Tangaza College is a Catholic University College jointly owned by the member religious congregations. It has its roots in Catholic Tradition, especially as planted and nourished in East Africa (the AMECEA region) through the missionary endeavors which spanned the late 19th and entire 20th centuries. Now in the 21st century, and in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, the people of Tangaza recognize that they themselves are sent to participate in the renewal and development of that Tradition. As befits an institution of higher learning this will be realized primarily through commitment to academic excellence and the personal transformation of its students, both lay and religious.
Currently, the college offers undergraduate degrees, masters degree, diploma programmes and a number of certificate programmes in its various institutes. The phenomenal growth of the College is a reflection of the importance that the Kenya Nation attaches to development in those fields and in education in general, all these being rounded up with a religious and spiritual touch rendering the student an all round formation at Tangaza.
Tangaza University espouses the philosophy of Catholic Higher Education which strives for the integral formation in the physical, moral, social, intellectual and cultural dimension.
To be a university distinguished for academic excellence, service orientation and a commitment to social transformation according to the Gospel values.
To prepare ethical servant leaders for the church and society in an environment of freedom and responsibility by providing quality education, research and community service.
Tangaza University College, then called Theological Centre of Religious, opened its doors to the first group of students of theology on 25th August 1986. On 30th October 1987, in the presence of the Pro-Nuncio, the College was blessed and formally inaugurated by His Eminence the late Cardinal Maurice Otunga, Archbishop of Nairobi. The original aim of the founding of Tangaza was to form members of religious orders for ministry in the church and society in Africa.
On 3rd November 1992, Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) was granted a university charter by the President of Kenya. With the conferring of this charter, Tangaza University College was recognized as a Constituent College of CUEA. While remaining administratively autonomous, Tangaza University College is an integral part of the main University (CUEA) for academic purposes.
Over the years, a number of Institutes have been affiliated to the College or have been established as integrated Institutes of the University College. Those that share the campus in Langata include: Institute of Social Ministry in Mission (ISMM, 1995), Christ the Teacher Institute for Education (CTIE, 1996), Institute of Spirituality and Religious Formation (ISRF, 1996), Maryknoll Institute of African Studies (MIAS, 1999), Institute of Social Communication (ISC, 2003), Institute of Youth Ministry now called Institute of Youth Studies (IYS, 2003). Centre for Leadership and Management (CLM, 2007). In this way, Tangaza began to extend its service to lay students, but always with the preparation of agents of social transformation in mind.
Meanwhile, some institutes outside the management and location of Tangaza got affiliated purely for academic purposes. These include: Amani Counselling and Training Centre (1998), Embulbul Educational and Counselling Institute (2010), and Africana College Professionals (2014).
Tangaza has established several academic affiliations, linkages and collaborations with other educational institutions. Until recently, the degrees in education and African studies have been granted by the St Mary’s University, Minnesota. Since 2010, the Institute of Social Ministry in Mission (ISMM) grants the MBA degree in collaboration with the Catholic University of Milan, Italy. The undergraduate theological programme is affiliated to the Urbaniana Pontifical University, Rome, since 2014. Two Master’s programmes in pastoral ministry have been affiliated to Duquesne University, U.S.A.
With the change in the regulations governing universities and constituent colleges in Kenya (Universities Act, 2012), the Tangaza Board of Trustees decided to apply for a university charter in 2013. As Tangaza waits for the grant of the charter, the College has put in place various structures and systems to be compliant with the requirements of university status.