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About Us | What Is Presbyterian

Our Seminary identifies itself as Presbyterian. It is also correct to call it a Reformed Seminary. What do these terms mean? Reformed and Presbyterian Christianity belongs to the center of historic Christian faith. It is not a cult that originated recently. Theologically, it accepts Bible alone as the ultimate standard of faith and practice. A bit of history

The beginning of "Reformed" and "Presbyterian" Christianity can be traced to the Protestant Reformation that took place in the sixteenth century in Europe. The Protestant Reformation was a recovery of the gospel of Jesus Christ taught in the Bible and by all the great Fathers of the Church such as Augustine and Athanasius. This historic faith was recovered during the Protestant Reformation by the Reformers. All Protestant churches today – Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, etc. – trace their origin to the Protestant Reformation.

John Calvin (1509-64) of Geneva was perhaps the greatest theologian of the Protestant Reformation. As a scholar and as a Pastor, he worked hard to state and defend the gospel of Jesus Christ in all its purity and glory. Reformed and Presbyterian churches, and later divisions like the Baptists, originated from this Calvinistic stream.Reformed and Presbyterian missionaries came to India beginning in the mid-1830’s. They came from USA, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, etc. Reformed and Presbyterian churches were established all over our country. Many great colleges and hospitals (Wilson College, Christian Medical College, Vellore) were established by these missions. Many of these institutions are still rendering service to our people. Many of the churches established by these missions became part of the Church of South India (CSI) and the Church of north India (CNI). In fact, the major groups within these ecumenical churches were Reformed and Presbyterian at one time. Today there are many small and big churches that identify themselves as Reformed and Presbyterian. The Presbyterian Church of India (PCI) in the northeast is a very large denomination. There are many Presbyterian groups in the Himalayan region. PTS was established by what is now known as the Reformed Presbyterian Church of India (RPCI), which had its presence mostly in north India. Today, several new Presbyterian groups are actively involved in establishing churches in all parts of the country, in Nepal, and in other places in South Asia.

Worldwide, Presbyterian and Reformed churches are a large communion. While historically their roots are in Europe and America, they are strong in many countries of Asia and Africa as well. South Korea has very large Presbyterian churches. Some of the great names in the history of the Christian church affirmed the Reformed faith, if not Presbyterianism (see below for the difference). William Carey, Charles Spurgeon, Alexander Duff, John Wilson, A.G. Hogg, the Scudders, etc. belong to the Calvinistic branch of Christianity.