The growth of WATS has been significant since it first opened its doors, and over the years more than 1,000 pastors and church leaders have been trained including over 200 missionaries sent into Africa, North America, Europe and Asia. Because WATS is non-denominational, it has attracted students and ethnic groups from a broad spectrum of churches, language groups and countries. At any given moment WATS usually has students from at least: Thirty of Nigeria´s states, Over forty native languages, Ten or more other African countries, and over eighty different church groups.
“To train men and women for holy living, for carrying the Gospel to the unreached, and for catalyzing national spiritual awakening”
West Africa Theological Seminary (WATS) started in April, 1989, when a group of Nigerian and expatriate Christian leaders met to consider the needs of the Church in Nigeria and in particular to determine how to provide sound theological training to as many pastors as possible. Led by Rev. Gary S. Maxey of the US, the group moved quickly to establish a strong, academically competent, non-denominational theological seminary, now known as WATS. For its first twelve years the seminary (first known as Wesley International Bible College, and later as Wesley International Theological Seminary) was located in Owerri, Imo State, in eastern Nigeria. In 2000 the governing Council voted to change the name of the institution to West Africa Theological Seminary (WATS). In 2001, the seminary took a giant stride by relocating to Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital and the largest city in sub-Saharan Africa.
Short Form: To train men and women for holy living, for carrying the gospel to the unreached, and for catalyzing national spiritual awakening.
Long Form: To be the Theological Seminary of choice in Africa for preparing Christian leaders empowered by the Holy Spirit for advancing God’s Kingdom to all people groups.