Initiatives of ‘Bold Theological Vision’
The revival of Gurukul in 1985 brought about new insights in theological thinking and training in Christian ministry. These new insights were conceptualised and incorporated in the entire programme – teaching, training and continuing education – of the College as ‘new thrusts’. This Bold Vision, calls for a praxis-oriented theological theory and practice; action and reflection, which include concerns for:
Women empowerment for equality in both church and society expressed through the introduction of courses on Gender studies in theological education programme of the Senate of Serampore College, encouraging women to become forerunners in the mission of the Church. Gurukul is the first theological institution in India to establish a department of Women’s studies, later renamed as Gender Studies. Priorities are given to women in scholarships, appointments, publication resources, etc.
DALIT Studies is another pioneering area in theology with concern for the caste-based oppressed people in India, who comprise majority in the Indian Church. A separate department of Dalit Theology is established to develop courses in Dalit theology at the B.D., and M.Th. levels and to organise seminars and consultations to highlight the issues faced by Dalits in the Indian society and the Church. Gurukul is a leading and pioneering theological institution concerned about publication of theological literature on Dalit issues.
THE TRIBAL/ADIVASI STUDIES:
THE TRIBAL/ADIVASI Studies is a new intuitive of Gurukul. Considering the distinct issues facing Tribals/Adivasis in all realms of life, the need of such separate study is felt utmost necessity. For in India today, they are the most marginalized, most exploited and the most displaced people. Economically, the poorest of the poor living in extreme poverty, politically the weakest, socially the most neglected and looked down, and religiously and theologically the most insignificant. The issues concerning Tribal/Adivasi are studied and addressed ever since the emergence of Tribal and Adivasi Theologies in various theological institutions, and yet, much more things are to be done towards freedom, identity and dignity of Tribals and Adivasis in India. To meet such challenge, Gurukul stands as an alternative study centre for theological action.
Though communication is primordial in nature, its theological significance and importance has been realised only during the later half of the last century. Seeing the incredible developments in this field has made people to call the 21st Century, a century of Communication. Its significance is seen in every walk of life to develop human relationships on the one hand and the marvels of new media on the other. Hence, pastoral training needs to be given importance to this new trend, as pastors are basically communicators, whose daily activities involve in relationship building, preaching, teaching, administration, etc., and which requires better skills in communication. Gurukul responds to these challenges by introducing new and innovative courses in all aspects of communication from a Christian perspective, including computer applications to its students. It endeavours to make the fruits of new communication technology available to students so that the students can have easy access to books, periodicals, archival materials for research using computer skills.
GREEN THEOLOGY is a reflection on the emergence of a new awareness and response for protecting our world and its environment. As a theological response Green Theology aims to understand Christian doctrines and Church’s teachings in the light of ecology and environment. The Green Theology is another pioneering effort of Gurukul to develop courses with concern for care of the earth and aims to contextualize theological education that is relevant to the realities of our contemporary times from the perspectives of Ecology and environment.
INTERFAITH RELATION:In a multi-faith and secular context everyone has the right to be understood and the duty to understand. It is proper to compare positive aspects of one religious community with the positive dimensions of another. Good understanding of our neighbours or friends of other faiths helps to us grow in maturity. Against this background Gurukul started a programme on interfaith relation. Gurukul is working together with “Ecumenical Dialogue Centre”, an initiative of the United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India (UELCI) towards a healthy relation among all communities at the grass root level.