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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

I. THEOLOGICAL STUDIES (Under Serampore system)

I.          THEOLOGICAL STUDIES (Under Serampore system)

Theological studies  

Q-1:     What is theological Study?

A.        Academic studies dealing with the knowledge of God/divine, religious doctrines and philosophy, religious traditions etc., are considered to be theological studies.  In the context of Serampore College (University), it is meant, studies in Christian religion tradition and theology.

Q-2      What is the purpose of Serampore offering degrees in Theology?

A.        Serampore College Act is meant for the College to offer degrees in the Faculty of Theology for the diversified ministries of the Church, therefore its degrees are meant for the ministries of the Church and for Christians.  Most of the graduates of Serampore College (University) take up the priest-hood as their profession/vocation in the church.

Q-3      Does it mean that Serampore degrees are not open to people of other faiths?

A.        A few of Serampore diploma/degree are meant for all.  Serampore College offers Diploma in Christian Studies, Diploma in Bible Translation and Bachelor of Christian Studies to anyone who wishes to study Christianity as an academic discipline.

Q-4      But why not offer the same degrees to the people of other faiths?

A.        Serampore degrees are not meant to be for all as they are Christian and Church specific.  It, however, does not bar anyone from receiving theological degrees.  Senate is empowered to offer theological degrees, if need be, to people of other faiths and ideologies, but its nomenclatures may perhaps have to be different than the theological degrees offered by the Senate to the Christians.

Q-5      Why not initiate such a process?

A.        The need is not so far felt, therefore, Senate has not ventured into this option.  Moreover, such studies are available in various secular universities in India through their departments of Religion and Philosophy and Christian Studies.  Banaras Hindu University, Vishva Bharti University, University of Patiala, University of Mysore, University of Madras, Madurai-Kamraj University and Pondicherry University are such centres of studies in Religion.

Q-6.     Is there any professional course available to graduates?

A         Diploma in Pastoral Care and Counselling (DCPC) is available to graduates with work experience in some kind of ministry.

Admission Process
Q-1:     I want to study theology, what should I do?

A.        For information on the subject, enquire from Serampore College (Theology Department) and the colleges listed under affiliated colleges.  Normally queries should be made a year in advance.

Q-2      Can we make queries about admission etc through e-mail?

A.        All queries concerning admission should be made in writing by post to the Senate and principals of the colleges.  This is necessary for authenticity.
Q-3      What is the procedure one should follow for admission in residential courses?

A.        Colleges have their own procedures, and one should contact the colleges well in advance.
General pattern is as follows:
1.  Queries to be made to the colleges minimum of six months in advance through the Principal.
2.   Fill up the application form of the college-concerned with all the documents as instructed;
3.   Selection process includes entrance examination, normally in General Knowledge, Bible Knowledge and English;
4.   Personal interviews are also conducted.
5.   Admissions are based on the completion of this process and students are informed accordingly.


Q-1:     What are the courses offered as external studies for graduate students?

A.        Bachelor of Christian Studies (BCS) and Diploma in Bible Translation (DipBT) are offered as external studies, directly under Senate as well as through Colleges.

Q-2:     What is difference between external studies through the colleges and through the Senate?

A.        Colleges and Senate offer external studies through contact seminars and guided studies.  Colleges are permitted to evaluate a few prescribed courses of their candidates, while those registered through the Senate have to appear in all papers as Senate examined courses.
External programmes of the Senate are conducted through its Centre, SCEPTRE in Kolkata.

Q-3:     Is there another external course for graduates in theology?

A.        Doctor of Ministry is also offered as external course for graduates in theology.  The course is meant for persons with pastoral/ministerial experience only.  Details are available at the web-site.

Q-4:     Are there any other external courses for under-graduates?

A.        Diploma in Christian Studies (DipCS) and Diploma in Bible Translation are the courses available to any one who wishes to pursue theological studies for specific purpose of understanding Christian faith and engage in the translation of Scriptures.  These courses are meant for anyone without any reference to religion and creed.

Q-5:     Why BD and MTh degrees are not offered through external studies?

A.        These degrees are meant for pastoral and special ministries of the Church, therefore they are residential.  Moreover, they involve spiritual formation, pastoral orientation and supervised practical training in ministry.

Q-6:     When can I apply for admission in external programmes?
A.        Normally colleges admit students for external courses in January.
For details, contact colleges offering such programmes.

Admission requirements

Q.1      What is minimum requirement for admission to Serampore course?

A.        Eligibility to admission depends upon the study undertaken.For under-graduate diploma courses, minimum educational requirement is eighth class pass.  Such students are required to pass qualifying examinations.  For direct admission, minimum requirement is 10+ 2.

For graduation in theology, minimum requirement is a recognized university degree.
For post-graduate diploma, graduation is required.

Matured students, with some experience, also have privilege to study theology after passing matured candidacy examination.

Q-2:     Does Serampore recognise degrees from associations/accrediting bodies? 

A         Serampore does not have that provision, but it does have some qualifying examination system for admission to Serampore degree course.

Q-3      I have completed BTh from ATA; am I qualified for admission in Serampore BD?

Q-4:     I have Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree from non-Serampore institution, can I do Serampore MTh?
A.       M. Div course from recognized universities is accepted for higher studies under Serampore.
Serampore, however, has so far not recognized non-Serampore M.Div for admission to its degree course.  Such candidates can do higher studies in other universities, or accredited institutions.
Q-5:     Is there any age bar for admission in theological studies?
Minimum age for commencing theological studies is 18 years.  Serampore does not impose other than this for theological studies.  Affiliating colleges, however, may have some restrictions for admission.
Q-6:     I have a degree from Open University system; can I pursue theological education?
Degree obtained with basic 10 or 10plus school education is recognized for admission to theological colleges under Serampore system.

Post-Serampore studies

Q-1:     I have Serampore degree, which universities can I join for higher degree?
A.        It is entirely a prerogative of universities to recognize or not to recognize degree of foreign universities.  One just has to apply, and wait for their reply.
Q-2:     I have Serampore degree and I want to go abroad for higher education.  Where can I apply?
A.        A list of few universities and institutions are provided in our web-site.  They are reported to have given admission to our graduates; and may help you too.
Listing of foreign universities/institutions does not mean that they are bound to give you admission; they often consider cases on their own merit.
Q-3:     Can I have higher education in Indian Universities?
A.        A list of Indian universities which recognize Serampore degree for higher education is provided in the web-site.
Most of these universities recognize BD for admissions in MA degrees in Philosophy, Sociology and English.  A few for B Ed too.
A few universities now recognize MTh for doctoral studies.
Q-4:     I have approaching a university which is not listed in your web-site for higher studies on the basis of Serampore degree; in case it does not admit me, what can I do?
A.        You can only apply for admission and request for equivalence for Serampore degree.  In that case, you request the Registrar/Head of Department to officially ask from us documents for consideration.
Documents often required are: University Act, regulation, Syllabus.
Q-5:     I have BTh from Serampore, can I be admitted for higher degree in secular universities?
A.        Serampore BTh has replaced Serampore LTh which was recognized by some universities, on the strength of its recognition by Calcutta University, for admission to BA degree course. After the withdrawal of LTh, Serampore did not approach Calcutta University, or any other university, for the recognition of BTh degree.
Q-6:     What about BCS degree?
A.        No student has applied to any university for it recognition so far.

Over-sea student

Q-1:     I am a non-resident Indian, Can I study external degree courses offered by Serampore?
A.        Serampore do not register students who are residing outside India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Q-2:     I have registered for external courses, but have to go abroad.  Can I appear in examination there?
A.        Senate does not have examination centres out-side India except in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
One is expected to inform the Senate so that period of registration and examination can be extended.
Q-3:     I am not an Indian citizen, and also not residing in India, can I be admitted in a theological college affiliated to Serampore College?
A.        One has to apply for visa for studies in India.  Granting or not granting the Visa is the prerogative of the Government, and one has to go through the process.

Academic session

Q.1      What are the academic session followed by the Senate?
A.        Senate follows two academic sessions:
June-April                    (for all residential courses)
Jan-Dec                       (for all external curses)

Teaching under Serampore system

Q-1:     What is minimum qualification to teach under Serampore System?
A.        MTh from Serampore, or its equivalent is the minimum requirement for teaching in an affiliated college.
Q-2:     I have higher degree from foreign university; does Serampore recognize it for teaching purposes in its affiliated institution?
A.        Serampore College (University) recognizes degrees from all institutions which are formed by an Act of the parliament/state legislatives, or recognized by Ministries of Education of the parent country.
Normally, Serampore College does not recognized degrees from accreditation bodies, or association of professional body, unless degrees are also recognized by universities for higher education in the parent countries.

II.       DOCUMENTS           

Q-1:     I have completed theological studies under Serampore, how will I get my mark-sheet?
A.        One has to apply on a prescribed form, available at colleges and Senate office.  All forms have to be forwarded through the Principal of the college where student has graduated.
External students can send the form as per the instruction provided in the form.
Fresh graduates will receive their mark-sheet only after convocation, though they can apply after the declaration of their results.
Q-2:     I have not attended the Convocation, how can I receive my degree?
A.        One has to apply on a prescribed form, available at colleges and Senate office.  All forms have to be forwards along with the prescribed fee, through the Principal of the college from where student has graduated.
Q-3:     I need to change my name in document, what I am supposed to do?
A.        One has to submit an affidavit on a non-judicial stamp paper, duly signed by a judicial magistrate and have to be submitted in original to the Senate.
One can also submit the official gazette, notifying change of name.
Marriage certificate, in case of spinster, is also accepted for the change of name.
Names are not changed retrospectively; change is applied only in the cases of present studies and documents yet to be issued.
Q-4:     My name is misspelled, how to get it corrected?
A.        One has to submit relevant document for the change; normally higher degree certificate, with corrected name, is accepted, otherwise one has to submit an affidavit on a non-judicial stamp paper, duly signed by a judicial magistrate, in original to the Senate.
Q-5:     I have lost my original degree certificate, can I get another?
A.        One can have a duplicate degree certificate; but has to submit the requisition form along with an affidavit on a non-judicial stamp paper, duly signed by a judicial magistrate, in original to the Senate, stating the document is irrevocably lost.
One can also submit a copy of the FIR lodged for the loss, if a theft is taken place.
Q-6:     I wish to pursue higher education in another university, how can I get my migration certificate?
If one has submitted his/her migration/School leaving certificate during the time of registration, one has to apply on prescribed form along with prescribed fee to receive migration certificate.
Q-7:     I have not submitted migration certificate to Serampore, can I claim for migration certificate after completion of Serampore degree?
A.        If one has not submitted her/his migration certificate during the time of registration for Serampore course, one can apply for migration-equivalence certificate on the payment of prescribed fee along with the prescribed form.
Q-8:     What is the fee-structure charged for the documents?
A.        Following are the fee charged for documents (as applied in 2010).  They may change as per the decision of the Senate:
Transcript of Marks                                         250/-
Verification of documents                               200/-
Duplicate certificate                                         1000/-
Migration Certificate                                        200/-
Migration-equivalent certificate                            200/-
In-absentia fee                                                 500/-
Postage charges for sending the documents
India                100/-
Foreign              500/-
Q-1:     How come a college is university?

A.        The College was established in 1818 for the ‘instruction of Asiatic Christian and other youths in eastern literature and European science’.  It was moulded in the manner of Fort William College which was functioning since 1800 where William Carey was one of the Professors.

It was the King of Denmark who bestowed the power to the College through its Council to confer degrees, and Serampore College became a unique college with such a distinction.
It is common now for a college/institution to be a degree-granting university.  In India, many colleges, institutions of specialized excellence have been grated university status as per the UGC Act-1956.  Some are termed as autonomous institutions, others deemed as universities.

Q-2:     What kind of university Serampore College is?
A.        Under the provisions of the Royal Danish Charter of 1827, Serampore College is a full-fledged university empowered to grant academic degrees in any branch/branches of knowledge.  It is a unitary university, in the sense that it shall grant such degrees and honours only to the students who are registered with, and studied at, the College.
Serampore College Act-1918, enacted by Bengal Legislative Assembly, has kept that character in tact through its Article 13, yet allowing the College to be an affiliating university as far as its Faculty of Theology is concerned.
Serampore College (University) thus has a unique distinction to be a unitary and an affiliating university at the same time, though it is functioning as an affiliating university in theology only.
Q-3:    Does Serampore College (University) offer degrees in other branches of knowledge than theology?
A.        Serampore College Act of 1918 has made Serampore College as the Theological University, and as such Serampore College as a University does not offer degrees in any other Faculty than Theology.  It can do so any time, if it satisfies the Government and fulfils the conditions laid down under Article 13 of the Act.
Degrees in Arts, Science and Commerce are offered at Serampore College, but they are through University of Calcutta.
Visit website of the Serampore College for further details.
Q-4:     Why other universities do not grant degrees in theology?
A.        University Act-1904 did not recommend Indian universities to grant degree in theology.  But this does not prevent them from granting degrees in theology.
Q-5:     It is all confusing: Serampore College (Arts-Science-Commerce), Serampore College (Theology), Senate of Serampore College, Serampore College (University)? 
A.        Confusion is natural and unavoidable as college was established as an educational institutional which later became a university.  It is for this reason many phrases are used to describe Serampore College.
Q-6:     How best can we understand Serampore College?
A.        Serampore College is a System, an Institution, an Organization.
First, and foremost, it is a teaching institution.  As such, it has two departments:  Arts-Science-Commerce, and Theology.  The expressions Serampore College (ASC) and Serampore College (Theology) is often used for such distinction.
At the same time Serampore College is a University; distinct from its departments.  In order to highlight this distinction, the expression Serampore College (University) is often used.
Q-7:     How does Serampore College (University) operate?
A.        Serampore College as University operates through its Senate, which is the creation of Serampore College Act-1918.    Senate is often known as Senate of Serampore College as well as Senate of Serampore College (University).
It is to be understood that Senate is not the University, Serampore College is.
Q-8:     What are the duties assigned to the Senate?
A.        Article 11 of Serampore College Act-1918 has assigned Senate following duties:  The Senate shall frame courses of study and make rules for the conduct of examinations, and shall, subject to the control of the Council, determine the qualifications for degrees and diplomas and do and perform all other matters and thing necessary or proper for or relating to the determination of the eligibility of candidates for degrees, diplomas and certificates to be conferred by the Council.
Q-9:     How does the Senate function?
A.        Senate is an eighteen-member body, appointed by the Council, representing major Christian denominations, professors/functionaries/officials of the College and College Faculty.  It makes rules and regulations for convening its meetings and for the proper conduct of its business.  Principal of Serampore College convenes the meeting of the Senate, President of the Senate is the chief administrator and the Registrar is the executive officer of the Senate. They all are the members of the Senate.
Q-10:   Does University Grant Commission (UGC) recognize Serampore College (University)?
A.        The Commission, in 1957, recognized the fact that Serampore College is functioning as a University in the Faculty of Divinity under a Bengal Legislative Act (Act No. IV of 1918).
Serampore College receives grants from UGC and the West Bengal Government for the development of the College in its Art-Science-Commerce Department, but not for Theology.
Q-11:   What about the recognition from the International Association of Universities (IAU) and UNESCO?
A.        They have noted that Serampore College is a unique institution, granting degrees in Theology; but it can be accepted into the Association as IAU does not allow religious and military universities.  The moment, Serampore commences offering degrees in other Faculties, it can be a member of IAU.

Q-1:     What is affiliation?  
A.        Affiliation often refers to the act of becoming formally connected to, or joined with, a university under its terms, conditions and criteria.
Q-2:     What is accreditation?  
A.        Accreditation is a process in which certification of competency, authority, or credibility is granted.  Organizations that issue credentials or certify third parties against official standards are themselves formally accredited by accreditation bodies.  The accreditation process ensures that their certification practices are acceptable; that institutions are competent to test and certify third parties.
Educational accreditation is a type of quality assurance process under which services and operations of an educational institution or program are evaluated by an external body to determine if applicable standards are met. If standards are met, accredited status is granted by the agency.
Q-3:     Does affiliating universities recognize accreditation?  
Accreditation in university system is often done through its equivalence system where academic credentials are recognised equivalent to degrees/diplomas of the university with that of others for the purpose of admission.
Q-4:     Is Serampore an affiliating university or an accreditation body?
A.        Serampore College (University) is an affiliating Theological University and offers courses for its degree and diploma programmes through Serampore and affiliated Colleges.  It does not act as an accreditation Body.
Q-5:     We are engaged in theological education, can we affiliate to Serampore College?

A.        If an institution is related to a Church and is registered under the law of the land, it can apply for affiliation as per rules formulated by the Senate.  Enquiries can be addressed to the Registrar.


Q-1:     BD is claimed to be a post-graduate degree, but its nomenclature is that of a bachelor degree.

As BD degree is pursued after graduation, it is considered to be a post-graduate degree.  In the Faculty of Law, first degree LLB is also a post-graduate degree, though it is pursued after graduation in any faculty.

Q-2:     Why not to have post graduate nomenclature such as Master of Divinity (MDiv)?

A.  May not have any problem, but history and tradition are stronger.  Their support is in favour of BD and its continuance.

Q-3:     Serampore College can also institute BA/MA/PhD in theology too?

If need and demand favours such a decision, the Senate and the Council may consider the suggestion.

Q-4:     What are the  honorary degrees awarded by Serampore?

Council of Serampore, at present, confers an honorary degree, Doctor of Divinity (DD) to eminent persons who have served the Church and Society.

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