The History of CWA


The College of West Africa (CWA), a college preparatory high school in Monrovia, Liberia, and the second oldest secondary school in the country, has prepared leaders for all levels of government, business, and social services.

The school was first envisioned by the Rev. Melville B. Cox, the first missionary to be sent to a foreign country by the Methodist Episcopal Missionary Society. Cox set sail in November 1832 and arrived in Monrovia on March 8, 1833.

One of Cox's goal was to establish a school in Monrovia, which will connect with agriculture and the arts. He proposed the Maine Wesleyan Seminary [now known as Kents Hill School] as a model as near as may be. There should be a large farm which should in a few years support the whole school. There must also be shoemakers, tanners, blacksmiths, carpenters, etc.

In 1898, the Conference authorized a reorganization of the educational program so that much-needed courses in normal and ministerial training could be offered. The name of the school was changed from “Monrovia Seminary” to the “College of West Africa.”