I am immensely delighted to warmly welcome all of you to the 7th Bachelor of Divinity graduation ceremony of Bethel Bible College. On behalf of the BBC Board members, staff and students, I earnestly greet you in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude that all of you have gracefully accepted our invitation to bless the occasion. Thanks be to God.
BBC is grateful to Rev. Scott Alan Norling for his continuous journey with Gospel Mission of India and his readiness to deliver the graduation address this day. We are grateful to Mrs. Melody Norling for being part of the ceremony.
We profoundly thank Rev. Dr. P.N.S. Chandra Bose, the General Secretary of Gospel Mission of India and the President of Bethel Bible College for his inspiring leadership and constant efforts to mobilize necessary resources for the smooth functioning of the college. In spite of dwindling resources, his commitment to financially support and train called-out men and women for God’s ministry from the economically and socially disadvantaged section of the society is constant. We witness, today, the fruition of his determination and dedication as we prepare to confer College diploma on 27 BD students, in addition to the 246 earlier graduates.
BBC is indebted to the Rt. Rev. Dr. P.C. Sing, Bishop of Jabalpur Diocese of the Church of North India, the deputy moderator of CNI, the President of NCCI and vice- president of the Bible Society of India for accepting to grace the occasion and to commission the graduating students.
We are indeed thankful to the Rt. Rev. Dr. Chinnabathini Bhagyaiah, the Catholic Bishop of Guntur Diocese, for accepting our invitation to greet and bless us.
Dr. Leela Bose, Member of the Board of directors and director of GMI Educational Institutions deserves our appreciation as she is integral to every aspect of the life and functioning of the college. Her presence and financial assistance is always available to the students, be it sports events or chapel development.
Mr. Jeevan Sylvanus, Chief Operational Officer-GMI, and Chairman- Olive Tree Creative Works is very special to BBC. His constant support and participation in the life of BBC adds fillip. In fact, he is fully sponsoring the entire physical arrangements for the graduation service and the ensuing dinner. His wife Dr. Raga Deepika is always ready to extend her helping hands to our students. We thank both of them for their generosity and dedication for God’s work.
Rev. Dr. Mani Chacko, General Secretary of the Bible Society of India is one of our Board Members and academic adviser. We are thankful to him for making Hebrew and Greek bibles available to our students and greeting the graduating students with a gift from BSI.
We thank Dr. Joseph Paturi, (Trans-world Ministries) for accepting to be a Promotional Director of BBC and for supporting 25 students to cover their subsidized scholarship granted by the college.
Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, USA sponsors two BD students. We thank Rev. James H. Rockey, pastor and Mrs. Lois Schaefer, USA for their commitment for theological education and assuring us their continuous partnership.
Rev. Pau Za Khup and Mrs. Dorathy Khup are pursuing different ways to promote BBC and we thank them for their useful inputs.
BBC sincerely thanks ISPCK and Dr. Chakko Joseph for gifting our graduating students with books and compact Discs (study tools) respectively.
We are also grateful to all the churches, organizations and individuals who sponsor and recommend students to BBC. Special thanks to Indian Missionary Society (IMS) for sponsoring six students from Odisha. We thank all those who in one or another way contributed to the ministry of BBC. Hearty thanks to all the other dignitaries, graduating students, guests, parents, friends, professors and BBC family.
Congratulations to all graduating students who have successfully completed all the requirements pertaining to BD degree studies and are eligible to the award of Bethel Bible College Diploma, this day. I also congratulate the recipients of special awards.
Students, Faculty and Staff
For the academic year 2016-17, thirty-two new students, including six women, were given admission for the BD degree program. The session started with an opening service on the 12th June 2016. The total number of students in the BD degree studies during the academic year 2016-17 is one hundred six.
Along with BD internal studies BBC has enrolled 38 students for Bachelor of Christian Studies and 15 students for Diploma in Christian studies, as external students, during the current academic year. We thank Dr. B.G. Reddy for all the initiatives to have an external study centre of BBC in Tirupati.
During the academic year 2016-17 thirteen faculty members taught BD courses of the Serampore College curriculum. Their dedicated service, endurance, unconditional cooperation and exemplary life are behind today’s celebration. Special words of gratitude to all the faculty members who held different responsibilities in addition to the regular teaching assignments.
Mr. Maongtoshi Walling (History) who was on study leave, completed his D.Th.(Doctor of Theology) residential requirements and joined the faculty in June 2016. Mr. Viju Wilson (Theology) who is waiting to defend his D.Th. thesis (viva-voce) joined the faculty in June 2016.
We sincerely acknowledge the dedicated services of all the non-teaching staff of BBC and the student leaders who made our life comfortable.
Activities and Events
BBC students organized a freshers day program on the 26th June 2016 to welcome the new students. The students felicitated the faculty members on the 5th September 2016 as a part of teacher’s day celebration. They also organized a talent night program on the 10th September 2016 for the BBC family.
Three of our students represented BBC in a National Consultation on “Environmental Justice: Issues and Challenges” held between 5th and 7th July, 2016 at Ecumenical Christian Centre, Bangalore.
Two students participated in a three day Workshop on Religion and Sexuality for Seminary Students, jointly organized by Ecumenical Christian Centre, Aneka Trust & NCCI, in Bangalore between July 26 and 28, 2016.
One student attended a three day seminar on “Challenges to Christian Ministry and faith” organized by the Board of Theological Education of the Senate of Serampore College (BTESSC), in HMI, Hyderabad, between 19th and 21st of November 2016.
Two students represented BBC in a conference on “Hermeneutics from a Palestinian perspective”, held between 22nd and 24th of November, 2016 at SCMI, Bangalore.
Two students represented BBC in a writers workshop with the theme Prophetic writings organized by SCMI and BTESSC at Bangalore between 16th and 18th of February 2017.
Dr. Joseph Paturi, president, Trans-world Ministries has been a regular source of encouragement to the BD students through his lectures and study materials. Mr. Stephen Ham and Mr. David Chakranarayan, from Answers in Genesis held two days seminar at BBC between 27th and 28th January 2017, on the issues confronting science and the Bible. Dr. Nagy Iskander from London held five days seminar at BBC between 27th February and 3rd March 2017, on the issues in the first eleven chapters of Genesis. Both the seminars were insightful and helped the students to develop new perspectives on many complex issues.
We celebrated college foundation day cum sports day on the 6th November 2016 to thank God for His abundant grace and marvelous guidance upon the institution and to refresh BBC family with some games and sports. The College celebrated Christmas on 10th December 2016 before the students left for Christmas vacation.
As we are drawing closer to this academic year the student body organized a farewell program to the graduating students on the 5th March 2017. The graduating students, in return, hosted a thanks giving service on the 12th March 2017.
This is our twelfth year with the BD degree program and the seventh BD graduation. The significance of number seven is obvious in BBC family as we could make 30 benches, an elevated platform, a new podium, mike, curtains, carpet, lights and cushions for communion service in the chapel with the help of present graduating students, continuing students, former students, individuals and Dr. Leela Bose.
BBC very humbly remembers with gratitude to God that until today 273 BD graduates have been prayerfully prepared and dedicated to God’s ministry (details in the order of service). These graduates represented 16 different states, 21 different churches/denominations and different language groups. 64% of BBC graduates are doing pastoral ministry, 13% of them are in teaching/ higher studies (M.Th. and D.Th) and 9% serve as missionaries. Others are engaged in different forms of ministry including pioneering works.
We thank God for the life and commitment of the 27 graduating students (details in the order of service booklet). They are fully equipped to serve God in all situations. It is true that we shall miss their fellowship but it is our joy that they are molded to create larger fellowship for the glory of God. We wish them God’s blessing as they step out into the wider arena of ministry with multiple challenges and possibilities.
Bethel Bible College