Education stands as a fundamental pillar in the process of a nation’s development. Without the widespread dissemination of quality educational opportunities, significant progress and advancement become unattainable for any country. Ensuring universal access to education is vital, as it serves as a crucial resource for driving national growth.
The availability of quality education addresses long-term challenges faced by a country, paving the way for sustainable development. Ghana, a nation that has demonstrated remarkable strides in enhancing the quality of education, exemplifies this principle.
Ghana’s remarkable achievements in education have contributed to poverty reduction and impressive economic growth. This success can be attributed to the concerted efforts of its educational institutions, which have reshaped the educational landscape of the nation.
In this regard, Spiritan University College has emerged as a distinguished institution over the past three decades. Through its dedication and commitment, Spiritan University College has played a pivotal role in revolutionizing Ghanaian education, making significant contributions to the nation’s progress.
Laying the Foundation of an Ideal Institution
Spiritan University College started as an institution of Philosophy to provide the first stage of Catholic priestly and missionary formation uniquely to candidates of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (a.k.a Spiritans). It was opened on 17 October 1990, and the foundation stone was laid by Very Rev. Fr. Pierre Haas, C.S.Sp. and blessed by the Most Rev. Peter Kwasi Sarpong (then Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kumasi).
The College was accredited by the National Accreditation Board on 25 September 2005.
It also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 15 May 2008 with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, to offer a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and Social Sciences.
On 20 June 2008, the University College status was inaugurated with two programmes, i.e., Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Sociology/Economics and Diploma in Philosophy and Religious Studies, introduced in September 2008. In 2011, the College started a School of Business Studies and later, in 2015, was accredited to run a Master of Arts (MA) in Theology, affiliated with Duquesne University in the United States of America.
The College also got an offer for a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degree from the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in April 2016 and was accredited by the Ghana Tertiary Education Council (GTEC).
Leading Students to Discover Wisdom
The vision of the University College is to be an academy of excellence in research and the teaching of African Philosophy. Students are also taught the human condition, which helps them make an informed decision about and preferentially opt to commit themselves to the service of the poor and marginalized in society.
The motto of the University College is Spiritus Veritatis (Spirit of truth). The whole purpose of education is to lead one to discover truth and wisdom. It aims to facilitate the development, assessment and enrichment of curricula in the College and to ensure academic integrity, stringent policies and procedures are implemented.
The strength of Spiritan University stems from its solid religious foundation and discipline given by the Religious Missionary Institute, the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, made up of priests and brothers.
One of its biggest strengths is the attainment of academic excellence by both faculty and student membership. Honesty, Transparency and the Fear of God are three key pillars of the Institution. The governance architecture of the institution ensures strict adherence to rules and regulations. Goals set by the institution are achieved through well-laid-out systems.
The institution maintains its reputation by abiding by the rules set by the National Accreditation Board (NAB) and GTEC.
The institution cultivates in students’ democratic principles and also lets them feel part of the decision-making process, as well as ensures effective implementation of policies. In addition, students’ participation in certain areas of the governance system of the Institution is encouraged.
Students have Academic Advisers, and they meet with them periodically. They also consult them before choosing courses each semester. They also have access to the Dean of Students.
The students also take part in programmes organised by Private Universities in Ghana. Such programmes include quiz/debate competitions, sports, etc.
The majority of students who are training to be priests participate in the annual Inter-Seminary Interactions among all the major seminaries in the country. This involves sports competitions and festivals of arts and culture. The institution will host the next interaction (Festival of Arts and Culture) in February 2024.
Overcoming Social Adversities
Recently, the institution successfully organized the 4 International Conference on the Church and the Global Eradication of Ignorance and Poverty in Africa. This International Conference on Poverty Management (INCOPOMA) is held annually to broaden the minds of students, faculty and the general public on emerging issues and trends as they affect and shape all aspects of life.
The research component of academic work is central to each taught course. This finds expression in term papers, seminar presentations and debates in each course done per semester. Each student, whether as an individual or in group, is expected to make a contribution.
Aside from this, the annual Insight Magazine features wellresearched articles which are published as institutions’ literary contributions to contextual issues not only in Ghanaian and African societies but the entire globe. This is facilitated by the multi-nationality of the presence of both faculty and students who form an international consortium from different religious and missionary congregations.
Additionally, each student, under the tutelage of distinguished supervisors, is required to produce a well-researched project work before completion of the bachelor’s degree and subsequent graduation. Furthermore, at the end of each academic year, students are given appraisal forms to assess each course and each lecturer. This helps to enhance quality assurance and control.
Creating a Congenial Atmosphere
The institutions’ internationality, borne out of multiculturalism, already creates a congenial atmosphere for cross-cultural engagements. The different talents and skills from these diverse backgrounds are tapped not only in academics but also in sports, art and culture and liturgy. Basically, students and faculty members come from Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Cameroon, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Guinea Bissau.
The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of the university is an umbrella body which brings students from different countries together for a common purpose, namely, to work for the interests and well-being of all students. Also, the president of the SRC always participates in the Academic Board meetings.
The School’s Management also creates a one-on-one platform for students to share their ideas, grievances and concerns at the beginning of every academic year.
The institution is affiliated with KNUST, UCC and UDS and currently trying to seek approval from GTEC in order to enrol on the BSc—Nursing and Midwifery programmes.
Prioritizing Moral Responsibilities
The institution has scholarships for those in need in the community, which helps the deprived and needy to have access to tertiary education and to enrol in any course of their choice.
It also provides outreach programmes, such as Clean-Up Campaigns as well as, Quiz Competitions, and Extra and Vacation Classes for Senior High School students. From time to time, the institution organises Blood Donations to support the blood banks of various hospitals so as to offer medical support to sick patients.
Coexisting in the Context of Diversity
Spiritan University College can boast of a vibrant Alumni Association with a recent constitution which guides its administration and activities. A database of all the alums, their profiles and locations, and work and present engagements is also kept. The Alumni Executives and some other members of the Alumni are always present for matriculations and graduations, and the Alumni Association President serves on the Governing Council of the University College.
The graduates in Philosophy and Social Sciences have gone further to study theology and related courses; some are ordained and are working as priests and missionaries in many parts of the world (e.g., USA, Paraguay, Taiwan, Croatia, Ireland, Canada, UK, Africa, etc) and other religious institutes of consecrated life participate e.g. Missionaries of Africa, Redemptorists and Josephites. Others are pursuing careers in law, political sciences, social work, accounting, human resource management, etc.
Others are working as entrepreneurs and in the banking sector, as well as the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies scattered around the country.
The programmes offered here, course contents and course delivery, as well as community engagements, extra-curricular activities and religious formation, equip its students with multi-talents. This enables them to multi-task and face the outside world beyond the four walls of the school with confidence, courage, initiative, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Again, internationality easily makes students adjust to different situations, and they are able to accommodate and coexist in the context of diversity and global challenges.
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