Seminary Day 2023 – Oct 1

Published by Jacob P Varghese on

Let us pray for the Seminaries – the Seedbed of our Holy Church.

Seminary is nursery where priests are groomed and bred, a place where the seeds of Spiritual knowledge are sown and nurtured. Nurture is related and derived from the root word Nursery. A Place where plants are seeded, grown, budded, grafted, taken care and transplanted or a place where children are taken care and groomed temporarily, Plant nursery is interpreted as, a ‘breeding ground’ {(Latin – Seminarium – Semin (Seed) + arium (place)}

Our Lord Jesus Christ started this school by selecting, gathering and appointing 12 disciples right from the start of His ministry. He called them to make those fishermen, fishers of men. He called and separated them, so that they fitted and qualified to learn Christ, Preach Christ and acquaint themselves with Christ. Jesus was gathering disciples . He gathered hearers, who would later on be preachers. He brought together, ushers to show the Way to the Triune God. He set up the first School of Christianity.

A biblical basis and rationale for seminary education is revealed in the scriptures. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 28: 19), emphasising the priority on teaching to the disciples. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others (2 Timothy 2: 2); emphasising its purpose on leadership training. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it (Titus 1: 9); laying the emphasis on elders being equipped to articulate and defend the faith.

Christian Nurture is giving right environment and guidance for  a person to become a spiritually oriented person and grow up in faith, in Christ . Most important thing to note is that ‘Nurture’ is not merely teaching, it is a process of acquiring or the effort to inculcate faith in God, a Christian understanding of the world, and a set of moral principles received from the elders of the Church.

The primary mission of the Seminary lies in providing the necessary theological, liturgical, spiritual, and moral foundations for Orthodox faithful to become, as God so wills, good shepherds of His Holy Orthodox Church, paving a way to live a life of Orthodoxy. The living tradition of Orthodox spiritual life, is firmly and deeply rooted in the experience of the early Apostolic Church, as proclaimed by the Apostles, articulated by the Holy Fathers, and manifested fully in the Orthodox Church today and remains for us a source of inspiration and energy, courage and wisdom, patience and tolerance, and moves us to do the work of God here. The Orthodox Theological Seminary has historically grown on the fertile soil of the Orthodox faith and doctrines, supported by the deep faith and love of several generations of Orthodox faithful.


The Orthodox Seminary, founded in 1815 at Kottayam, in Kerala (ancient Malabar) by Ramban Ittoop, a priest-monk of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. This is the first Orthodox Christian school of Theology in Asia, The learned monk from Kunnamkulam carried out with singular courage a major decision of the Church made at Kandanadu in 1809 to start two schools of theology (Padithaveedu), one in the North and the other in the South of Kerala.

The Orthodox Theological Seminary (OTS), known in annals as Pazhaya (Old) Seminary / Kottayam Syrian College, completed 200 years of witness to knowledge and truth. For many reasons, it holds a unique pioneer place among the educational institutions in Kerala and India. It has and continues to render various monumental services to people at large and Christian denominations in particular. Its ministration to the surveillance of Orthodox Christian ideals, especially in the struggles to safeguard internal Church freedom, has made it a venerable centre of Orthodox Christianity.

Starting up as a centre to educate and mould-up clergies of the ancient St. Thomas Christians of India, it eventually became the cradle and headquarters of more than four Christian denominations of the Thomas Christians. The Seminary is today, the seat of highest Orthodox Theological learning and ecumenical dealings in India. The history of the Seminary is essentially part of the chronicle of the heroic struggle of the ancient Orthodox Christian Church of India to preserve its identity, to protect its internal freedom, to strengthen its spirituality and to promote its ideals. Today, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church which is also known as the Indian Orthodox Church is committed to the apostolic task especially through the priestly and theological training programme.

The Old Seminary is a living witness and forum of actions for many great events that took place in and around Kottayam in Central Kerala over the last 200 years. The Seminary was a great witness to a distinctively owned and sustained Christian tradition and also to several surrounding socio-political realities and many religious revivals in the Kerala society. Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, is entrusted and supported by the Malankara Orthodox Church to train priestly candidates and to facilitate, under-graduate and post graduate theological education.

Its Vision and Mission is to continue the ministry of the love of God the Apostles were sent by the Son of God, as He Himself was sent by the Father. The apostolic ministry is carried out by the Church in general while there is the special priestly ministry by the priests in particular.

Let us pray for the Teachers of the Bible, to help us to share the Glory of God!

The history of the Orthodox Theological Seminary is result of the saga of the heroic struggles of the ancient Orthodox Christian community to preserve its identity, strengthen its spirituality and promote its ideals.

  • Spiritual and liturgical formation of the future ministers of the Malankara Orthodox Church.
  • Integration of the Ecclesiastical and Patristic Tradition of the Indian and Oriental Orthodox Heritages.
  • Systematic learning of the scriptural, theological, historical, and sociological foundations of Christian Faith.
  • Modest awareness regarding and objective evaluation of the history and faith-dimensions of the various Christian denominations and different Religious and Secular Traditions of the world.
  • Linguistic, pastoral and professional equipping of leaders, theologians, teachers, preachers, counselors, social-workers etc.
  • Developing Communicative and interactive skills with a clear ‘liberation’-emphasis and an ecumenical outlook in approaches.
  • Task-oriented training to achieve transformation of persons and communities according to the values of the Kingdom of God as evidenced by Jesus Christ.

Let us pray for the Preachers of Bible, to enable us to share Goodness of GOD!!

The St. Thomas Seminary is gradually growing as a centre of the Orthodox Church in Central and North India. Not only does it cater the needs of the diaspora population meaningfully but also does it create a new vision about the mission of the Church in a multi-lingual and multi-religious context. Moreover, the Seminary offers a stage for fruitful dialogues of Christian theologians with people of other faith affirmations. In future, women of the Orthodox Church, who wish to study theology and to reflect to the challenges of the world will find it as a place, where their ideas will be influencing the theology of the Church.

Let us pray for the Torchbearers of the Church, to guide us to lead a holy, Christ-like life!!!



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