A BRIEF HISTORY OF SAST
The Southwest Advanced School of Theology (SAST), located in Iperu Remo in Ogun State of Nigeria, was founded in 1962 in Ibadan the Capital City of Western Region and present day Oyo State of Nigeria. It was founded by a missionary Rev. Ward Wood from the United States of America (USA)., Then, it was called Bethany Bible Institute. The vision and mission of the School expanded to include serving the entire Western Region, which included Lagos, Kwara, and Midwest. In 1964 under the leadership of an American Missionary Rev. Glenn Reeves the Institute acquired about eighteen acres of land at Iperu as a central location to serve as permanent site. In 1980 the name was changed to conform with the regional vision of the school: Western Nigerian Bible Institute; and later the General Council of the Assemblies of God Nigeria modified the name to: Western Bible College (WBC). Given the zoning system adopted by the General Council of Assemblies of God, Nigeria, the name Southwest Advanced School of Theology (SAST) more fully captures the initial vision and mission of the Seminary – serving the entire Western Region.
The active role the U.S. Assemblies of God Foreign Mission Department played in establishing the Seminary remains memorable. They built hostels for students, and provided Library of books. The children department through the mission agency also donated a van, among other things for the work at that time. Since the inception of the Seminary, more than ten missionaries had served on the faculty. Rev. Gleen Reeves was the founding missionary and pioneer Principal of the Seminary. SAST Presidents from inception till date are in this order:
- Gleen Reeves (Pioneer Principal, 1962-1963), USA
- Ward Wood (1964-1970), USA
- Venon Metz (1971-1977), USA
- Robert Webb (1977-1978), USA
- Madam May Gerner (1979, led only a semester), USA
- Christopher Attah (1981-1986 First indigenous Principal), Nigeria
- David Wineinger (1986-1987), USA
- Blessed Agugua (1987-1999; Second indigenous Principal), Nigeria
- Robert Holmes (1992-1995), USA
- Blessed Agugua (1995-2009; Second term in office), Nigeria
- Sylvester Jonah Essien (2000-2004), Nigeria
- Asuquo Edet Edem (2004-2011), Nigeria
- Dr. Pius A. Abetang (2011-2018), Nigeria
- Dr. Emmanuel A. Akinwunmi (2018-June 24th, 2019), Nigeria
- Prof. Williams Onwuka Mbamalu (June 24th2019-), Nigeria
The Seminary is located in Iperu town which sits on the middle of two major Federal Express Roads: the Lagos-Ibadan Express Road and the Benin-Lagos Express Road. Visitors coming from Kwara, Oyo, Ibadan would branch off to the left side of the road and drive for less than three kilometers to Iperu town. Visitors coming from Benin, Ore, Ijebu Ode would branch off to the right side of the Express Road at Sagamu and drive for less than five kilometers to enter Iperu town. The Seminary sits in Iperu town walled on the right and left by these two Express Roads. Iperu is approximately 2000ft above sea level.
PURPOSE OF SAST
The primary purpose of SAST is to train the indigenous citizens and members of the Assemblies of God, Nigeria, in full time ministries as pastors, evangelists, teachers, and missionaries. The institution is intended to develop and encourage Christian leadership and godliness. Besides the theological knowledge, the nationals are groomed to accept the challenge to train and teach others to reach others with the gospel of Christ. Furthermore, SAST exists to fulfil the missional and academic vision of the General Council of Assemblies of God Nigeria, to develop and encourage Christian leadership, to accept the challenge to train and teach others to reach others with the gospel of Christ in a dynamic African context. SAST is bound to implement the academic relationship between the Assemblies of God theological seminaries and the Evangel University as defined by the General Council of the Assemblies of God Nigeria. In this regard the standard of courses at the Diploma and Degree programmes are strengthened to stretch our students to capably engage either the Evangel University BA or the Seminary BTh. The part-time courses will be stiffer and more demanding than had previously been the case. A comprehensive programme that combines both theological and O/level subjects for those coming in with a mature entry or the First Leaving Certificate, when approved would help determined candidates to articulate to the General Council minimum requirement for admission into its seminaries.
SAST as a Church-related institution is owned by the General Council of Assemblies of God Nigeria, and grants certificates, diplomas and degrees in areas of need relative to AG and non-AG churches in Africa. Presently, there are four curricular divisions at SAST leading to: Certificate in Theology in what is called LMTC, Diploma in Theology and B.A. in Bible/Theology. SAST hosts Evangel Theological Seminary (ETS), Jos MA programme for the SW1 & SW2 zones. Qualified SAST faculty in agreement with ETS are hired to teach on the MA programme. All these divisions consist of four major components: 1) Bible, 2) Theology, 3) Church Ministries, and 4) General Education. All these divisions prepare students for effective ministry as pastors, evangelists, teachers, and missionaries with the potential to access further theological studies at graduate level of studies.
We offer study in biblical languages (Greek and Hebrew), Bible overview, biblical theology, systematic theology, ministry of the word and pastoral counselling classes. We are seeking approval from the General Council Education Department to introduce the Bachelor of Divinity (B.Div) degree, Bachelor of Theology and Development with specialisation in Music
SAST is owned and operated by the General Council of Assemblies of God, Nigeria. Financial support for the Seminary comes through the supporting Districts and student fees. For this reason, a student is expected to pay his or her educational expenses in full at the time of registration. Tuition for Part Time (PT) students is higher than the fees for regular students. Other financial obligations for the running of the Seminary are equally shared among regular and part time students. It is pertinent to note that all tuition and fees are subject to periodic review by SAST and may be changed after due consultation with the Board of Administration and Board of Governors. Get the current fee schedules from the School Bursar. SAST has a zero tolerance for cash transaction in officially approved financial matters.
DO NOT PAY CASH TO THE REGISTRAR, THE BURSAR OR ANYBODY TO OBTAIN SAST DOCUMENTS.
The following objectives encompass all degree, diploma and certificate programmes at SAST. of the school are:
1. To offer courses of study which give an understanding of the Bible and enriched Christian life as designed by the Board of Education of the Assemblies of God Nigeria.
2. To adhere to the highest standard of Christian education as may be required and approved by the highest educational policy makers of our denomination.
3. To offer admission to non-Assemblies of God candidates who meet the admission requirements.
4. To serve as a nucleus to the Lay People Training Institutes within the supporting units of the college.
5. To incorporate General Education courses in the curriculum to enable the candidates become future leaders for the perpetuation of the work.
6. To offer opportunity to the students to exercise their God-given ability for the ministry while still in training, e.g. pastoring a local church, etc.
7. To encourage all local churches to support the college by all legitimate means – be it financial or providing infra-structures, sponsoring of students, devising the means of emphasizing the indispensability of the college to the life of each local church.
8. To organize Emphasis Week at least twice in a year coupled with various missionary band fellowship activities geared towards the maintenance of the highest standard of Christian conduct and spirituality.
9. To encourage students to participate in sport activities, such as football, volley ball, lawn tennis, table tennis, etc.
We shall continually be modifying each of the above as we evaluate its result or outcome.
Every graduate of Southwest Advanced School of Theology should be able to:
1. Show spiritual maturity, personal consecration, attitudes, faithfulness, cooperation and dedication to Christian principles
2. Show vision for world evangelism by encouraging active participation in missionary activities both at home and abroad
3. Show evidence of commitment to the Pentecostal heritage by living a spirit-filled and spirit-controlled life.
4. Demonstrate a broader and deeper training in the Bible, theology, church ministry and theology.
5. Reflect through conduct and personal efforts a balanced and effective minister of the gospel.
Southwest Advanced School of Theology (SAST) exists to train church leaders with biblical and theological education to reach the unreached.
- We believe that both Old and New Testament are verbally inspired of God and are a revelation of God to man. They are: Infallible, authoritative, and a code of faith and conduct for mankind.
- We believe in the one true God, creator of Heaven and Earth, and the Redeemer of mankind. He has further revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4)
- We believe in the Deity of Jesus Christ, who is the eternal Son of God (Hebrews 1:8).
- We believe that man fell, by voluntarily sinning and as a result, was allowed to die both physically and spiritually; spiritual death is separation from God (Romans 5:12-19).
- We believe that the only hope of the salvation of man is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of god. The conditions of salvation are: repentance towards God, and faith towards the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit then enters the man and helps him to become a child of God and gives him hope of eternal life. The evidence that this has happened is an inward witness of the Holy Spirit and an outward life-style of righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Romans 10:13-15)
- We believe that the ordinances of the church are Water-Baptism and Holy Communion.
- The Ordinance of Water Baptism is commanded in the Scripture. All who repent and believe in Christ as Saviour and Lord are to be baptized. Thus, they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:3-4).
- The Lord’s Supper consisting of two elements bread and the fruit of the vine, is the symbol expressing our sharing of the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ; a memorial of His suffering and death, and a prophecy of His second coming, and is enjoined on all believers until He comes.
- We believe that all believers are entitled to and should earnestly seek to be filled with the Holy Ghost. This was a normal experience of all in the early Christian church. With it come the endowment of power for life and service, and the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry. This experience occurs after the new birth, and results in a deepened reverence for God, intensified consecration to God, deeper dedication to His work, and a more active love for Christ for His work and for the lost (Acts 2:1-4).
- We believe that the initial; physical evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues. This was the first sign of the Day of Pentecost and is still occurring today (Acts 2:1-4).
- We believe that Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and an act of dedication to God. the scriptures teach a life of holiness without which no man can see God (Heb. 12:14).
- We believe that the church is the Body of Christ, and has a mission here on earth. Each believer is an integral part of the body of Christ, and has a specific mission here on earth to accomplish the goals set by One True God (Ephesians 1:22).
- We believe in the Divine Healing. Deliverances from sickness is provided for in the atonement of Christ, and is the privilege of all believers (James 5:14-16).
- We believe in a divinely called and ordained ministry provided by the Lord. The purpose of these ordained ministries is to lead in evangelization of the world, worship of God, and building the body of saints to be perfect in the image of the Son (Ephesians 4:11-16).
- We believe that the Blessed Hope of the church is the resurrection of dead believers and the translation of living believers at the coming of Christ. Therefore, we will live with Him forever! (I Thessalonians 4:13-18).
- We believe in the millennial reign of Christ. This one thousand-year reign of Christ will bring salvation to Israel and universal peace to the world (Revelation 20:1-6).
- We believe in the Final Judgment for those who have not accepted Christ as Saviour, and whose names are not found in the Book of life. They will be judged on the basis of their works and then sent to the lake of fire and brimstone (Revelation 2:11-15).
- We believe God will create a New Heaven and a New Earth for the righteous to live forever! (Revelation 21:22).