Church of South India Synod

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Church of South India Trust Association (CSITA) Director board is the highest administrative body of CSI (Church of South India). Synod (CSI Synod) is the annual general meeting of CSI. Moderator of the Synod is a Bishop who is a presiding officer of the election conducted in the Annual General Meeting. The elected board is normally to hold office for three years.

About the Synod[edit]

The CSI synod consists of bishops of 24 dioceses, presbyters and layman (both men and women) who are elected from the respective diocesan councils to the synod. The synod members will elect the apex body consisting of a Moderator, Deputy Moderator, general secretary and Treasurer. The Moderator is the spiritual and administrative head of the Church. Only Bishops are eligible to contest for the Moderator and Deputy Moderator posts. Pastors and lay members are eligible to contest for the remaining two posts of general secretary and Treasurer. The ordinary session of the synod is held once every three years. The last synod meeting was held in January 2016 at Kottayam. The practice has been to hold the meeting during the pongal holidays in mid January and over four days. Special meetings of the synod (between ordinary sessions) could also be convened by a decision of the Synod Executive. The Synod office is situated at CSI Center, Royapettah, Chennai.

Synod Executive[edit]

As the Church of South India synod meets only once in every two-year the power of the synod is mostly delegated to Synod Executive which is appointed by the synod and which meets at least twice a year. The synod executive is a subset of synod which has 95 members. The synod executive consists of 4 members each from the 22 dioceses of Church of South India, 3 nominees of the Moderator and 4 officers of the synod (Moderator,Deputy Moderator,General secretary and Treasurer).

Synod Working Committee[edit]

The Synod working committee is a subset of synod executive and it consists of 26 members. The working committee has a representation of one member each from the 22 dioceses of Church of South India and 4 officers of the synod. The synod working committee meetings are held based on need basis and they are held in between synod executive meetings. All the decisions of the synod working committee has to be ratified at a subsequent meeting of the synod executive.

Church of South India Synod Participants[edit]

According to the Church of South India constitution the participants in the synod belong to five categories:

  • Bishops of the 24 dioceses and assistant bishops, if any.
  • The Outgoing general secretary and treasurer.
  • Two members of the CSI Order of Sisters,
  • The President and General secretary of the Women’s Fellowship,
  • Presbyters and lay persons representing the various dioceses who are elected by their dioceses to represent them at the synod.
  • 10 members nominated by the moderator

Dioceses send representatives based on a graded scale that starts with those having 10,000 baptised members sending two pastors and four lay persons while the maximum number of representatives to the synod come from dioceses with over 150,000 baptised members that send six presbyters and 11 lay persons.

According to the report of the 2014 synod meeting, there were [1] 135 presybters, 275 lay members and 22 bishops who participated in the synod.Other invitees to synod meetings include Accredited visitors, Heads of synod departments, Fraternal delegates (representing various CSI affiliated bodies), Special invitees, Overseas guests and Resource persons.


  • The quorum is one-third of the total membership of which not less than two-thirds shall be lay members.


First day of the Synod meeting consists of confirmation of minutes of the previous Synod, Appointment of various committees to oversee elections, Take up resolutions,Moderator's address, general secretary's report and Election of the four Officers of the Synod (Moderator, Deputy Moderator, general secretary and Treasurer). The second, third and fourth days of the Synod consists of a series of presentations by the treasurer, heads of synod departments, special invitees, etc. and some limited question-answer sessions. The final act of each Synod is the formal installation of the new Officers of the Synod on the last day.

Moderator and Deputy Moderator[edit]

The current moderator is the Most Reverend Thomas K. Oommen, Bishop of the Madhya Kerala Diocese (Kerala). The Deputy Moderator is the Right Reverend V. Prasada Rao, Bishop of the Dornakal Diocese (Telangana). They were elected for a tenure of three years at the Synod meeting held at Kottayam in January, 2017.


Missions and Committee[edit]

For proper guidance of the life and work of the Church the CSI Synod has set up various Commissions and Committees. The following are some of the important ones:

  • Ministerial Committee: which deals with issues relating to the ordained ministry.
  • Theological Commission: which deals with questions relating to the faith of the Church.
  • Liturgy Committee: for advising the Church on matters relating to worship and orders of service for different occasions.
  • Board of Mission and Evangelism: for promoting missionary outreach both within the CSI area and outside.
  • Union Negotiations Committee: for negotiations with other churches towards wider union.
  • Commission on Political Questions: for considering issues of justice and peace from the perspective of the Church's witness to the Gospel.

List of Synod Meetings[edit]

Synodical Sessions of the Church of South India with years, venue and elected Moderator and Deputy Moderator[2]
Session Synod Host diocese Venue Moderator Deputy Moderator
I 1948 Madurai-Ramnad Madurai Michael Hollis Cherakarottu Korula Jacob
II 1950 Madras Madras Michael Hollis Frank Whittaker
III 1952 Krishna-Godavari Machilipatnam Michael Hollis Hospet Sumitra
IV 1954 Madras Madras Hospet Sumitra Lesslie Newbigin
V 1956 Trichy-Tanjore Trichy Hospet Sumitra Lesslie Newbigin
VI 1958 Kanyakumari Nagercoil Hospet Sumitra Lesslie Newbigin
VII 1960 Mysore Bangalore Hospet Sumitra Augustine Gnanadasan Jebaraj
VIII 1962 Tirunelveli Palayamkottai Arnold Legg Augustine Gnanadasan Jebaraj
IX 1964 Tirunelveli Palayamkottai Arnold Legg Pereji Solomon
X 1966 Madhya Kerala Kottayam Pereji Solomon Lesslie Newbigin
XI 1968 Coimbatore Coimbatore Pereji Solomon Lesslie Newbigin
XII 1970 Madras Tambaram Pereji Solomon Lesslie Newbigin
XIII 1972 Madras Tambaram Isaac Richard Harrison Gnanadason
Ananda Rao Samuel
Ananda Rao Samuel
Lesslie Newbigin
XIV 1974 Madras Madras Ananda Rao Samuel Solomon Doraiswamy
XV 1976 Trichy-Tanjore Trichy Ananda Rao Samuel Solomon Doraiswamy
XVI 1978 Madhya Kerala Kottayam Ananda Rao Samuel Solomon Doraiswamy
XVII 1980 Madras Tambaram Solomon Doraiswamy Isaiah Jesudason
XVIII 1982 Vellore Vellore Isaiah Jesudason Sundar Clarke
XIX 1984 Medak Secunderabad Isaiah Jesudason Sundar Clarke
XX 1986 South Kerala Trivandrum Isaiah Jesudason Victor Premasagar
XXI 1988 Madurai-Ramnad Madurai Victor Premasagar David Gnaniah Pothirajulu
XXII 1990 Karnataka North Dharwad Victor Premasagar Vasant P. Dandin
XXIII 1992 Tirunelveli Palayamkottai Ryder Devapriam
Vasant P. Dandin
Jason Siromani Dharmaraj
XXIV 1994 Trichy-Tanjore Trichy Vasant P. Dandin Rajamanickam Paulraj
XXV 1996 Coimbatore Coimbatore Vasant P. Dandin William Moses
XXVI 1998 Rayalaseema Madanapalle William Moses Kunnumpurathu Joseph Samuel
XXVII 2000 Medak Secunderabad Kunnumpurathu Joseph Samuel Peter Sugandhar
XXVIII 2002 East Kerala Melukavu Kunnumpurathu Joseph Samuel Peter Sugandhar
XXIX 2004 Karnataka Central Bangalore Peter Sugandhar S. Vasantha Kumar
XXX 2006 Karnataka Southern Mysore Peter Sugandhar S. Vasantha Kumar
XXXI 2008 Krishna-Godavari Visakhapatnam John Gladstone Christopher Asir
XXXII 2010 Tirunelveli Courtallam S. Vasantha Kumar Gnanasigamony Devakadasham
XXXIII 2012 Kanyakumari Kanyakumari Gnanasigamony Devakadasham Govada Dyvasirvadam
XXXIV 2014 Krishna-Godavari Vijayawada Govada Dyvasirvadam Thomas K Oommen
XXXV 2017 Madhya Kerala Kottayam Thomas K Oommen Vadapalli Prasada Rao

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Krishna-Godavari Diocese Bishop all set to become head of CSI". The Hindu. 11 January 2014.
  2. ^ K. M. George, Church of South India: Life in Union, 1947–1997, Jointly published by Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, New Delhi and Christava Sahitya Samithi, Tiruvalla, 1999. [1]

External links[edit]