Catholic Institute of West Africa

The Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA) is a tertiary educational institution in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. It is a higher ecclesiastical institute of the Catholic Church and remains the leading theological facility in West Africa.[1]

Catholic Institute of West Africa
MottoLatin: Semper agens, semper quietus
Motto in English
Always busy, Always at rest
TypeEcclesiastical institute
Established1981 (1981)
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic
RectorSylvanus I. Udoidem
Rumuibekwe, Port Harcourt
, ,

4°50′39″N 7°2′38″E / 4.84417°N 7.04389°E / 4.84417; 7.04389



Established in 1981, the institute opened its doors with 8 students, 8 academic and administrative staff with Monsignor Stephen Ezeanya as its first rector. Ezeanya was later appointed as Archbishop of Onitsha. In 1982, the institute relocated to its present site at 2nd Artillery, Rumuibekwe. Its current proprietor is the Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa (RECOWA).

According to the institution's website, the Catholic Institute of West Africa has "assisted thousands of students in discovering and nurturing their call to Christian service, gaining a deeper understanding of Christianity and religion, and its role in a changing world." In September 2014, CIWA regained possession of its campus at Obehie in Abia State. The campus had been temporarily used by Veritas University prior to its permanent relocation that year.[2]

Administrative structure


At the administrative level, the institute consists of the following members:

  • Rector: Very Rev. Prof. Jude Abidemi Asanbe
  • Registrar: Rev. Fr. Dr. Wilson U. Akhigbe
  • Bursar: Mr. Ambrose Agugua
  • Librarians: Grace O. Nnodim





Several academic departments offer a range of courses at different levels from certificate to Licenciate and PhD. These departments include:

  • Biblical Studies
  • Systematic Theology
  • Center for Studies of African Culture and Communications (CESACC)
  • Sacred Liturgy
  • Canon Law
  • Pastoral/Spirituality
  • Moral Theology



The institute has well-equipped libraries at both Port Harcourt and Obehie campuses. The CIWA Main Library in Port Harcourt is managed by a committee, two professional librarians and three assistants. There's internet access to aid research as well as other studies. Contents of the library are updated regularly to keep up with theological trends and developments.[3]


  1. ^ David A. Kerr; Kenneth R. Ross (2009). Edinburgh 2010: Mission Then and Now. OCMS. ISBN 1870345762. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  2. ^ "CIWA History". Archived from the original on 5 June 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  3. ^ "CIWA Main Library". Archived from the original on 5 June 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016.

Further reading

  • Nkem Hyginus M. V. Chigere. Foreign Missionary Background and Indigenous Evangelization in Igboland. LIT Verlag Münster, 2001. ISBN 3825849643
  • This is the Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA), Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria: Insights and Projects. CIWA, 1989
  • Christian Ndubueze Anyanwu. Creative Strategies for Conflict Management & Community Building. AuthorHouse, 2009. ISBN 1449030610