Saints Peter & Paul Major Seminary
Bodija, Ibadan, Nigeria
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Our History

The Seminary of Saints Peter and Paul is the oldest and first Catholic Theologate in Nigeria.  The idea of a Major Seminary to train young men for the Catholic Celibate Priesthood came into reality in the year 1908, when a major seminary was established in Ivianokpodi, a village close to Agenebode in Edo State.

The first name given to the seminary was St. Paul's Seminary, a name it retained while it was later moved to Benin City. It added the name 'Peter' when it got to Ibadan on the 31st of January 1957. Here, in Bodija, it assumed the permanent name: Saints Peter and Paul.

It became widely known as "Great Bodija" among its peers, that is, among the other major seminaries in the country. This name did not come by accident. It earned the name as a result of its hard-work and achievements, especially in the areas of excellence in education, sports, liturgy, and culture. Bodija always excelled, and her products (alumni) have made significant impact on the Catholic Church in Nigeria and beyond.

The seminary started with two blocks of buildings, that is, the Fathers' House and St. Peter's Block, with Rev Fr. Maguire as Rector.

The seminary, though regional, has been of service not only to the Ecclesiastical provinces of Lagos (Archdiocese of Lagos, Diocese of Abeokuta and Diocese of Ijebu-Ode), Ibadan (Archdiocese of Ibadan, Diocese of Oyo, Diocese of Osogbo, Diocese of Ekiti, Diocese of Ondo, Diocese of Ilorin) and Benin City (Archdiocese of Benin, Diocese of Warri, Diocese of Issele-Ukwu, Diocese of Auchi, Diocese of Uromi and Diocese of Bomadi), but also to dioceses such as: Sokoto, Abuja, Enugu, Lokoja, Idah, Umuahia, Uyo, Calabar, Ogoja, Aba, Abakaliki, Port Harcourt, and Nsukka.   In addition, several societies of Apostolic Life as well as Religious Institutes have either had their candidates trained or have their candidates under training in our Seminary. Among them are the Society of African Missions, Society of Missionaries of Africa, the Oblates of St. Joseph, the Redemptorists, the Schoenstatt Fathers, the Vocationists, Society of St. Paul, Franciscan Capuchin Friars, and Oblates of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Dominicans (before the birth of the Dominican Institute).

Thus far, the Seminary has witnessed thousands of ordinations and from the rank and file of these are the Metropolitans of the Ecclesiastical Provinces of Abuja, Lagos, Ibadan and Benin City, as well as Local Ordinaries of the dioceses of Abeokuta, Auchi, Ondo, Ijebu-ode, Ekiti, Warri, Oyo, Osogbo, Issele-Uku, Ilorin, Cameroon and Cape Palmas in Liberia. For the records, Most Rev. Lucas O.  Nwazeapu was the first graduate of the Seminary.

The Indigenization of the Seminary coincides with that of the country with the appointment of the first Nigerian member of staff in 1960.  Since then, considerable progress has been made in the effort to build an institute relevant to the need of the indigenous people.  Currently, all members of the Formation Team are indigenous priests.

Since 1969, the leadership of the Seminary has also been indigenous with all the Rectors appointed being alumni of the institution.  The Seminary has not only been a fertile ground for the Catholic priesthood, it has also contributed to the pastoral life of the community within which it is located.

The seminary celebrated the Golden Jubilee of its citing at Bodija in the year 2007 while the Centenary of its foundation was celebrated in 2008.