INDIA

MBCBC

Our History

The Mennonite Brethren Centenary Bible College (MBCBC) is one of the oldest seminaries in present Telangana. It was established in 1989 but its origin goes back to 1920. Initially the Mennonite Brethren missionaries who arrived to the region from America trained its pastors and Bible teachers at the Baptist Theological Seminary, Ramayapatnam, near Ongole of Prakasham district of Andhra Pradesh. Later, the American Mennonite Brethren (ABM) missionaries started their own theological school because they felt that the aggressive mission is not possible unless they train ‘native ministers’ in their own environment in which they have to work. Another reason was the candidates were not willing to go to Ramayapatnam Seminary because of the long distance. Therefore, in such situation, the visionary D. F. Bergthold, a pioneer missionary started the Bible School at Nagarkurnool in Mahabubnager District in Andhra Pradesh in 1920 with 25 students. D.F. Bergthold was its first Principal assisted by national team of teachers. The name of this Bible School was M.B. Bethany Bible School. Later this Bible School was shifted to spacious Shamshabad campus, as this place was close to Hyderabad for further development of the Bible School. Bethany Bible School was offering a Certificate course in Theology (C.Th.) in Telugu Medium.

In 1958 an advanced course, Graduate of Theology (G.Th.) was added for the high qualified teachers and for medical workers in English medium and named it as “Bethany Bible Institute & Junior College”. This gave an opportunity to the educated young men & women to attend these courses with great enthusiasm. The successful and committed candidates among them were selected and were sent to Union Biblical Seminary (UBS), Pune. During that time UBS was offering their own degrees so they used to give credit to our G.Th Ist year studies. In 1967, the name of this Bethany Bible School was changed to Mennonite Brethren Bible Institute (MBBI).

 

The leadership of the Conference of the M.B. Church of India, particularly by its President Rev. Dr. P.B. Arnold in late 1980’s felt the need of the qualified B.Th pastors to the congregations, because the average education of the congregation was increased to higher education. In 1988 it was decided to start B.Th progarmme in English medium as there are other 8 sister Mennonite Conferences in India in northern states and by then M.B. churches were spreading into other neighboring states too. As a result, the MBCBC was inaugurated on July 8, 1989 by the President Governing Council Rev. Dr. P. B. Arnold with the 20 students.  Rev. Dr. R.S. Lemuel was the first Principal. The College was stared during Centenary Celebrations’ year (1889-1989 the day of arrival of M. B. Mission to India), therefore, it was named as M. B. Centenary Bible College. This College has been affiliated to the Senate of Serampore College since 1995. Gradually, Dip. C.S. (External), regular B.D., B. Min and PG Dip. in Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies (1 year) also added to the college programs. MBCBC is attracting the students from other denominations, from all over India and even from neighboring countries such as Pakistan, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and African countries like Congo and Ethiopia. In this way, the MBC Bible College has made a significant contribution in training and promoting theological education in India.