Excellence for Service in “Such a Time as This”
In the first book of his popular three-volume magnum opus “Lord of the Rings,” JRR Tolkien narrates a fascinating conversation between Frodo Baggins, the young Hobbit, and Gandalf, the wise wizard. Gandalf explains to Frodo – who is now in possession of the powerful One Ring – the origin and the strange power of the Ring, and that the evil Sauron has returned to capture this Ring, unleashing catastrophic events. Hearing this, an apprehensive Frodo says, “I wish it need not have happened in my time.” “So do I,” replied Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage unabated, we can become anxious – like the young Frodo – in the midst of one of the greatest challenges humankind has ever witnessed, a “once in a century crisis,” as phrased by the noted Indian economist Swaminathan Aiyar. However, this crisis calls for courageous leadership and compassionate service. SAIACS’s mandate is to develop service-oriented scholar leaders, as evidenced by our motto “Excellence for Service.”
In the Indian context, we can trace at least three models of educational system.
One is the elitist model, where access to education remains the right of the privileged few. The second is the entrepreneurial model, where education is viewed as a commercial enterprise to exploit the need for learning. The third one is the empowerment model, where education is seen as service, for the enlightenment and betterment of all mankind.
Education must not be reduced to a mere selfish exercise focused on knowledge acquisition, wealth accumulation and status elevation. Authentic education transforms people as well as prepares and propels them as agents of transformation.
SAIACS, which was started in 1982 in a rented facility with 12 students, has flourished to become one of the preeminent theological institutions in Asia, with over 1300 alumni, serving compassionately in more than 25 countries.
At SAIACS, we have a holistic approach to theological education which integrates the head (cognitive), heart (spiritual) and hands (service), resulting in leaders with a servant heart, sharp intellect and a sanctified life.
The residential programmes are offered in a beautiful 12-acre ecologically conscious campus in Bengaluru, where students learn from world-class professors and from one another in a caring and egalitarian environment, aided by an excellent library with 65,000 books and plenty of e-resources.
Students can choose from a vast array of diverse programmes, like MA, MDiv, MTh and PhD in 8 specializations [Biblical Studies, Old Testament, New Testament, Theology, Church History, Pastoral Theology and Counseling, Religions and Intercultural Studies].
Along with these residential programmes, we also offer excellent online programmes like MA and DMin. We have launched fully online Masters and PG Diploma in several specializations, like Biblical Studies, Leadership, Apologetics and Counselling. By 2022, we plan to have 7 specializations in our Online programme.
We are accredited by the University of Mysore [UoM] as well as Asia Theological Association [ATA]. The tuition fees are kept reasonable with several possibilities of scholarships as well.
As the African proverb wisely states:
“If you want to go fast, travel alone;
If you want to go far, travel together.”
Come! Let us travel together. Even though these pandemic times may be difficult and disheartening, may I invite you to join the family of SAIACS and be equipped for effective service in “such a time as this.”
Will you take the next step and enroll at SAIACS?
Welcome to SAIACS.
Dr Prabhu Singh