Adventist University Cosendai (AUC) is located in Nanga-Eboko, a small town in the central region of Cameroon where the first Adventist mission station and school were established in 1926 and 1928, respectively. The University was named in honour of Aime and Madeleine Cosendai, faithful missionaries who committed their lives to the advancement of Christianity and the development of Adventist education in Cameroon. They spent the greater part of their service in Nanga-Eboko until retirement.
The institution has been known by various names through the years and its contribution to the church and to the country has been significant. The Cameroon Bible and Teacher training course opened her doors in 1936. In 1969 the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists authorized a two-year post-secondary program. Between 1972 and 1984, a ministerial training seminary operated on the campus alongside the secondary school. This seminary was closed in 1984 as the Adventist University of Central Africa in Mudende, Rwanda began offering its programs. Due to the civil war in Rwanda, however, the Universityof Central Africa was forced to cease operation in April, 1994.
Four francophone universities replaced it—one of which was Adventist University Cosendai. It restarted in 1995, with instruction beginning in June 1996. The University came into existence by action taken by the Africa-India Ocean Division (AID) on June 6, 1995, at its session in Douala in the Republic of Cameroon. The concept of a multi-campus university designed to serve the francophone constituency of the church was discussed at some length and then whole-heartedly approved, since the doors of the Adventist University of Central Africa were closed. The name given to the new university was Adventist International University. At its meeting in Utrecht, Netherlands on July 5, 1995, however, the International Board of Education requested that another name be selected for the new University, and that the four francophone campuses operate as separate institutions. In response to this request, the name Adventist International University was changed to Adventist University Cosendai for the institution in Cameroon on September 18, 1995, by the AID Committee in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Post-secondary work restarted at Nanga-Eboko under the direction of Dr. Willard Munger, with degrees in Business and Theology being offered in the temporary facilities of the secondary school. In 1996, the University was recognized by the Cameroonian government with an Agreement of Principles N° 150/MINESUP/DFO/DFP/esc October 16, 1996. The institution was comprised of schools of Theology, Management, and Computer Science. During this time, the Yedjanga family donated to the University 500 hectares (about 1,200 acres) of land adjacent to its present campus. In 2002, the institution got two additional Agreements from the government:
- to open (No 02/0048/MINESUP du 12 juin 2002) and ;
- (b) to function (No 02/0066/MUNESUP du 16 juillet 2002).
In 2005, the University received its first accreditation from the Adventist Accrediting Association. Also in 2005, the University obtained a full recognition by the Cameroonian Government and also received authorization to open two schools: Health Sciences and Education.
AUC primarily serves the two Francophone Unions of the West-Central Africa Division namely,Central Africa Union Mission (CAUM), and the Sahel Union Mission (SUM), with a total population of about 140 million and more than 165,000 church members organized in 19 missions (2012 statistics).