SHORT HISTORY OF ST. PAUL SENIOR SEMINARY KIPALAPALA
St. Paul’s Senior Seminary Kipalapala was founded by the Society of the Missionaries of Africa, popularly known as “The White Fathers,” initially at a small place called Utinta near Lake Tanganyika in 1923. Its history goes even a little earlier associated with the bold attempt of Bishop Henry Leorard of the Vicariate of Unyanyembe who began a senior seminary with four seminarians at Ushirombo on 5th of September 1918. These were shifted to Utinta in the vicariate of Tanganyika in 1921 to join with seminarians from the vicariates of Tanganyika, Banguelo and Nyassa to form the regional senior seminary at Utinta in 1923. Two years later, the Seminary was moved to Kipalapala, Tabora, a place, which was central and accessible for students who came for priestly formation not only from Tanzania (Tanganyika by then), but also from neighbouring countries such as Malawi and Zambia. Thus Kipalapala Seminary as it is now exists since 1925.
Since mid 1960s, St. Paul’s Senior Seminary, Kipalapala, is one of the three Inter-diocesan Regional Seminaries in Tanzania whose task is to train Seminarians only in Theology.
Since 1925 the seminary, has passed through different phases. Apart from been primarily for priestly formation its history is the history of academic adventure. From its foundation in 1918 to 1925 up to 1966 Kipalapala Senior Seminary had been offering courses for both Philosophy and Theology. From 1966 to date this Seminary has been offering course for Theology to seminarians from dioceses and religious congregations in Tanzania and at times even from neighbouring countries. From 1967 up to the end of 1970s the seminary was affiliated with the Faculty of Religious Studies of the University of Makerere in Uganda and the students had been taking a Diploma in Religious Studies and Sociology Makerere University of Uganda. The history of affiliation began again in 1988 when the seminary was affiliated to the Faculty of Theology of Urbaniana Pontifical University, the affiliation that has continued until now.
The Seminary, has fulfilled dual intention of any academic institute, that of research and consultancy. It has always looked around and see what it can contribute to the people especially in imparting knowledge. Among many initiatives of the Seminary was in teaching and practicing music in which the association called Tabora Adult Education Music Organization was formed and collaborated with university of Dar-es-Salaam and students got awards from the university. The seminary has always participated in research and in 1972 the national pastoral research institute shifted its center to Kipalapala seminary and was renamed Tanzania Pastoral Research Institute, which exists in the same name until today.