Alumni History

Relationships Matter: The Key to Alumni Engagement - Building and Maintaining Associations.

Maintaining an engaged alumni community is challenging. For an institution that has managed 54 years in producing spiritual leaders and advocating leadership for justice has a pivotal role to play in the human society. Over 50 years now, Pacific Theological College aims to establish and maintain a strong student-institution relationship that flows across the student lifecycle and continues beyond graduation – A relationship that begins well before graduation at multiple points across the student life cycle.


The arrival of the “Duff” marked the steady flow of missionaries from mission societies in Britain, continental Europe and Latin America congregated to the region – A process that continues until the 20th century evangelizing the indigenous population of the pacific people by converting them to Christians. A dualistic feature of missionary endeavor is evident in the field of education and theology.


The idea of a central theological college for the pacific was mooted in 1961 at the conference of churches in Samoa following the realm of theological education and training of candidates for ordained ministry was well-thought-out in each of the Christian denomination.


Establishment the Pacific Theological College – focusing on indigenous and contextual postcolonial education, deconstructing critically on the colonial and neocolonial models that had shaped the pacific churches and society. Its faculty and graduates for years have been producing alternate thinking captured in writings through intensive research in theology that challenges the conventional colonial narrative. They have become key realities in the lively hoods of our people leveraging and influencing the rethinking and liberating movement of the pacific island people.


The first graduation was witnessed at the Suva Grammar School. The chief guest was honorable Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, the chief Minister of Fiji addressed under the British Colonial Government. The First principal Rev Dr. George Night conferred the Bachelor of Divinity degrees to 6 students, Diploma of Theology to 9 students and Certificate in Theology to 1 student.

Building meaningful relationships with students and alumni is important for the strategic growth and advancement of Pacific Theological College. Though alumni typically move away from campus to pursue a career, they stay in touch and build a global professional network. Our graduates are the backbone of our college. They are our college ambassadors proudly wearing the name of this institution. They are recruiters helping to place new graduates into jobs, and they are lifelong students staying active within their fields.

The First Graduation of 1968

The six students who launched the B.D programme and successfully completed their studies are as follows:

1. Sione Alo Fakahua (Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga). He thesis titled: “JOHN WESLEY, AND WORSHIP IN THE FREE WESLEYAN CHURCH OF TONGA.”


3. Siatua Leuluaialii (Methodist Church in Samoa). His thesis titled: “THE COVENANT, ITS MEANING AND PURPOSE IN THE BIBLE.”

4. Laisiasa Ratabacaca (Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma). His thesis titled: “THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION, ITS RELEVANCE TO AND EFFICACY FOR THE CONTEMPORARY METHODIST CHURCH IN FIJI.”

5. Lale Ieremia (Congregational Christian Church Samoa). His thesis titled: “TRANSITION TO CHRISTIANITY IN SAMOA IN THE PERIOD 1830—1850.”

6. Masalosalo Fiu Sopoaga (Congregational Christian Church Samoa). His thesis titled: (not found)

The nine Diploma in Theology students who graduated were:

1. Bwere Eritaia (Kiribati Protestant Church)

2. Senituli Koloi (Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga)

3. Lalie Hmana (Eglise Evangelical New Caledonie)

4. Pijja Matauto (United Church of Christ, Marshall Islands)

5. Waimo Passil (Eglise Evangelical New Caledonie)

6. Tekere Pereete (Cook Islands Christian Church)

7. Viliame Tagi (Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma)

8. Maraea Tekii (Cook Islands Christian Church)

9. Siosaia Tava Tupou (Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga)

The lone Certificate in Theology graduate was:

1. Seve Iotama (Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu).

(The First Graduation – pictured above)

After 1968

The 1968 graduation opened up possibilities for many new developments of the college and for the ecumenical movement. In 1987, a new Master of Theology (MTh) programme was introduced, the first for the Pacific churches in the region. The first MTh degree was conferred on four candidates in the 1988 graduation ceremony:

1. Papa Aratagi (Cook Island Christian Church)

2. Vitori Buatava (Catholic Archdiocese of Suva)

3. Faatulituli Setu (Congregational Christian Church of Samoa)

4. Kambati Uriam (Kiribati Uniting Church)

In 2004, a jointly offered doctoral programme was introduced in partnership with Charles Sturt University in Australia, and then in 2009, with confidence in its human resources and facilities, PTC started its own doctoral programme. Since then, PTC has been producing quality PhD graduates who have either returned to serve their churches or remained to serve the ecumenical movement at PTC:

1. Rev Dr. Edward Kolohai (2014, Anglican Church of Melanesia)

2. Rev Dr Faafetai Aiava (2017, Congregational Christian Church of Samoa)

3. Rev Dr Iosefa Lefaoseu (2018, Methodist Church in Samoa)

4. Rev Dr Tafue Lusama (2021, Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu)

5. Rev Dr Marie Ropeti (2021, Presbyterian Church of New Zealand)

6. Rev Dr Piula Samuelu (2022, Methodist Church in Samoa)

7. Rev Dr Fatilua Fatilua (2022, Congregational Christian Church of Samoa)

8. Rev Dr Mark Pohue (2022, Etaretia Porotetani Maohi)