A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE COLLEGE
Gospel Mission of India (GMI) is committed to serving the church and people of India spiritually and holistically through various means and programs such as the provision of fresh water, healthcare, and education in underserved areas, the construction of church buildings and community halls in remote places, evangelistic outreaches, and church planting. The organization conducts programmes, seminars, and conferences for church leaders and Christian workers and coordinates humanitarian, evangelistic, and benevolent campaigns. GMI was registered under the Societies Registration Act (of 1860) in 1993 with Reg’d. No. 209/1993.
Through its interaction with the church and society in these outreaches, the organization became aware of the acute need to assist young people who hear the call to Christian service. Many are eager to work in new areas and carry out vital ministries, but they lack the opportunity to study and prepare themselves for their callings. In 1984, GMI began a Diploma in Theology course and trained 30 students each year as evangelists and church planters in underprivileged urban and rural areas.
After 16 years, the need was felt for a full-fledged theological college with recognized degree programmes. Bethel Bible College was started in 2000 to meet this urgent need. Initially, the College offered the M.Div. degree in association with the Asia Theological Association. The college was provisionally affiliated to the Senate of Serampore College (University) from June 2005 to offer B.D. (Bachelor of Divinity) degree studies and the affiliation was confirmed in 2009. Due to the paramount relevance of B.D. (English medium) degree studies in the context of Indian churches and society, the other programmes were discontinued.
The first Principal (2003-2005) of Bethel Bible College was the Rt. Rev. Dr. P. Victor Premasagar (1927-2005), former Moderator of the Church of South India. It is due to his faithful and tireless dedication to the development of the institution that the College was able to move forward and apply for affiliation with Serampore. The College will always cherish his life and memory and his invaluable contributions to the College. Dr. S. Robertson succeeded Bishop Premasagar as the second Principal of the College from November 2005.