Tangaza University College, originally called called the Theological Center of Religious, opened its doors to the first group of students of theology on 25th August 1986. On 30th October 1987, in the presence of the Pro-Nuncio, the College was blessed and formally inaugurated by His Eminence the late Cardinal Maurice Otunga, Archbishop of Nairobi. The original aim of the founding of Tangaza was to form members of religious orders for ministry in the church and society in Africa.
On 3rd November 1992, the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) was granted a university charter by the President of Kenya. With the conferring of this charter, Tangaza University College was recognized as a Constituent College of CUEA.