Sunday, 30 June, 2013

Writers workshop held in UTC

The Masihi Sevak Writers Workshop was held on Friday, the 28th of June, 2013, at the United Theological College, Bangalore. The workshop was co sponsored by the Hudson Memorial Church, Bangalore. Twenty one pastors and pastoral workers from South and North India participated in the one day programme. 

The workshop began with an inaugural service in the Ziegenbalg Chapel, and went on till 5 pm. The theme of the WCC annual conference : “Lord of Life, lead us to justice and peace”, and the corresponding text from Isaiah 42: 1 – 4 were discussed and reflected upon. The resource persons were Dr Etienne Rassendren, St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore, and Mrs. Geetha Basappa, UTC. 

The organisers want to put on record their thanks to the presbyter in charge of the Hudson Memorial Church, Bangalore, Rev. William Jones, and the  congregation for their willingness to partner with UTC. More such programmes are also being planned for the future and Hudson Memorial church is willing to consider other opportunities and forms of partnership.

The chapel worship was conducted by the UTC worship team under the able guidance of Rev. Jacob Franck and Sr. Dr. Mary Shruti. The workshop was organised by the UTC Publications Committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Joseph George, the editor of the Bangalore Theological Forum and Rev. Dr. Dexter Maben, Editor, Masihi Sevak.

Ms. Geetha Basappa and Dr. Etienne Rassendren

Saturday, 29 June, 2013

UTC to honour The Most Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom

The United Theological College, Bangalore will be conducting a programme on Monday, July 1, 2013 at 6:00 P.M. in the Charles Ranson Hall of the UTC to honour His Grace The Most Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom, the senior bishop of the Marthoma Syrian Church on the occasion of his sixtieth anniversary as bishop of the church. Bishop Chrysostom is the longest serving bishop alive in India and the oldest alumnus of the college.

His Grace The Most Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom

The programme will feature the principal of the college Rev. Dr. John Samuel Raj, the moderator of the Church of South India and the president of the UTC council Most Rev. Dr. G. Devakadasham, the bishop of the Methodist Church Bishop Dr. Taranath S. Sagar, the director of the Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society Rev. Dr. Vincent Rajkumar and others. People from various strata of society, churches and members of the college will be attending the programme to honour and felicitate Bishop Philipose Mar Chrysostom.

Sports inauguration

Mr. Abu the sports secretary giving the welcome speech

The sports inauguratiuon of the UTC was held on Friday, the 28th of June at 4:00 P.M. The sports secretary for this year Mr. Abu welcomed the gathering, the principal Rev. Dr. John Samuel Raj said the opening prayer and lit the lamp and Rev. Dr. Jones Muthunayagom gave the main speech. In his speech Dr. Muthunayagom told the students to have a spirit of oneness and camaraderie while playing and not see everything from the perspective of winning.

The principal and house captains lighting the lamp

Rev. Dr. Jones Muthunayagom giving the main speech

The inauguration was attended by both students and faculty belonging to the Herrick, Larsen, Thorpe and Devanandan houses. The inauguration was followed by volley ball matches between new and existing BD, MTh and DTh students.

Volley ball match

Thursday, 20 June, 2013

UTC phone numbers and intercom connections

Use these numbers to contact the principal, faculty, staff or for general information


23333438, 23330502 (General)

91-80-23339269 (Ecumenical Resource Centre (ERC)/ guest house)

When you call general or other phone numbers and are prompted for section codes use whichever is applicable from the following.

















OFFICE ASSISTANTS (PRO’s Department) 217


OFFICE ASSISTANTS (Registrar’s Department) 219/234








(Guest room connection - 227) 227/236








OFFICE ASSISTANT (For Librarian) 237

YMCA 238




Tuesday, 18 June, 2013

UTC Souvenir


The United Theological College is a 103 year old Christian institution. It trains future pastors, priests and leaders of the church in India. UTC is ecumenical and is represented by various dioceses and sections of the CSI, CNI, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist,  Lutheran, Marthoma, Syrian Orthodox churches in India and by the National Council of YMCA's of India, Danmission, Evangelical Lutheran Mission (ELM), Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS), Trustees of the Jaffna College Funds and United Church of Christ and Disciples of Christ, USA.

A recent & urgent crisis

The Students’ Hostel building was recently found to be in danger of collapse and has been demolished. The Student Quarters is currently being rebuilt at the estimated cost of approx. 7 Crores. The first phase of the proposed building has been completed. However, the building of the second and third phase needs huge financial support.

Why support UTC? Advertisement Registrat ion Form

India’s rapid changes make the need for UTC’s distinctive role greater than ever.

1. UTC’s motto “Not to be served, but to serve” has challenged and encouraged generations of pastors

and leaders of the church who have passed through the portals of this esteemed institution. The mission and vision of UTC to proclaim the Gospel through word and deed has continued unflinchingly for over a


2. Congregations across India are in need of trained pastors/priests who can work in rural and urban

congregations and minister to people based on the gospel of Jesus Christ. A highly competent ministry

is a more urgent priority than ever. (Enrolled at UTC in 2012: Master’s Courses - 60 students; Doctoral

Students - 25; For BD - 80-90 students).

3. UTC looks for increased inclusiveness of attitude and action, as ways of engaging with other communities are constantly worked out.

Therefore, the added facility would facilitate training more number of pastors and teachers to equip the Church in its mission in India and abroad.

For this the college has decided to bring out a souvenir for the building project. The souvenir will have scholarly articles from reputed faculty members of different theological colleges, church leaders and lay people both women and men. Advertisement tariffs for the souvenir are 

Back Cover : Rs 100,000 (One Lakh)
Back Inside (Front Flap) : Rs 75,000

Back Inside : Rs 60,000

Back Inside (Back Flap) : Rs 50,000

Front Inside (Front Flap) : Rs 75,000

Front Inside : Rs 60,000

Front Inside (Back Flap) : Rs 50,000

Full page (gloss) : Rs 40,000

Full page (colour) : Rs 25,000

Half page (colour) : Rs 15,000

Full page (B&W) : Rs 10,000

Half page (B&W) : Rs 6,000

Compliments from Alumni (Passport Photo): Rs 3,000

Compliments (General) : Rs 2,000

The UTC alumni is requested to help and support in the publishing of the souvenir. You can help by giving advertisements of churches or institutions you are working in or by making a personal contribution as an alumni. Friends of the college and those associated with the college in anyway can also take this opportunity of helping the college and making your institution known to a wide audience all over the world.

You can register your interest with us by writing to 

The Convener

Souvenir Committee

The United Theological College

63, Miller’s Road, Benson Town, Bangalore-560 046

You can send your contributions to the college in this format
I/We herewith enclose Cheque/DD No __________________

Drawn in favour of The United Theological College, Bangalore.

Name of the Bank_________________________________

for Rs _______________ (In Words)__________________

The Souvenir would reach a wide demographic base including college students (18-25), graduate students (25-40), alumni (30-85) and partner churches and institutions in India and across the wider ecumenical world. In addition, partner institutions will also receive copies of the Souvenir. The opportunity to introduce your services to a vast audience is certainly appealing and we ask you to consider advertising with us.

Wednesday, 12 June, 2013

Help towards UTC Centenary Mahatma Gandhi Hostel and Quarters

Proposed plan of the building project in UTC
The UTC Centenary Mahatma Gandhi Hostel and Quarters is a project of the college which was conceived for the centenary of the college in 2010. The demolition of the old Mahatma Gandhi hostel last year due to the weakness in the structure build decades ago has made this very urgent and important for UTC to function properly. The project will cost atleast 7 crore rupees (this is because of the rising cost of material and any delay in construction). The work is progressing but the college is in urgent need of funds. The principal, faculty, staff and students make an appeal to alumni, well wishers, friends, former staff, churches and all those who have been associated with UTC in anyway to remember the college in your prayers and contribute generously towards the hostel building fund.

Strength tests done in the old building suggested that the old building had to be demolished immediately

The present construction has also lead to less accomodation being on offer for students and it has affected the in take of students and the facilities on offer to them. The ecumenical nature of the college has always been a place for candidates from different denominations to come together and study together. The churches have benefited from the candidates trained and equipped from UTC. This plea goes out to all as a means to participate in the continuing mission of UTC and the churches that it serves.

An artist's impression of the building

All room and hall sponsorships will be mentioned at the entrance of the room/hall and all contributions above Rs 50,000 will be mentioned in the building itself at an appropriate and visible place. The break up for the rooms and other areas are

Sl no.
Approximate cost of one unit
Total cost
Single rooms (290 sft, 24 units)
Rs 3,50,000/-
Rs 84,00,000/-
Studio apartments (460 sft, 18 units)
Rs 9,00,000/-
Rs 162,00,000/-
MTh Family quarters (840 sft, 6 units)
Rs 15,00,000/-
Rs 90,00,000/-
Dining hall, toilet, wash area (2600 sft)
Rs 65,00,000/-
Rs 65,00,000/-
Kitchen (930 sft)
Rs 25,00,000/-
Rs 25,00,000/-
Outdoor dining (560 sft)
Rs 8,00,000/-
Rs 8,00,000/-
Toilet block in hostel (180 sft, 3)
Rs 6,00,000/-
Rs 18,00,000/-
Kitchenette+ dry wash in hostel (180 sft, 3)
Rs 4,00,000/-
Rs 12,00,000/-
Staircases- 4 nos.
Rs 15,00,000/-
Rs 60,00,000/-

Lobbies+ corridors
Entrance area+ porch

Rs 30,00,000/-
Rs 10,00,000/-
Rs 569,00,000
Wardrobes+ kitchen cabinets
Rs 25,00,000/-
Rs 25,00,000/-
Lifts (2)
Rs 25,00,000/-
Rs 25,00,000/-

You can send your contributions by cheque/draft to the United Theological College, 63 Miller's Road, Benson Town, Bangalore- 560046 in the name of the "United Theological College, Bangalore" or credit your amount to the Canara bank account numbers below.

Local account number, Canara Bank (contributions from within India only)- 0429101003275.

Foreign contribution account number, Canara Bank (contributions from outside India only)- 0429101006260.

IFSC bank code- CNRB0000429.

(Please inform us by phone at  +91-080-23332844 (Principal) and 23333438, 23330502 (General), 91-80-23330015 (fax) or email us at or if you want to know more, want to contribute or have credited money to the accounts mentioned.)

Tuesday, 11 June, 2013

Study group from Edinburgh visits UTC

A group of students from the NewCollege Missionary Society, Edinburgh lead by Mr. Dan Harper are concluding their stay in the United Theological College. They arrived on May 30th and will leave today. The group consisting of eight people were here on a study trip to understand the culture and diversity of India. Their interests also included cross cultural learning, learning about the Indian church and the challenges it faces now. The programme included lectures by faculty members in UTC and resource persons from other fields. The group was co-ordinated and helped by Dr. Nalini Arles who arranged several exposure trips to religious places and NGO’s in Bangalore and in CMC, Vellore.

The group was introduced to the UTC community during chapel service. They have made a donation towards the support of theological education in the college. The group members are Dan Harper, Kirsty Harper, Taisie Pennick, Rebecca Blakey, Francesca Castagnetti, Lauren Massetti, Liam Fraser and Rachel Harrison. 

Monday, 10 June, 2013

UTC principal's tea and covenant service

The opening of the new academic year was rung in with the principal's tea and covenant service yesterday evening. The session started with prayer by Rev. Dr. Allan Palanna. The principal, Rev. Dr. John Samuel Raj welcomed the students, staff and faculty members and  introduced the new faculty member, registrar and librarian along with their families. Announcements were made by chair persons and those in charge of several responsibilites. The opening session was concluded with prayer. The covenant service followed the tea and opening session.

The new Ethics professor Dr. George Zachariah and his family
The new Registrar Rev. Lalawmpuia Hauhnar and his family
The new librarian Mr. Samuel Raj and his wife

Sunday, 9 June, 2013

Faculty retreat

Rev. Dr. David Selvaraj

The faculty retreat of the United Theological College was held at the Glorious Promised Land retreat centre yesterday. Rev. Dr. David Selvaraj, the Executive Director of Visthar lead the retreat. His talk was divided into two sessions in which he reflected on contemporary social realities from the perspective of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk, K.P. Sasi, a social activist and documentary maker and the unbearable condition of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

The sessions were intreractive with faculty members asked to give their opinions on the social setting in India. He stressed on a conversion from a anthropocentric view to a cosmic view where sustainable development should be the catch word. The thrust was to engage the faculty members in an enterprise of theological imagination and articulation on contemporary issues.

Statistics on displacement, land acquisition, slum evictions, water, food, health and access to credit were given. The problems facing the Tamils in Sri Lanka were given great importance. The unjust militarization and Sinhala colonization were brought up and the impact on communities there and the role of the church was discussed.

The intense sessions were followed by a time of relaxation and informal talks and discussions. The hospitality offered by the Glorious Promised Land retreat centre was well appreciated by everyone. The principal's tea and the opening worship will be held today evening (Sunday) at 4:30 P.M. and 6:30 P.M.

Friday, 7 June, 2013

Dr. George Zachariah

Dr. George Zachariah joined the United Theological College, Bangalore as a teaching faculty in the department of Theology and Ethics on 1st June, 2013. Born and raised in a Mar Thoma family in Kerala, he was nurtured in Christian faith by his family and the Church. During his college days, he got the opportunity to be part of the Student Christian Movement, which widened his perspectives and deepened his commitment to God and God’s world. This new awareness enabled him to dedicate his life to full time ministry witnessing Christ in solidarity with the marginalized in their search for a new world.
After completing his post-graduation in Commerce from the Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Dr. Zachariah joined AWAZ, a Christian social action group, and worked among the landless people in the villages of Chattisgarh for three years, organizing them through trade unions and peasant movements. It was a journey of vocational discernment in communion with people at the margins, re-imagining the public witness of the Church, informed by the politics and spirituality of radical societal engagements.  In 1990, he accepted the call to serve the Student Christian Movement of India, Kerala Region, and served SCM as program secretary for three years.  
George Zachariah’s decision to do formal theological studies brought him to the United Theological College, Bangalore in 1993, and he completed his BD studies in 1997. After serving the M.M. Thomas Center in Thiruvalla, Kerala as coordinator and the Theological Literature Council as editor for a short period, he decided to continue his advanced theological studies in the area of Christian Ethics in the United States of America and joined the Union Theological Seminary, New York for STM. Zachariah earned his Ph.D. with distinction in the field of Systematic Theology with special emphasis in Christian Ethics from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, IL, USA, in 2006. His Dissertation was entitled “Towards a Subaltern Earth Ethics: Narmada Bachao Andolan as Text.”
On completion of his doctoral studies, Dr. Zachariah returned to India and served the Gurukul Lutheran Theological College and Research Institute, Chennai as faculty in the department of theology and ethics for seven years. During that period he held several responsibilities such as head of the department of theology and ethics, staff-in-charge of the Martin Luther Library, and dean of Graduate Studies. He also served as the editor of Gurukul Journal of Theological Studies for a term of three years, and brought out six issues of the journal on various themes. During this period Zachariah also actively participated in the programs of The Senate of Serampore College (University). He was part of the BD Curriculum Revision process and served on the editorial committee. Currently he is a member of the board of studies.
George Zachariah has got sufficient opportunities to present papers at various national and international consultations organized by ecumenical bodies such as the World Council of Churches, Christian Conference of Asia, Council for World Mission, and the Lutheran World Federation. The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and the Chicago Center for Global Ministries invited him to give the 2010 Scherer Lecture. In 2012, he served as visiting scholar at the Goettingen University, Germany in the Intercultural Theology Program. His recent publications include Alternatives Unincorporated: Earth Ethics from the Grassroots, (London: Equinox Press, 2011) and Gospel in a Groaning World: Climate Injustice and Public Witness (Nagpur/Tiruvalla: NCCI/CSS, 2012). His current research areas include Ethical Reflections on Climate Injustice, Human Sexuality, and HIV and AIDS.  
His wife Anshi Zachariah is a theologically trained social worker. Since 2006, she has been working with a faith-based NGO among people living with HIV and AIDS. They are blessed with two daughters; Amritha Mariam (I PUC, Mount Carmel College) and Aruna Elizabeth (IVth Standard, St. Johns High School).