The vision of a Christian higher education for India: 200 Years of Serampore College History

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The two hundred years of Serampore College history have been marked by a number of ambiguities that can be traced back to the vision of its founders. The College was intended to be an institution that would train Christian Indians as missionaries to their own people – yet it was also committed from the outset to the admission of non-Christian students. The original basis of its curriculum was to be Sanskritic learning,but increasingly student demand pushed the College towards an emphasis on English-medium teaching. The vision of the College was an ecumenical one from the beginning, but in practice the Baptist Missionary Society found few partners willing to shoulder the burden of an expensive institution. Serampore aimed to teach both Christian theology and European science in a synthesis that proved hard to maintain in a more secular age. Despite these challenges, the College has survived and made a lasting contribution to theological education in India.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-31
JournalBaptist Quarterly
Issue number1
Early online date3 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020


  • India
  • Serampore College
  • Baptist Missionary Society
  • theological education
  • William Carey
  • Joshua Marshman
  • John Clark Marshman
  • Lesslie Newbigin


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