The Archdiocese of Bamenda houses a number of Institutions of the Ecclesiastical Province of Bamenda for the formation of candidates for the Priesthood and for the Higher Education of the youth, as well as the Marriage Tribunal of First Instance. These are under the immediate jurisdiction of the Local Ordinary.



  1. Thomas Aquinas’ Major Seminary, Bambui


St. Thomas Aquinas’ Major Seminary, Bambui – Bamenda, was opened in September 1973 and officially inaugurated on 3rd December 1973 as a Regional Major Seminary for the Dioceses of Buea and Bamenda. After about four years, precisely on 14th October 1977, by Decree Prot. No. 4684/77, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples declared the Seminary canonically and definitely approved and erected. A second Decree Prot. No. 4685/77, by the same Congregation, appointed the Very Rev. Christian Wiyghan TUMI as the Rector of the Seminary. It subsequently became a Provincial Major Seminary with the erection of the Ecclesiastical Province of Bamenda in March 1982.


On 3rd December 2013, it celebrated the Ruby Jubilee of its foundation. This was preceded by a Jubilee Year which was launched on 3rd December 2012 with the theme: “Called to be Saints and Scholars”. The Jubilee Year was an opportunity to reflect on the growth and development of the Seminary, the quality of the formation given and of the products of the Seminary especially in the context of the challenges now facing the priestly life and ministry. It was a time of stock-taking and renewal. The final celebrations were presided over by the Apostolic Nuncio to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, His Excellency, Most Rev. Piero PIOPPO. The celebration was a moment of grace and God’s abundant blessings.


Since its establishment, the Seminary has had a gradual and steady growth. Right from the beginning it has welcomed candidates not only from the Dioceses and Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life of the Ecclesiastical Province, but also from the other Dioceses of Cameroon and other countries of the central African region. Because of the crises in Anglophone Cameroon, the foreign candidates  all withdrew to the French speaking zone. Given the increasing number of candidates to the priesthood in our local church, the bishops of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province decided in 2014 to begin another seminary in the Diocese of Mamfe, St John Paul II Major Seminary Bachuo- Ntai. This served as the Philosophicum while St Thomas Aquinas’s Major Seminary served as the Theologicum. This helped to decongest the environment and to ensure a close touch with each of the seminarians in formation.


Year           Dioc. Cand. Rel. Cand.                  Total           Priestly Ord.

2015                    136             18               154             06

2016                    152             18               170             11

2017                    146             26               172             07

2018                    151             27               178             —

2019                    167             35               202             08

2020                    177             42               219             14

2021                    173             31               204             13


It is evident from the above statistics that the total number of candidates has almost doubled within the last ten years. This is taken care of by a Formation Team of about 10 to 14 members at most.


From the point of view of infrastructure, the project of constructing seven new classrooms was effectively completed, and some old classrooms were also extended to attend to the growing number of seminarians. Renovations have also been carried out in the Major Seminary, and more is still being done in preparation for the 2021/2022 Formation Year.


  1. John Mary Vianney Spiritual Formation Centre, Bafut


St. John Mary Vianney Spiritual Formation Centre, Bafut caters for the formation of the candidates who intend to do their Priestly Formation in St. John Paul II Major Seminary, Bachu-Ntai, and, ultimately, St. Thomas Aquinas’ Major Seminary, Bambui during the Propaedeutic or Spiritual Year. It is a year of discernment before admission into the Major Seminary.


This Centre which was established in the early 1990s has become small and inadequate considering the growing number of candidates. The Centre which was built for a maximum of about 40 candidates must now accommodate about 70 candidates and above. We have had to modify the dormitories, the chapel and extend the refectory to accommodate more candidates. At the moment, a new chapel has been constructed and is being used by the candidates, although its finishing is yet to be done.


  1. The Catholic University of Cameroon (CATUC), Bamenda


Since 2010 when the Catholic University of Cameroon (CATUC), Bamenda opened its doors to the first batch of students, it has continued to provide wings for its students to fly. CATUC has continued to excel in the academic milieu in Cameroon, reputed for the quality of education it offers to its students.


The University follows the Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate system:

  • Three Years for Bachelor degree, in general terms
  • Four Years for Nursing, Medical Laboratory Science, Engineering and Agriculture
  • Five Years for Pharm. D. in Pharmacy
  • Seven Years for Medicine (MD)

The main campus, located the premises of St. Joseph’s, Metropolitan Cathedral, Bamenda, is currently undergoing structural transformation: giant storey structures are being erected for administrative purposes, and hostels are being built to offer accommodation to the students, particularly necessary during these precarious days of the Anglophone Crisis without growing insecurity.


Present Enrolment


Undergraduate Programmes


Faculties/Schools                 Year: 1       2          3              4

Faculty of Sciences 19 63  15  
Business and Management Sciences 157 90 105  
Faculty of Science 108 10 11  
Humanities and Social Sciences 27 30 15  
School of Health Sciences 9 13 3  
School of Tropical Agriculture & Natural Resources 11 9 9 7
 School of Engineering 52 42 49 46



Graduate Programmes                            Masters     PhD

Anthropology                                      15            4

Health Economics                             60            25

Banking and Tax Admin                    19

Human Resource Management      15

Project Management                         30

Philosophy                                                   20


For the 2020/2021 academic year, the University had a total of 1151 students doing both the Undergraduate and Graduate Programmes. It had a total of 68 full-time and 54 part-time members of academic staff and 33 members of administrative and support staff.


  1. Inter-diocesan Marriage Tribunal of First Instance


Unlike in the past, now there is an increasing number of requests for the nullity of marriages. The Archdiocese of Bamenda does not have its own Marriage Tribunal to handle these cases because we do not possess a sufficient number of qualified personnel for this purpose. The Dioceses of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province have pulled their forces together to form two Inter-diocesan Marriage Tribunals of First and Second Instance. The Tribunal of First Instance is based in the Archdiocese of Bamenda with its secretariat in the Provincial Major Seminary, Bambui, with the Archbishop of Bamenda as the Moderator. The Tribunal of Second Instance is based in the Diocese of Buea.


This Tribunal of First Instance receives about 10 to 15 cases each year. During the period under consideration it received more than 75 cases. It passed judgement on 5 cases and forwarded them to the Tribunal of Second Instance. It completed 12 cases which, at the time of writing this report, pended judgement, and 14 cases were not yet completed. The rest were still undergoing preliminary investigations.