Senate of Serampore College (University)

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Senate of Serampore College (University)
Serampore Vishwavidyalaya
Motto in English
The wise will possess glory
Type University under Section 2 (f) of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956
Established 1818 (1818)
Affiliation University Grants Commission Act, 1956
Religious affiliation
Chancellor John Sadananda (Master),
President Bishop Isaac Mar Philoxenos,
Registrar Rev. Dr. Santanu Patro
Location Serampore, West Bengal, India
Campus Semi-Urban
Language English

The Senate of Serampore College (University) is located in Serampore in West Bengal, India. Serampore was granted the status of university in 1829, making it India's first institution to have the status of a university.[1]

The college was founded by the missionaries Joshua Marshman, William Carey and William Ward (the Serampore trio), to give an education in Arts and Sciences to students of every "caste, colour or country" and to train a ministry for the growing Church in India (See: Christianity in India).

The Senate[edit]

The Senate of Serampore College (University) runs the academic administration of all its affiliated theological colleges. The Council of Serampore College holds a Danish Charter and had the power to confer degrees in any subject, which it currently exercises only for conferring theological degrees as recommended by the Senate.[2]

The present Master is the Rt.Revd.Dr.John S. Sadananda, Bishop Emeritus of Karnataka Southern Diocese of the CSI.[3]

Several theological Colleges and Seminaries all over India including Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are affiliated to the Senate of Serampore College.

Authority to issue degrees and accreditation[edit]

King Frederick VI of Denmark originally granted a Royal Charter giving the Senate of Serampore College the status of a degree granting university.[4] The Senate of Serampore College (University) is a University within the meaning of Section 2 (f)[5] of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956[6] (as modified up to 20 December 1985).

In fact, Serampore was the first institution[7] to be given the status of a university in India.

It confers its own degrees in Theology under the power vested by the Charter and Act of Serampore College.



Since Serampore was then a Danish colony, King Frederick VI, the King of Denmark, issued Serampore College its Royal Charter of Incorporation on 23 February 1827, in Copenhagen, Denmark (Charter, 1, Charter, 2, Charter, 3). The charter came in response to Joshua Marshman's visit to King Frederick in August 1826; the charter gave Serampore College the privilege of awarding degrees in Arts and Theology. William Carey, Joshua Marshman, and John Clark Marshman (Joshua's son) were designated as members of the first Council. At its opening, the Trio released a prospectus which proposed "A College for the instruction of Asiatic Christian and other Youth in Eastern Literature and European Science." The College was open to all persons of any caste or creed, and the founders ensured that no denominational test would apply to faculty members. The charter has also been confirmed by the Bengal Govt Act. IV of 1918.

The status accorded by the Danish Charter has since been re-affirmed for the study of Theology[8] and now forms the basis for degrees of all levels conferred by over forty theological colleges throughout India, and is administered by the Senate.It was incorporated by Royal Charter of 1827 and Bengal Government Act. IV of 1918.

Degrees awarded[edit]

Presently, the Senate of Serampore College (University) restricts itself to award of degrees pertaining to theology.

The following are the degrees awarded to students through its affiliated colleges throughout India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka:


Officers of the Senate
  • President: Bishop Isaac Mar Philoxenos (2011–14)
  • Convenor: Prof. (Dr.) Laltluangliana Khiangte
  • Registrar: Rev. Dr. S. K . Patro
  • Treasurer: Rev. Dr. Ivy Singh (2011–14)

Graduate programmes[edit]

Postgraduate programmes[edit]

Doctoral programmes[edit]

Registrarships of the University[9]

(Period, Name of the Registrar )


Diploma programmes[edit]

  • Diploma in Christian Studies (Dip. C.S.)
  • Diploma in Clinical Pastoral Counselling (Dip.C.P.C.)
  • Diploma in Bible translation (Dip B.T)

Graduate programmes[edit]

  • Bachelor of Christian Studies (B.C.S.)

Postgraduate programmes[edit]

  • Master of Ministry (M.Min.)
  • Master of Christian Studies (MCS)

Doctoral programmes[edit]

Constituent Colleges[edit]

Affiliated Colleges[edit]

The affiliated Colleges of the University up to 2014[10] are,


Bangla Desh[edit]

  • St. Andrew's Theological College,[10] Dhaka,

Sri Lanka[edit]

Other affiliated centres[edit]

Affiliated centres as of 2014 for the purpose of Diploma in Clinical Pastoral Counselling.


  1. ^ Government of India, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Higher Education [1]
  2. ^ World Council of Churches [2] Ministerial Formation, July 2003. Retrieved 23 April 2006.
  3. ^ The present Vice-Master is Mrs. Hilda Peacock.Anglican Communion News Service
  4. ^ Government of India, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Higher Education, "Other Universities", Chapter XVI, Calcutta University, Three Missionaries, Carey, Marshman and Ward started the first Mission college at Serampore in 1818, and 9 years later it received a charter from the King of Denmark empowering it to grant degree.[3]
  5. ^ Under Section 2 (f) of the UGC Act, 1956, University means a University established or incorporated by or under a Central Act, a Provincial Act or a State Act, and includes any such institution as may, in consultation with the University concerned, be recoginsed by the Commission in accordance with the regulations made in this behalf under this Act. The UGC took the opinion that the Senate fell under the purview of Section 2 (f) of the said Act since The Serampore College Act, 1918 was passed by the Government of West Bengal.[4]
  6. ^ The University Grants Commission Act, 1956
  7. ^ Murli Manohar Joshi, Higher Education in India Vision and Action, A paper presented at the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education in the Twenty First Century, Paris, 5–9 October 1998. Internet, accessed 22 August 2008. [5]
  8. ^ Sankar Ray, The Hindu (Business Line), 11 April 2008 Almost a century later, the charter was endorsed officially under the Bengal Govt Act IV of 1918. [6]
  9. ^ Senate, Registrars of the Senate
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be Senate, Affiliated colleges 2014.
  11. ^ a b c Monica J. Melanchton, Graduate Biblical Studies in India in Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Kent Harold Richards (Edited), Transforming Graduate Biblical Education: Ethos and Discipline, SBL, Atlanta, 2010, p.120. [7]

External links[edit]