Saint Andrew’s Theological Seminary

A Brief History of SATS

The Saint Andrew’s Theological Seminary (SATS) started as a Training School in Sagada, Mt. Province in 1932, when a group of young men who had been active catechists and layworkers presented themselves for theological training to the clergy of the Episcopal Mission of St. Mary the Virgin. Soon after it was opened, the decision was made that educating people both for ordained and lay ministry of the church in the Philippines should meet the full requirements of the American canons of the Episcopal Church. The first regular teachers were Rev. John Ramsey and Rev. Wayland S. Mandell. In 1940, Rev. Wayland S. Mandell assumed charge of the Training School. The activities of the school were interrupted by World War II.

Following the war, plans were made to transfer the old Training School to the nation’s capital. Through the efforts of Bp. Norman Binsted, temporary buildings were set up in a 15-hectare land along the present E. Rodriguez Sr. Blvd. Thus was established the St. Andrew’s Theological Seminary to train candidates for Holy Orders. Bp. Binsted also granted “permission to the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) to send their students to the Episcopal Seminary after it has been established in Manila.” From 1948 onward, candidates for the priesthood in the IFI have been admitted to the regular program of the Seminary with the same privileges as students of the Philippine Episcopal Church (PEC).

In the second semester of academic year 1953-54, the Seminary moved into its present permanent buildings designed by John Van W. Bergamini. A Seminary Board of Advisors with its Articles of Organization was constituted in 1957, composed of bishops, priests, and laity equally distributed between the PEC and IFI.

In 1965, St. Andrew’s became a founding member of the Association of Theological Schools in South East Asia (ATESEA). When the South East Graduate School of Theology (SEAGST) was found in 1965, representatives of SATS began serving on the faculty, as well as in the Philippine Area Committee and the Executive Committee of the same. This continues to the present.

In the sixties, the chapel building was completed and has since been highly regarded as providing leadership in liturgical renewal in the region. The main Seminary building was extended to accommodate the Mosher Library as well as a 120-bed dormitory. Finally, a 6-year program was evolved which included two preparatory years of study at nearby Trinity College leading to the title of Associate in Arts.

In 1980, on the threshold of its second 50 years, a new era opened for SATS upon the selection of the fifth and first Filipino Dean, the Very Rev. Henry W. Kiley. Towards the latter part of the decade, the Seminary started offering a new three-year program, the Master in Divinity Program for those who hold a Baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution of higher learning.

Under the leadership of the Very Rev. Edward P. Malecdan, the Master in Divinity Program became a 4-year normative program of theological studies at SATS. It still offers a 4-year Baccalaureate in Theology to those who have completed at least 75 units of Arts and Science Courses in any accredited College or University. This program, however, is only offered every four years.

When Bishop Malecdan was installed as Diocesan Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Philippines in December 10, 1997, the Prime Bishop took over as CEO before the Rev. Joseph B. Laus was installed as Dean in June 17, 1998. Fr. Laus served as Dean until he retired in December 31, 2001. In January 9, 2002, the Prime Bishop Ignacio C. Soliba installed the Very Rev. Tomas S. Maddela as the 4th Filipino Dean of SATS. The Very Rev. Gloria Mapangdol serves as the 10th and current Dean of the Seminary.

For more information, visit the SATS main website here.