Girish Mahajan

Andhra Christian Theological College

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Established  July 1, 1964
Phone  040 2762 8751
Academic staff  15
Type  Seminary
Founded  1964
Andhra Christian Theological College
Motto in English  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry...
Academic affiliation  Senate of Serampore College (University), Serampore 712201, West Bengal
Location  Lower Tank Bund Road, Gandhinagar Post, Hyderabad 500 080, Andhra Pradesh. Telephone: 91 040 2761 3892, Telangana, India
Director  Bishop K. Frederick Paradesi Babu, AELC (Chairperson)
Address  1-2-607/1-23, Gandhi Nagar Post, New Bakaram, Hyderabad, Telangana 500080
Motto  AD CONSUMMATIONEM SANCTORUM IN OPUS MINISTERII
Notable alumni  V. E. Christopher, B. V. Subbamma, Samuel Kanaka Prasad, T. Swami Raju
Similar  Senate of Serampore College, Tamil Nadu Theological Seminary, Kerala United Theologic, Aizawl Theological College, Gossner Theological College
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Andhra Christian Theological College Telugu is a special purpose entity - a near ecumenical enterprise of some of the Ecclesiastical societies in Andhra Pradesh/Telangana in India founded in 1964 and affiliated to the nation's first University, the Senate of Serampore College (University) {a University under Section 2 (f) of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956}with degree-granting authority validated by a Danish charter and ratified by the Government of West Bengal.

Contents

ACTC is situated on the banks of Hussain Sagar excess water canal (north) in Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Telangana with good access to the nearest Railway Station, Secunderabad Junction barely 4 kilometres away.

Andhra christian theological college hyderabad live stream


Founding societies

The College was first founded in 1964 in the campus of the Lutheran Theological College in Rajahmundry. From the inception of the College, the founding Church societies included,

  • the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church Society,
  • the Church of South India Society,
  • the Convention of Baptist Churches of Northern Circars Society,
  • the Methodist Church in India Society,
  • the South Andhra Lutheran Church Society
  • In 1967, the Samavesam of Telugu Baptist Churches Society ran its B.D. classes within the premises of ACTC and in 1972 the B.D. section of the Ramayapatnam Baptist Theological Seminary was fully integrated into the College Society. During the Principalship of M. Victor Paul (1991-1993), the Good Samaritan Evangelical Lutheran Church Society joined the College Society.

    Missionaries in Andhra Pradesh were involved in spreading the Word of God. With a sizeable converts at hand the need for ministering them was possible only with Priests. With this, they started to open seminaries - in Gooty (Union Theological Seminary), Dornakal (Andhra Union Theological College ) to cater to the Church of South India, Ramayapatnam (Baptist Theological Seminary) for the American Baptists, Luthergiri. (Lutheran Theological College) for the Lutherans, in Kakinada (Baptist Theological Seminary) for the Canadian Baptists, and Shamshabad (Mennonite Brethren Bible College) for the Mennonite Brethren.

    There was exchange of Professors between the Seminaries. However, for higher education (Bachelor of Divinity), they had to send their students to West Bengal where Serampore College is located.

    Kretzmann Commission

    In 1969, the College Society constituted the Kretzmann Commission comprising,

  • The Rev. M. L. Kretzmann, D.D., Secretary for planning, study and research, Department of World Missions of the Lutheran World Federation (Convenor),
  • The Rev. K. Devasahayam, M.A., B.D. (Hon.), S.T.M., Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church,
  • The Rev. A. B. Masilamani, M.A., Th.M., Convention of Baptist Churches of Northern Circars,
  • The Rt. Rev. C. S. Sundaresan, Bishop - in - Rayalaseema, Church of South India
  • The Kretzmann Commission Report which was tabled before the Board of Governors suggested increasing the curriculum content leading to Bachelor of Divinity and doing away with the erstwhile Licentiate in Theology programme.

    Merger of entities

    In 1964, the College was set up in Luthergiri in the river town of Rajahmundry in East Godavari District with the coming together of the following three theological colleges, viz.,

  • Andhra Union Theological College, Dornakal,
  • Baptist Theological Seminary, Kakinada, and
  • Lutheran Theological College, Rajahmundry,
  • On formation of the College with W. D. Coleman as its first Principal, the College was inaugurated on July 1, 1964 by R. M. Clark of the BTESSC while the inaugural address was delivered by the Registrar of the Senate of Serampore College (University), C. Devasahayam in Rajahmundry.

    Later on, in July 1967, the Ramayapatnam Baptist Theological Seminary, Ramayapatnam functioned within the premises of the College in Rajahmundry as a separate entity until it merged fully in 1972 in the presence of Louis F. Knoll and W. P. Peery.

    The College relocated from Rajahmundry to Secunderabad due to pollution from nearby Paper Mills. By 1973 the college in its entirety was moved from Rajahmundry to Secunderabad and the new buildings were inaugurated by the CSI-Bishop P. Solomon in the presence of the Catholic Archbishop S. Arulappa and the seminarians from the St. John's Regional Seminary.

    By virtue of postal re-classification in the 1990s, the civil jurisdiction of the College location fell under Hyderabad (now in Telangana).

    Board of Governors

    The College Society is administered by the Board of Governors composed of representatives of the participating Protestant Ecclesiastical Societies hailing from,

  • Telangana-based Protestant Ecclesiastical societies,
  • Church of South India Dioceses of Dornakal, Karimnagar, Medak headquartered in Dornakal, Karimnagar and Medak respectively,
  • Good Samaritan Evangelical Lutheran Church Society headquartered in Bhadrachalam,
  • Methodist Church in India, Hyderabad Regional Conference, headquartered in Hyderabad,
  • Samavesam of Telugu Baptist Churches Society, Deccan Association,
  • Tamil Nadu-based Protestant Ecclesiastical society,
  • Church of South India, Diocese of Madras (in Tamil Nadu State) headquartered in Chennai,
  • Andhra Pradesh-based Protestant Ecclesiastical societies,
  • Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church Society headquartered in Guntur,
  • Church of South India, Dioceses of Krishna-Godavari, Nandyal, Rayalaseema headquartered in Machilipatnam, Nandyal and Kadapa respectively,
  • Convention of Baptist Churches of Northern Circars Society originally headquartered in Kakinada,
  • Samavesam of Telugu Baptist Churches Society, originally headquartered in Nellore,
  • South Andhra Lutheran Church Society, headquartered in Tirupati,
  • Motto

    The College motto is derived from Ephesians 4:12, which in the Latin Vulgate reads "Ad consummationem sanctorum in opus ministerii..." which translates into "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry..." in the King James Version.

    The Hall System

    W. D. Coleman, the first Principal of the College explains the Hall System as:

    Each of the participating denominations has its own 'hall'. There are two hours of instruction each week about the liturgy, history, and policy of each denomination.

    The Ecclesiastical societies commonly associated with Protestantism in southern India include those from the Church of South India, Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists among others. Each Church has a tradition of its own. In ACTC, apart from teaching of theological subjects, students are also taught their respective Church doctrine. This is of course extra curricular and does not part form part of the syllabi prescribed by the University.

    Principalship

    Principalship is for a term of four years. Each participating Ecclesiastical society gets a chance on rotation. Currently, the four-year cycle of Principalship is with the Convention of Baptist Churches of Northern Circars. T. Matthews Emmanuel is the present Principal.

    Serampore University affiliation

    The College was affiliated since its founding in 1964 to the Senate of Serampore College (University) and continues to be an important affiliated College.

    Residential courses for Pastors

    As the nature of the degrees offered by the University is to empower the Pastors, it offers two degrees based on the entry level requirements,

  • Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.),
  • Master of Theology (M. Th.) under the aegis of Advanced Institute For Research On Religion And Culture (ARRC)
  • Non-residential courses for Christians and non-Christians (Distance mode)

    The College admits Protestant, Orthodox and Catholics to the non-residential courses offered through the distance mode, for graduate and postgraduate courses offered by the University,

  • Bachelor of Christian Studies (B.C.S.),
  • Master of Christian Studies (M.C.S.),
  • The College also admits people of both Christian and of other faiths to the Diploma in Christian Studies (Dip. C.S.) also awarded by the University.

  • Diploma in Christian Studies (Dip. C.S.)
  • Registrar's Visitations

    When the College was founded in 1964, the Registrar of the University, C. Devasahayam, CBCNC delivered the inaugural address. As the years' progressed, D. S. Satyaranjan as Registrar of the University used to visit the College annually.

    During the present times, S. K. Patro, the Registrar of the University first visited the College a year ago to evaluate the College and other affiliated institutions of the University in Hyderabad to look into the prospects of upgrading the College to a postgraduate level.

    1979

    In February 1979, the Convocation of the Senate of Serampore College (University) was hosted by the College during the period of the Old Testament Scholars, Victor Premasagar, CSI and G. Babu Rao, CBCNC who had by that time already joined the College after a period of teaching at Serampore College.

    The 1979 Convocation of the University held at the College was attended by D. S. Satyaranjan, the Registrar of the University and A. D. Khan, the Master of the University. That year, the President of the Senate was Victor Premasagar. The Commemoration Mass was led by G. Babu Rao, CBCNC at the St. Gregorious Malankara Orthodox Syrian Cathedral in the neighbourhood of the College. while the convocation address was delivered by Father Samuel Rayan, S.J..

    2016

    The College hosted the 2016 convocation of the Senate of Serampore College (University) during the present incumbency of the two Old Testament Scholars, T. Matthews Emmanuel, CBCNC and Ch. Vasantha Rao, CSI. The University was represented by John Sadananda, the Master of the University, Issac Mar Philoxenos, the President of the Senate, P. G. George, the Dean of SATHRI and S. K. Patro, the Registrar of the University. The Convocation address was delivered by Klaus Schäfer.

    At the 2016 convocation of the University, the honorary doctorate degree by honoris causa was conferred upon D. S. Satyaranjan who incidentally led the 1979 convocation of the University held at the College and also Klaus Schäfer, a former faculty of the College who taught New Testament during 1988-1993.

    ATA affiliation

    The college has also embarked on an initiative to admit candidates to the Master of Divinity programme for the Protestant, Orthodox and Catholics, for which it has sought affiliation from the Asia Theological Association.

    Faculty

    The Teachers at ACTC have substantial pastoral experience and theological grounding. The present Teachers include:

    Admissions

    Students are admitted on quota-basis linked to the representation factor of the participating Ecclesiastical societies and taught varied subjects of religion. An entrance test is conducted before admission. Church sponsorship is a must before joining. Integrated Bachelor of Divinity (five years) course is affiliated to the Senate of Serampore College (University).

    Logistics

    The college has a well-equipped library including reading room facilities with more than 38,000 books on its racks besides 35 subscribed periodicals.

    Naming of the Library

    Since the founding of the College in 1964, the library was called as the Dunkelberger Memorial Library as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America had transferred certain proceeds to the memory of The Rev. Roy Martin Dunkelberger, AELC, a Lutheran missionary who served in Rajahmundry.

    In 2014, the library was renamed as the Gipson Memorial Library in honour of the Baptist Missionary, The Rev. T. G. Gipson, STBC, who had modernized the library during his second stint as a visiting faculty at the College. The renaming ceremony took place during the Principalship of The Rev. T. Matthews Emmanuel, CBCNC in the presence of the Chairperson of the Board of Governors, Bishop K. Frederick Paradesi Babu, AELC, and Bishop V. Prasada Rao, CSI, a member of the Board of Governors.

    Sport

    ACTC has several recreational facilities, including a throwball court, a tennis court, a basketball court, a volleyball court, a table tennis room and a large ground that is used for playing football and cricket.

    Mass

    Every morning, Mass is said in the Chapel for the Students and the Teachers. On Sundays, the Chapel is also used for Mass for the general public too. Many festivals also take place here exclusive to the ACTC community, including Christian Home Festival, Carey Day, CSI Day, Reformation Day, Independence Day.

    Faculty

    Notable faculty over the years' include,

  • from the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church,
  • The Rev.W. D. Coleman, AELC, Ph.D. (Hartford), the first Principal of the College,
  • The Rev.W. P. Peery, AELC, Ph.D. (Duke), a Religions Teacher who later taught at the United Theological College, Bangalore,
  • The Rev.G. Devasahayam, AELC, S.T.M. (Philadelphia), the third President of the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church,
  • The Rev.M. Victor Paul, AELC, D.Min. (Luther), the ninth President of the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church,
  • The Rev.R. R. Sundara Rao, AELC, Ph.D. (Wisconsin), a Religions Teacher and who later became Principal of the Gurukul Lutheran Theological College, Chennai,
  • from the Church of South India,
  • The Rev.B. E. Devaraj, CSI, L.Th. (Serampore), pioneer of the Lambadi version of the New Testament,
  • The Rev. Eric J. Lott, CSI, Ph.D. (Lancaster) a Religions Teacher who later taught at the United Theological College, Bangalore,
  • The Rev.P. Victor Premasagar, CSI, Ph.D. (St Andrews), a Cambridge Tripos and the fourth CSI-Bishop - in - Medak and Moderator of the Church of South India Synod,
  • The Rev.Ryder Devapriam, CSI, Th.D. (GTS), who was CSI-Bishop - in - Nandyal and Moderator of the Church of South India Synod,
  • The Right Rev. G. Dyvasirvadam, CSI, M.Th. (Serampore), currently the CSI-Bishop - in - Krishna-Godavari and the Moderator of the Church of South India Synod,
  • The Rev. G. T. Abraham, CSI, Th.M. (Virginia), who was the CSI-Bishop - in - Nandyal,
  • The Right Rev. K. Reuben Mark, CSI, Ph.D. (Higginbottom), currently the CSI-Bishop - in - Karimnagar,
  • from the Convention of Baptist Churches of Northern Circars,
  • The Rev.Muriel Spurgeon Carder, CBCNC, Th.D. (Toronto), the first ordained woman Priest of the Canadian Baptist Ministries,
  • The Rev.Waldo Penner, CBCNC, M. Th. (Berkeley), who together with his companion A. B. Masilamani pioneered attempts to found the College,
  • from the Samavesam of Telugu Baptist Churches,
  • The Rev. S. Joseph, STBC, D.Th. (Serampore), currently a Member of the Council of the Senate of Serampore College (University),
  • The Rev. R. Joseph, STBC, Th.M. (Andover), Church History Teacher and Lyricist,
  • from other Church societies,
  • The Rev. de:Jürgen Fangmeier, Dr. Theol. (Basel), who taught Systematic Theology during 1987-1990.
  • Alumni

  • from the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church,
  • The Rev. Sr.Bathineni Venkata Subbamma, AELC, Ph.D., (Wittenberg), the first woman Senator of the Senate of Serampore College (University),
  • The Rev. Ch. Victor Moses, AELC, M.Th. (Serampore), who was the twelfth President of the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church,
  • The Rev. V. E. Christopher, AELC, B.D. (Serampore), who was the thirteenth President of the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church,
  • The Rev. B. Suneel Bhanu, AELC, M.Th. (Serampore), who was the fourteenth President of the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church,
  • The Rev. K. Frederick Paradesi Babu, AELC, B.D. (Serampore), the current President of the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church,
  • from the Church of South India,
  • The Rev. D. N. Samuel, CSI, B.D. (Serampore), was the fifth CSI-Bishop - in - Dornakal,
  • The Rev. A. Rajarathnam, CSI, B.D. (Serampore), was the sixth CSI-Bishop - in - Dornakal,
  • The Rev. Kanaka Prasad, CSI, B.D. (Serampore), was the sixth CSI-Bishop - in - Medak,
  • The Right Rev. B. D. Prasada Rao, CSI, M.Th. (Serampore), currently the CSI-Bishop - in - Rayalaseema,
  • The Right Rev. V. Prasada Rao, CSI, B.D. (Serampore), currently the CSI-Bishop - in - Dornakal,
  • The Right Rev. Sr. Eggoni Pushpa Lalitha, CSI, B.D. (Serampore), currently the CSI-Bishop - in - Nandyal,
  • from the Convention of Baptist Churches of Northern Circars
  • The Rev.S. E. Krupa Rao, CBCNC, S.T.M. (Union), a Baptist Patriarch of the Convention of Baptist Churches of Northern Circars
  • References

    Andhra Christian Theological College Wikipedia


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