The Overseas Council’s Institute of Excellence is just over at SAIACS CEO Center in Bangalore (25-28 January, 2016). Prof. T M George (Board Member- New India Evangelistic Association) extreme left, Dr. Jaison Thomas (Principal-New India Bible Seminary) extreme right and Rev. Shaji C D (Academic Dean) represented the seminary at the Institute. On the theme of ‘Outcome-based Assessment of Theological Education in South Asia’, partner schools engaged in reflective learning and strategic planning for transformative training in their contexts.
New India Bible Seminary started as a partner school with OC in 2014. The first association, however, happened earlier in 2010 when Dr. Jaison was invited to present a paper on Church-Seminary Relationship in theological Education at the Institute of Excellence held in Kandy, Sri Lanka in 2010 was well received and reflected upon. Dr. Graham Cheesman (UK), who mentored Dr. Jaison’s Ph D research, was instrumental in creating this link through Scott Cunningham, the Vice President of the International Partnerships of the Overseas Council in 2010. As the rigorous planning and discussions continued across theological institutions, Dr. Jessy presented another paper on “Evaluation and Innovation: Possibilities of Theological Education” at the Institute of Excellence in Colombo, in 2014, leading to deeper level thinking on the two most vital dimensions in training such as Evaluation and Innovation.
Upholding the evangelical foundation and the centrality of God’s Word, and also, in view of the pertinent needs for the revitalization in theological education, NIBS is treading the path of transformational theological training. The OC Institutes of Excellence has been playing vital roles in guiding our thinking in this direction. The partnership has been an immense nourishment to NIBS where 57 language groups from South Asia are represented and being equipped for ministry. Discussions are underway for a campus visit by Dr. Scott Cunningham and Dr. Ashish Chrispal in October 2016.
New India Bible Seminary is one of the five Bible training institutes of NIEA, through whose mandate committed men and women are equipped for strategic leadership service to the Church in India and beyond. Over 400 men and women are in various levels of equipping and training.
The task is enormous and laborers are few. God is calling us to build lives that will act on His bidding. “It is He who gives some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” (Ephesians 4:11-12).
Therefore, with all diligence we continue to “proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.” (Colossians 1:28).