South India Biblical Seminary
WGM missionary Rev. Anna McGhie lobbied for a Bible school in India, and in 1937, Rev. James Bishop arrived to make her dream a reality. South India Bible Institute (now South India Biblical Seminary) first opened its doors on November 16, 1937, and has been training Indian young people for Christian ministry ever since.
Originally, SIBS was located in Madras (now Chennai). In the following years, the seminary moved two times (first to Bangalore, then to Kolar) before settling in its current location outside Bangarapet in 1952 atop the hill of Anandagiri (Hill of Joy).
SIBS offers either a two-year Christian Workers Certificate or a four-year Bachelor of Theology degree. Graduates of SIBS go on to serve their own people as pastors, missionaries, youth workers, teachers, and evangelists. With only 2 percent of India’s population being professing Christians, the ability of these graduates to reach areas of the country where Western missionaries cannot, due to government regulations, is vital.
Early students at SIBS were all men; however, by 1942, women were also admitted. Since those early years, SIBS has had students from throughout India and even some from outside the country. Currently, approximately 80 students attend the school each year.
In 1972, SIBS was reorganized into a national organization with an Indian governing board. The seminary was restructured again in 1981 to include the Church of the Nazarene as a partner with World Gospel Mission. A third partner, Immanuel General Mission of Japan, was added in 1984. Most of the seminary’s professors are Indian, with visiting professors serving occasionally.
The Vacation Bible School movement in India was started in 1952 as an outreach of the seminary. The program was originally located on the campus of SIBS but is now a separate department located in Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka. The first VBS in India was conducted in one language and served 75 children. Today, VBS materials are published in 13 languages and reach more than 1.5 million children and young people each year.
GO: Is the Lord calling you to help train Christian leaders in India through South India Biblical Seminary? While government regulations prevent traditional missionaries from entering the country, short-term visiting professors are still needed at SIBS. Could they be waiting for you? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRAY: Pray that South India Biblical Seminary students will continue their ministries while enrolled in school and after graduation. These graduates are able to connect to the country and spread God’s love where missionaries cannot.
Visiting professors are only in India for a short time. Pray that while the professors are visiting and serving in India that they will provide guidance and support to the students, teaching them and sharing with them the love of Christ.