Blessed Iwene Tansi Major Seminary places a high emphasis on the intellectual formation of the seminarians. She takes diligent care in the quality of intellectual formation of the seminarians. This diligence is animated by that foundational desire to raise priests fit for our age, an age growing increasingly in complexity and the mistrust of the rationality of faith. The Seminary is in no doubt that if priests of today are not rigorously and soundly intellectually formed, they will hardly stand effectively as teachers of faith. “The very situation of the Church today demands increasingly that teachers be truly able to face the complexity of the times and that they be in a position to face competently, with clarity and deep reasoning, the questions about meaning which are put by the people of today, questions which can only receive a full and definitive reply in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” (Pastores Dabo Vobis, 56).
Aware that “much of the effectiveness of the training offered depends on the maturity and strength of personality of those entrusted with formation” (Pastores Dabo Vobis, 66), the Seminary is stuffed with qualified and certified lecturers. Seminarians are bound to attend all lectures. Although certain courses rank higher than others in credit load, every course is considered important, and is studied in rights relation to others. Furthermore, though the intellectual formation is based and built above all on the study of theology, the curriculum also features courses like Psychology, Health-care, Accounting, Social Communication, and African Traditional Religion and Culture. This is in line with the aspiration that future priests learn to speak the language of their time and offer an answer to their questions.
Under the direction of a supervisor, seminarians are directed to choose topics on which they would thoroughly research, critically reflect and systematically write on. This exercise, which is geared towards improving the literary ability of the seminarians and helping them to cultivate critical and reflective minds, forms an important part of the curriculum.
In addition to all these, the Seminary’s Academic Unit organizes conferences, seminars and symposia, and even arranges for field research and excursions, as a way of making class come alive and in order to bring students face to face with difficulties met in the context of classroom discussions and individual study. Seminarians also engage in discussions and debates among themselves as well as with students of other seminaries and higher institutions.
In the light of all these, examinations are understood as “a harvest of efforts”; “a celebration of learning”. And this is what it has been whether in internal or external examinations.