeria, who now in his retirement remains deeply committed to the progress of CDF and the ACU vision. His distinguished career in the business world is legendary, as well as his deep commitment to the Church.
(3) Dr. Rose is the founder of CDF and currently the president of CDF and co-chair of the ACU Consortium. He has been at the core of the ACU vision since 2000. After a distinguished career as an ExxonMobil engineer and executive, he took early retirement, completed a PhD in Christian leadership from Regent University, USA, and has engaged in full-time leadership of the project for the past six years. He is also a member of the Governing Council of West Africa Theological Seminary.
(4) Professor Gary S. Maxey. Professor Maxey has been in Nigeria for the past forty years. He has established two theological schools, including West Africa Theological Seminary. He has been resident in Imala since February 2021, and serves as co-chair of the ACU Consortium. In addition to his role as the WATS Founder, he serves as the Chairman of the WATS Board of Trustees. He has authored more than 30 books.