ORTHODOX THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
(In the path of its bi-centenary)
1815: Pulikkottil Ittoop Ramban (later Sabha Jyothis Joseph Mar Dionysius I, +1816, entombed at the Old Seminary Chapel), one of the great visionaries ever, founded the Seminary in the magnificent location in 1815, where it stands now. As a place of academic excellence and linguistic learning, this place was initially referred to as “Cottayam College”. This is the first English Education Centre in Travancore and the first Non-Catholic Seminary in India. This place has been, the seat of the Malankara Metropolitans for many decades. During the two centuries, the Seminary trained thousands of leaders for the Church, both lay and ordained.
The following are the chronological highlights:
1909: Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius II (Dionysius V) who became instrumental in the strengthening of the Spiritual Organizations of the Church, and who has led the Church in the times of turmoil and difficulties, has entered into eternal abode on 11 July 1909, and is entombed here.
1934: St. Geevarghese Mar Dionysius, VI, Malankara Metropolitan, who was declared a saint in 2003, was the defender of the freedom of the Church. He took the lead role in the all round organization of the Church, 1934; entered into eternal rest and entombed at the Old Seminary Chapel on 23 February 1934.
1942: The Seminary was moved to the MD Campus
1959: The Courses at the Seminary were restarted on the Old Seminary Campus
1965: 150th Anniversary, when the Seminary sought its affiliation to the Serampore University.
1974: The Sophia Centre, venue for lay training, Conferences, Seminars and out-reach programs, were opened.
1980: Commenced the joint ecumenical venture of ‘Federated Faculty for Research in Religion and Culture’ (FFRRC), for the Post Graduate and Doctoral Studies.
1984: Divyabodhanam, the theological training program for the laity was commenced. The program has now further grown to three tiers progressively offering the Proficiency, Diploma and Graduate Courses.
The Library Archives dedicated to Vattasseril Geevarghese Mar Dionysius started functioning.
1986: Inauguration of the Orthodox Seminary Book Stall.
1988: The ‘Sruti School of Liturgical Music’ was commissioned on the Campus offering Diploma Courses in ‘Church Music’
1996: ‘Soomoro’ Choir was formed. ‘Prathyasa Counselling Centre’ has started functioning, offering Diploma Courses in ‘Christian Counselling’.
H. G. Dr. Paulos Mar Gregorios Metropolitan, who was the Principal of the Seminary from 1967, became instrumental in giving a new face to the Seminary. On 24 November 1996, His Grace entered into eternal rest and is entombed here.
2002: The enjoined Block (Smriti) constituting the Managing Committee Hall, the Ecumenical Hall and the Library and Archives respectively commemorating the blessed memories of H. H. Baselios Marthoma Mathews I, H. G. Philipose Mar Theophilos and H. G. Dr. Paulos Mar Gregorios was opened.
Apart from the above, the last one decade has witnessed the commencement of Baselios Augen I memorial Syriac Library, Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius Memorial Micro-electronic Library, Language Lab, Saroopya School of Sacred Art of Iconography, Orthodox Pastoral Educational Network (OPEN), a Digital Recording Studio, and Baselios Geevarghese II Language Lab & Computer Centre. Finally, the Seminary is recognized by the Postal Service of India releasing a stamp of the Seminary