Takamoa Theological College

The First Theological College for the Training of Indigenous Missionaries Serving the LMS throughout the Pacific

Completed in 1843, on land bought for Chilean $150, from Makea Nui Davida Ariki, Takamoa was the first Theological College to be established in the South Pacific by the London Missionary Society (LMS). Other sections of land, used for the CICC church and church buildings in Avarua, were donated by Makea Nui Ariki.

The idea for a training institution for missionaries came from the Rev. John Williams (visited Rarotonga several times between 1823-39) but he did not live to see his plan come to fruition as he was killed at Erromanga, New Hebrides (present day Vanuatu), on 20th November, 1839. It was left to Rev. Aaron Buzzacott (who served in Rarotonga from 1828-57) to make the school for missionaries a reality.

The main buildings are made from lime mortar obtained from burnt coral stones and hand carved coral stone blocks with local timber for the frame work.

Cook Islanders have a special place in the story of the LMS church's expansion. In the Pacific. Many graduates from this college (and others before the college was officially established, including Teava and Maretu) went on to serve as missionaries in Papua, Samoa, New Caledonia, and New Hebrides. Eight of these missionaries, some with their wives and children, were martyred.

In 1965 the LMS ended its operations in the Cook Islands when the church was localised with the establishment of the Cook Islands Christian Church Incorporated. Renamed CICC, it assumed management of all activities performed by the LMS, including Takamoa Theological College.

The main building, known as the Mission House, underwent major renovations between 2008-09 and was officially re-opened on Gospel Day 26th October 2009.

The present Takamoa Theological complex comprises the Mission House, now used as the church’s main administration office (straight ahead), Beulah lecture hall (on the left) and a chapel (on the right) on the hill. Facing the hill are the theological students dwellings. On the left with the greenhouse in front is the residence of the College Principal, and on the far right is the residence of the CICC President.

Takamoa College Ray & Eva with Takamoa Sign takamoa_college_sign mission_house_1897