Immanuel College of Theology, Ibadan, founded in 1958, is the Premier Theological Institution in Nigeria, West Africa. The early history of the College is related with two learning centers of Anglican Theology (Meville Hall, Kudeti, Ibadan, a hall school of St. Andrews College, Oyo and Methodist Theology, Ministerial Department of Wesley College) both located in the city of Ibadan, the capital of the Old Western Region of Nigeria and the largest city in Central Africa. In 1958, the two institutions mentioned above were merged to form Immanuel College of Theology and Christian Education, Ibadan and located at Kudeti, Ibadan.
The leadership of the churches decided to give the name “Immanuel College” to remind us the ecumenical nature of the church and also that God who is transcendent is also immanent. He is Immanuel- God with us (Matt.1:23). The symbol of CHI RHO (X for CHI and P for RHO) was adapted on the college emblem. The emblem is designed to embrace the two emblems of the former colleges i.e. the emblems of Melville Hall, Kudeti, Ibadan and the Divinity School of Wesley College, Elekuro, Ibadan.
Soon it became evident that Kudeti did not offer the best geographical location for the newly established institution. The founders wanted the College to be located in the increasingly productive and large academic environment of Ibadan for the College to reach its full development. So it was in 1964 that the College was transferred to a site in the neighbourhood of the University of Ibadan. Indeed, Immanuel College of Theology is a good example of Methodist and Anglican cooperation. The College was established to be a training ground for the priests of the United Church of Nigeria envisaged then. It became an ecumenical center which trained ministers for various denominations, but with a view to forgoing a common focus for the uniting churches.
The College Student Body includes essentially those entering the Anglican and Methodist Ministries as ordained ministers and Christian Educators. Students sponsored by the Presbyterian, African, New Eden, Salvation Army, Church of the Lord (Aladura) churches and the Nigerian Army were also admitted in the past. Internally recognized and with enviable reputation as a College of Theology and Christian Education, Immanuel College has prepared men and women for the churches in and outside Nigeria including Tanzania, Malawi, Kenya, Gambia, Ghana, Sudan, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Cameroon. The College has produced more than a thousand church ministers for the Anglican and Methodist Churches in Nigeria alone.
Up to 1948 Nigerians including theological students trained abroad in America, Britain or Sierra Leone for University degrees. The number of those who had the privilege of doing so was for obvious reasons few. With founding of the University of Ibadan, however, in 1948, more Nigerians including Theological Students from Immanuel College of Theology had the chance to obtain University Education. The opportunities for wider education became more available. In 1971 as a result of the securing of special relationship with the University of Ibadan, the College trained students for the award of Diploma in Religious Studies in place of the London University Diploma in Theology. In 1986 the College secured the affiliation with the University of Ibadan and admitted and prepared students for the Bachelor of Arts Degree (Christian Studies) of the University of Ibadan.