The Institute of Catechetics and Pastoral Ministry (ICAPAMI) was founded by the Association of Sisterhoods of Kenya (AOSK) as a concrete response to a felt need to form qualified agents of Evangelizations. The process begun in 1986, and the then Bishop of Ngong, Rt. Rev. Bishop Colin Davis, who was the Chairman of Lay Apostolate and Pastoral Commission of the then Kenya Episcopal Conference (hereafter: KEC), gave the AOSK executive members a go-ahead. After these discussions and reflections, the executive members decided to start the intake of the first group of students; 21 in number in 1988; at Watakatifu Wote Centre in Ngong Diocese. The second and third groups were accommodated at Subiaco Centre belonging to the Benedictine Sisters in Karen and at J. J. McCarthy Centre belonging to the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi respectively.


After serious evaluation and consultations by experts, the AOSK leadership realized that, establishing a permanent centre for the students was paramount. It was from here that they drew a conclusion to move the students to Tumaini Centre. Later the AOSK put up Chemchemi Ya Uzima Centre which was blessed by The Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya, Giovani Tonucci, on 25th Sept. 2001.


It is important to note that the primary and sole purpose of establishing a catechetical centre was to train religious women in the field of spiritual, intellectual and pastoral matters.  It is obvious that as time goes by, teaching methodologies, development of viewpoints and attitudes in any academic setting changes. This is because academicians have to move according to the signs of the times. As a result of this other programmes have been introduced and men religious and lay people have come on board.


It is in this direction that the Institute has made strides, and by 2012 more than 200 catechists had graduated from this Centre. Another progress is that the Centre has opened its doors to more formative programmes including the Sabbatical, Formation and Psycho-spiritual departments. The enrolment of students at Chemchemi, as it is now statistically known, has seen an increase in student population.


On 3rd November 1992, the President of Kenya granted a charter to the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. The granting of the charter was an important event because the already existing and established colleges were looking for an academic relationship with this mother university. The AOSK, through the ICAPAMI Director, applied for an Affiliation with the Faculty of Theology of Catholic University of Eastern African (hereafter: CUEA) and this was granted in 2001. This was an essential historical mark for the Institute of Catechetics because CUEA consented to offer Diplomas to our students and this meant that the programme of studies had to be updated and approved to meet the required standards and demands of higher levels of education in our Church and society.


It is also important to underline that this progress has attracted many students from many countries, namely Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, India, Malawi, Nigeria, Sudan, Eritrea, Italy, Madagascar, Argentina, Ethiopia, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Bangladesh and Brazil.