BRIEF HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
St. Victors Seminary was started by the Missionaries of Africa (the White Fathers) in 1946 in Wiaga, in the Upper East Region of Ghana.
In January 1953, the Staff of the Major Seminary and twelve Major Seminarians were transferred from Wiaga to Tamale, the present site. The transfer was due to the fact that the then one Diocese was transferred from Navrongo to Tamale, the capital town of the then Northern Territories.
By 1974, the one Diocese that covered the whole Northern sector had been divided into three. By then the Seminary, though canonically still a diocesan one, by mutual consent was being used by the three Dioceses. It came under the direction of the three Bishops of the North of Ghana who constituted the Board of Governors under the chairmanship of the Archbishop of Tamale. In 1995, the Diocese of Damongo, and in 1999 the Diocese of Yendi were created out of the Tamale Archdiocese. This has brought the Dioceses to five (5). So, we now have five Bishops as members of the Board of Governors of the St. Victor’s Seminary.
For more effective training of Seminarians the members of the Board of Governors decided to divide St. Victor’s Major Seminary into 3 campuses and to locate them in different places. These campuses are St. Michael’s in Kaleo, near Wa, St. Augustine’s in Sahakpaligu, near Tamale and St. Victor’s in Malshegu, near Tamale. St. Michael’s Major Seminary is the campus for beginners, the Spiritual Year. The Diocesan students are trained there for a year. After that they move to St. Augustine’s Seminary, where they do Philosophy for three years and then to St. Victor’s Seminary, which takes care of a four-year training in Theology. Before the final year in theology the student makes a one-year experience in the parish. This year is referred to as the Pastoral Year. So, in all, our students are in training for 9 years before they are ordained priests.
Even though the Seminary was started originally to train diocesan priests for the northern sector of the country, it has opened its doors to religious congregations and other dioceses within and outside the country. Students of the Society of the Divine Word Missionaries, (SVD), have been studying in St. Victor/s since 1970. The SVD theologate for Anglophone Africa was established here in the middle of the 1990s. This has greatly enhanced the international character of the Seminary.