A LITTLE HISTORY
Named after one of the greatest leaders of the Methodist Church of African origin Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary (SMMS) is a training centre for Methodist church ministers.
Seth Mokitimi (1904 – 1971) was a significant leader in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA) during the 20th century. He fostered the development of education, especially theological education and promoted the use of education as a tool in the struggle for liberation from apartheid in South Africa. Seth Mokitimi was also influential in the youthful development of several important South African leaders, among them Nelson Mandela. In 1963 the MCSA elected Rev Seth Mokitimi as the first black president, in which position he served one term during 1964 and 1965.
At the MCSA conference in 2007, 36 years after his death, a proposal that the new Methodist Seminary to be built at Pietermaritzburg be named after Seth Mokitimi.
The award winning new campus in Pietermaritzburg was opened and dedicated to Rev Seth Mokitimi in September 2010. The architects, Boogertman & Partners are ranked one of the top architectural practices and received the merit award for the seminary in 2011.
The attention to detail and excellence is visible throughout the property. Geometrically the seminary is a series of buildings arranged in a triangular layout which is then stitched together by cloistral passages. At the heart of this lies a circular amphitheatre which is defined by steps that vanish into a tower pointing towards heaven.
The magnificent Chapel is placed at the tip of the triangle and supposedly has the largest doors in the Southern hemisphere. These gigantic pivoting timber doors, once opened extend the chapel space outward into the amphitheatre, signalling that everyone is welcome. The suspended gabions at the rear of the chapel filter natural light into the chapel and provide mysterious shadows and patterns.
SETH MOKITIMI METHODIST SEMINARY
SMMS was mandated by the Methodist Church to “form transformational leaders for church and nation”. From the start the seminary understood that its task was not merely to produce graduates with strong academic credentials in theology but also to form individuals of spiritual maturity with impeachable personal values and virtues. SMMS prides itself on its parallel and integrated Academic and Formation Programmes.
The SMMS community which makes up staff, students and families exemplify excellence in their commitment to their vocational formation.