Master’s College of Theology (MCT) is our fully-accredited Seminary. With a strong emphasis on practical ministry, each student is required to be actively involved in hands-on ministry while studying with us. Last year we appointed a new Principal, Dr. Samuel George, to oversee Master’s College. We are excited to introduce him to you:Dr. Samuel, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Among my friends I am known as Sam. My parents are missionaries in Jammu & Kashmir (North India) since 1974. I was born and brought up in Jammu in a very devoted missionary family. I have two younger sisters, both are married and serving as missionaries with their family in North India. The only desire of our parents was that all three of us should be in Lord’s ministry.
I had my college education in Jammu. In 1996, I decided to become a minister of God and enrolled for theological education at Bishop’s College, Kolkata (one of the oldest theological institution in India). I completed my Bachelor of Divinity (BD) in 2000. For one year I worked as a missionary theological educator in Punjab (North India). Between 2001-2003 I completed my Masters in Theology (M.Th.) at United Theological College, Bangalore. From 2003 to 2006 I worked as a theological teacher, pastor, missionary at various places in North India. In 2006 God opened a wide door for my Doctoral studies in theology (completed in 2010) at United Theological College, Bangalore (under Serampore University). After which I worked for two years in a seminary in North India and one year in South India. In June 2012 I was invited to be the Principal of Master’s College of Theology (Serampore University). Since then, it has been wonderful faith journey here.
Your wife is also a theological teacher. How did you meet her?
My wife, Atula Ao (she is called Atu), is from Nagaland (North East India). We met during our Master of Theology studies in 2001. She did her Bachelor of Divinity studies at Eastern Theological College (Assam) in 2000, M. Th (Old Testament) in 2003 and has submitted her Doctor of Theology (Old Testament) dissertation in 2011. She too worked as a missionary theological educator in Nagaland, Bangarpet (Karnataka) for seven years.
Due to our cultural and regional differences (which is very strong in the Indian context) we had to wait a long time for family approval for the marriage. After a long wait we got married on January 05, 2013. It was our privilege that, Vision Nationals’ director, Rev. Arjuna Rao delivered the Sermon at our wedding. Since May 2013 she has joined me at Master’s College to continue our God-given ministry. She is a well-known singer (one of the things that attracted me to her).
We are glad to have you both here! How did it come about that you heard of our school and came to be the Principal?
Coming to MCT is something that really surprises me. In February 2012, I received an unexpected call from a close friend of Rev. Arjuna asking me whether I would help them with their seminary. More than a surprise it was a shock for me because I never imagined to be an administrator. I told him that I will pray and let him know.
I prayed to God for God’s guidance on this matter because I am basically a teacher taking up this work and it would be a very big challenge. My parents, sisters, friends, teachers and well-wishers helped me immensely in deciding on applying for the post of principal. I sent my CV and received the invitation for interview. Some time passed and I thought I was probably not chosen, but one fine day I received the call from Rev. Arjuna that the Board of Directors have approved my candidacy and that I am appointed as the Principal of Master’s College of Theology. I arrived at Master’s College on June 12, 2012 and took over the responsibilities. Since then, it has been a wonderful faith journey.
What a beautiful story! I can sense your passion for theological education. Tell me how that came about in you.
It was in 1998 while doing my theological education I realized my calling as an educator. Since then I have prayed and focused on this God-given gift. I strongly feel that theological education is the bedrock of Christian ministry (as primary education is to secular education). Theological education will decide the future of the church. It has to be the prime motif of the church.
Elsewhere, I have written that “Meaningful investments in terms of monetary, physical, and human resources are to be made for developing a church that is theologically sound and ecclesially significant.” This training happens at theological institutions. It is here people are trained for greater exploits in the Church context. I take this ministry very seriously and considers that ‘my classroom is my church, and I am the pastor of it.’ ‘From Monday to Friday I am pastoring my church.’What is your vision for Master’s College of Theology in the coming years?
I took over the responsibilities of MCT at a very crucial and difficult juncture. I have been an ardent academician and my dad has been my spiritual guide who often tells me that “there is no place for lazy people in the vineyard of God.” He often quotes Jeremiah 48:10 to stress this point. I get really upset when I see people who don’t give their complete strength, commitment for the sake of God.
I found that MCT is the right place where I can exercise my vision for theological education. I found in Rev. Arjuna, a personality who is equally committed to this vision of training men and women for the extension of God’s kingdom. I have worked in many theological institutions and on many occasions found that the concept of freedom is just a theory. I am an ardent supporter of ‘freedom with responsibility.’ MCT values freedom with responsibility. MCT is a good place for men and women to train themselves for the gospel of Christ.
That said, my vision for MCT is this:
• To see MCT becoming a highly sought after academically sound theological institution in India.
• To make MCT into an institution where students study Master of Theology (currently we offer Bachelor of Divinity).
• To make MCT library into one of the best theological libraries in India.
• To create a pan-Indian presence of students at MCT (with a special focus of students from North India where the gospel of Jesus Christ is still a distant dream for scores of people).
• To train men and women as future Christian leaders of our nation.
• To make MCT into an Institution with a Difference where students are trained both academically and spiritually.
Master’s College of Theology is committed to training up the next generation of Christian leaders in Asia. We are excited to have Dr. Samuel George as our new principal, and we ask you to pray for him specifically as he continues to lead Master’s College toward the vision God has given him for the school. If you would like more information on Master’s College of Theology, you can email Lauren.
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