ACADEMY OF INTEGRATED CHRISTIAN STUDIES
In response to the challenges that arise from contemporary church and society in India in general and Northeast India in particular, the Baptist Church of Mizoram (BCM) started a theological college which is named “Academy of Integrated Christian Studies (AICS).” Under the leadership of Prof. Dr. R.L. Hnuni, the Academic Program was inaugurated on 18th October 2000 with 17 B.D Orientation students in a rented house in Zonuam, Aizawl. The College was granted a provisional affiliation by the Senate of Serampore College in June 2001 and a full-fledged affiliation in 2004. The college has occupied the present campus in the Shekina Hill on 4th November 2002 from the old campus (rented houses) in Zonuam.
The vision of the Baptist Church of Mizoram in establishing AICS is to train, equip and empower men and women to become God’s effective ministers, missionaries and Christian workers for the transformation of the Church and the society.
AICS is committed to provide a Contextual, Holistic and Quality theological education to men and women in order to meet the needs of the churches in the twenty first century. Its commitment to the development of a contextual theological education is to study and address issues that arise from the contexts so that theological education may become relevant and effective. Its commitment to “Holistic Theological Education” is that AICS shall co-ordinate various programmes to meet the needs of the churches. Its commitment to quality education means striving for maintaining the highest quality it can afford in all of its programmes.
AICS’ aims and objectives are:
1.4.1. To train men and women for effective Christian ministry to meet the needs of the church and society.
1.4.2. To equip students with required knowledge and skills for effective leadership in the church and society.
1.4.3. To train students for mission works, evangelism and church planting within and outside Mizoram
1.4.4. To promote the spirit of ecumenism amongst various churches in the region.
1.4.5. To work together with other theological colleges and secular University in order to promote wider ecumenism and achieve academic excellence.
1.4.6. To form theological consortium with other theological colleges in the region in order to offer post-graduate programmes for the development of theological education in the region.
1.4.7. To provide church music training – instrumental, vocal and choir-leading.
1.4.8. To address contemporary socio-economic and political issues of the region, and impart the knowledge of holistic development through Research and Development programme.
The motto of the AICS is to develop a holistic theological education which includes:
1.5.1. Integrating and emphasizing the academic and spiritual aspects of human life,
1.5.2. Ecumenical relations with other theological colleges/seminaries and other denominational churches;
1.5.3. Addressing various socio-economic, cultural and political issues of the day through different programs as mentioned in the aims and objectives.
PART 2: GOVERNANCE, ADMINISTRATION AND FUNCTION
The Academy of Integrated Christian Studies belongs to the Baptist Church of Mizoram.
The Theological Education Board is the governing authority of the Academy of Integrated Christian Studies. With regard to membership, the Theological Education Board, with the consent of the Assembly, opens membership for other denominational churches in the region. Members of the Board change every two years except those who are ex officio members.
The Principal is the Head of the Theological Education Department who serves as the secretary of the Board of Theological Education. He/She is the head of the AICS and he/she is accountable to the Board of Theological Education. The Principal is responsible for all affairs of the institution including financial matters as mentioned in The BCM Constitution and Rules (p.116).
The Vice principal will assist the Principal in administration. He/she will take over the charge of Principal in the absence of the Principal.
The Faculty Council is a governing body within the college, functioning under the authority of the Principal and Vice Principal. It has authority over matters pertaining to the academic programmes, discipline, internal policy matters for the welfare of the students and community as a whole. The Faculty Council is consisted of all core faculty members.
The Academic Dean works for the progress of the academic programme of the college. He/she is also responsible for the smooth functioning of the B.D programme.
The Dean of Ministerial Training takes care of the Ministerial Training programme, which is undertaken in three levels, such as: (1) Probationary Pastors’ Orientation (2) Lay Leadership Training and (3) Pastors’ Refreshers Course.
The Dean of Missionary Training is in charge of M. Div. Programme and Diploma in Mission programme.
The Dean of Research and Development Programme is the facilitator of the programme and he/she helps/coordinates scholars from different discipline to do research on pertinent issues in the present context and organizes faculty – student seminar and other seminars.
In carrying out the Motto of AICS “Holistic Ministry” and to meet the vision, aims and objectives, various programmes are carried out as mentioned below:
The primary and normal theological education programme of AICS is Bachelor of Divinity (B.D), affiliated to the Senate of Serampore College/University.
Seeing the zeal and interest of the churches in mission and evangelism, AICS offers two different programmes for missionary training, such as:
3.2.1. Master of Divinity (M.Div.) 3 years course. M.Div. programme is designed for prospective and committed missionaries and those who have passion for cross cultural mission. The objective of the course is to impart the basic biblical theological knowledge, holistic understanding of mission, development in Christian discipleship, and skills for cross cultural ministry.
3.2.2. Diploma in Mission Studies (DipMS), one year course. Having the same objective as M.Div., the Dip MS is designed for a shorter period, and as of now it is mainly an in-service training programme for the BCM missionaries.
Seeing the need of both the pastors and lay leaders of various departments who are engaged in the ministry of the church, the Ministerial Training Programme is introduced in order to equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary for effective leadership. There are three levels under this programme.
3.3.1. Pastors’ Refresher Course (Two weeks): A refresher course for Pastors who have completed their basic theological studies but do not have the opportunities to go for further studies.
3.3.2. Probationary Pastors’ Orientation /Ministerial Training Course (three months): A three-months basic training programme for the newly appointed Probationary Pastors, who have completed one year in their ministry, is conducted every year. Various subjects relating to the contextual ministry are taught to equip them for their pastoral ministry.
3.3.3. Lay Leadership Training Programme (one week): A short course training programme for lay leaders is conducted since 2005 as a residential and mobile programme. This is being done mainly to prepare and equip lay leaders who are actively involved in the ministry of the church for effective leadership. Initially this programme has been organized at least four times annually in different places. But now, it is mainly conducted once in a year usually at a pastorate level.
To fulfil the aims and objectives of the College in addressing socio-economic problems, this program has two levels of aims:
3.4.1. The first level of this program aims to provide opportunities for students to do research on economic development and social problems such as tribalism/communalism, sexism, ecology and other burning issues of the church and society. Other scholars interested in such research work are also encouraged.
3.4.2. In the second level, it aims to provide M.A. in Development Studies. For tribals who are struggling to catch up with others in socio-economic development, development studies is an urgent need.
Seeing the importance of Music in the Church, music is integrated in the college so as to equip students with fundamental music, staff notation and singing. The school of Music Program is as given below:
3.5.1. Diploma in Church Music
3.5.2. Fundamentals of Music
3.5.3. Certificate in Church Music
3.5.4. Short course residential training during summer and winter breaks for local church musicians (conductors, choir members, song leaders and instrumentalists).
As the Senate of Serampore College (University) requires different kinds of Field Education for B.D students, at present the College has made the following plan for Students’ Field Education both for B.D and M. Div. students –
First Year: Working with NGO’s – in various Social Centers.
Second Year: Rural Field Education – in schools under Ramchhung Mission Department (Home Mission) and also in Schools run by local churches.
Third Year: Urban Field Education – Students are sent to Delhi for their field education and exposure to various places.
Social Work: Social work which involves voluntary manual work is conducted every Saturday morning 6:30-7:30 a.m. All the students are engaged in manual work for the development of the college.
For the B.D. course the syllabus of the Senate of Serampore College is followed. Since the Senate of Serampore College introduced new syllabus from 2014-2015 sessions, students who joined from this time onwards follow the new syllabus, while students who joined before this time follow the old syllabus.
Under the accreditation given by the Asia Theological Association, the syllabus for the M.Div. course is prepared by the College.
Syllabus for Diploma in Mission Studies is also prepared by the college. In addition to important mission related subjects, various practical trainings are included in the syllabus, such as basic computer knowledge, carpentry (for men), tailoring (for women), basic medical training, and basic electrical knowledge.
Syllabi prepared by the Dean of Music are followed for the different courses in Music.
5.1. a. A holder of Bachelor Degree from a recognized University, or any recognized equivalent degree, and pass the entrance examination conducted by the college.
5.1.b. A holder of B. Th Degree in second class or above under the Senate of Serampore College/University and pass the entrance examination conducted by the college can complete the course in two years.
5.1.c. A person who has passed the “Mature Candidates” examination under the rules of the Senate of Serampore College and pass the entrance examination conducted by the college.
5.2. a. A holder of a Bachelor Degree from a recognized University, or equivalent degree and pass the entrance examination conducted by the college.
5.2. b. A holder of the B. Th Degree in first or second class under recognized institutions and pass the entrance examination conducted by the college can complete the course in two years.
5.3. a. A holder of 10+2 Certificate and passes the entrance examination conducted by the college.
5.3.b. A candidate should also be able to produce a statement of experience in Church Music.
Entrance Examination is conducted every year and every candidate should appear in the Entrance Examination on the subjects- English, Scripture and General Knowledge. (Background knowledge of church music-tonic solfa, keyboard, guitar, song leading etc., for Dip. CM candidates) The candidates will appear at an interview before the Faculty Council and the Board of Theological Education. The selected candidates will join the college in June.
A candidate is required to obtain an Application Form and Prospectus by paying Rs. 200/- (Two hundred only) from the Office of AICS (or from BCM Headquarters Office, the Offices of the Executive Secretaries, Aizawl and Lawngtlai and KBC Office Imphal, Opposite, DM College). The form must be duly filled and submitted to the Office within the given time. Candidates should produce Receipt/Cash memo at the time of entrance exam.
The first semester begins in June and ends in September. The Second semester begins in October and ends in April. Examinations are conducted at the end of each semester. In March/April students have to write not only the College examination but also the Senate examination.
A student is required to have at least 75% attendance in each of the papers, failing which may lead to debarment from examination. If a person cannot attend classes satisfactorily due to health problems and other problems, he/she may ask to take rest for month or a year.
Students of both B.D. & M. Div. are required to do Preliminary courses of the biblical languages of Hebrew and Greek.
As mentioned earlier, examinations are conducted at the end of every semester. The pass mark for each subject is 40%. The College-examined papers are examined on two levels, internal assessment and written examination. Internal assessment carries 40% and final examination carries 60%. There is no internal assessment in the senate-examined papers; the final examination carries 100%. All written examinations and Theses are examined by both internal and external examiners. All students are required to write scripture knowledge examinations along with the other examinations conducted at the end of each semester.
The grading system of the Senate of Serampore College is as follows:
|FIRST CLASS||SECOND CLASS||THIRD CLASS||FAILURE|
|A+ : 77.6%||B+ : 62.6%||C+ : 47.6%||Below 40%|
|A : 72.6%||B : 57.6%||C : 42.6%|
|A- : 67.6%||B- : 52.6%||C- : 40%|
Apart from the academic and other requirements mentioned, one important requirement is good conduct of the student throughout the period of their stay. If a person does not maintain good conduct towards other or partake of any intoxicated things; he/she will not be qualified to complete his/her course of studies.
A graduating student, who secures the highest average grade in all the branches, is awarded a book prize, called the “General Proficiency Prize.”
Book prizes for different fields of study, viz., Biblical Cluster, Theology Cluster, Religion Cluster, History-Mission Cluster, Ministry Cluster, and Integrated and Interdisciplinary Cluster are awarded to those who secure highest and not less than 65% during the full course period.
A book prize is awarded to the student(s) who, in the opinion of the Faculty, did best in preaching on the basis of general impact, use of biblical material, relevance and application, manner of delivery, clarity of thought and organization, and literacy quality and use of languages.
A book prize is also awarded to the student who secures the highest grade in the Scripture Knowledge examination, conducted every semester.
A book prize is awarded to students, who, in the opinion of the Faculty, contribute the most to music program of the College during the course.
A book prize is awarded to a student, who is good both academically and in character, and contributes best in the overall activities of the College during the course of their studies.
A book prize is awarded to the M.Div. student who secures highest aggregade among the M.Div. graduating students.
The main source of income of AICS is the budget allocation made by the Baptist Church of Mizoram. A handsome amount of monetary help has been received from other organizations as well for infrastructure development.
There are three systems of Sponsorship- full, basic, and one time (refer to Pay Rule on Sponsorship Systems of BCM). A limited number of scholarships are also reserved for deserving students who come from other states (outside Mizoram).
|Registration (annual)||Rs. 600/-|
|Tuition (annual)||Rs. 13,000/-|
|Examination (annual)||Rs. 4,000/-|
|Electric charge||Rs. 100×11 Rs. 1,200/-|
|Water charge||Rs. 100×11 Rs. 1,200/-|
|Library (annual)||Rs. 3,500/-|
|Establishment (annual)||Rs. 2,000/-|
|Seminar Fee||Rs. 1,000/-|
|Stationary Fee||Rs. 1,000/-|
|Concurrent Field Education||Rs. 2,000/-|
|College Magazine (annual)||Rs. 200/-|
|Mess||Rs. 1700×11=Rs. 20,400/-|
|Registration Form||Rs. 50/-|
|Senate Registration Fee||Rs. 600/-|
|Examination Fee (400/- per paper)||Rs. 4,000/-|
|Center Fee||Rs. 300/-|
|Marks Fee||Rs. 250/-|
|Graduation Fee||Rs. 200/-|
|Delivery Fee||Rs. 200/-|
|Website Fee||Rs. 100/-|
|Council Fee||Rs. 100/-|
|Marksheet Fee (for freshers)||Rs. 300/-|
|Grand Total (BD)||Rs. 59,100/- + Practical fee|
|Grand Total (M.Div||Rs. 53,100/- +Practical fee|
|Social Center and Home Mission||Rs. 4,000/-|
|Mission Field||Rs. 6,000/-|
PART 8: COMMUNITY LIFE AND ACTIVITIES
Worship is part and parcel of life for all members of the community. It is the purpose of the College to integrate both spiritual and academic life and keep the two in balance. The aim and concern of worship is to bring the two to fullest development so as to be fully equipped to meet the need of the situation and of the people in the new century. In order to achieve the purpose we have different worship and devotional programs which are taken care by the worship committee. The committee consists of Chaplain from faculty and secretary and treasurer from students and two members from each class.
Two times are set aside every day for devotion, i.e. Morning devotion for faculty and students at 7:00-7:30 a.m. and Vesper service for students at 6:00-6:30 p.m. in the evening. Non-teaching staffS have their own devotion everyday at 9:30 a.m.
A Worship service is arranged every Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. where students worship together in chapel; children of the community, called the fruits have their meeting at 7.00AM on Sunday morning. In addition to this there is a Sunday school at 10:00AM on Sunday. The medium of teaching is English. Children of the campus have freedom to attend Sunday school either at AICS (English) or at BCM Gilead, Ramrikawn (Mizo). Women of the campus (called Eliz group) have a separate prayer meeting on every Friday night.
A Community worship service is arranged on every Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in summer and 3:00 p.m. in winter for the whole community members. Apart from faculty members, guest speakers are invited once in a month. It is a time of fellowship, worship and praise together.
Singing praises to God has been embedded in the worship programme right from its inception. Therefore one of the most important features of AICS’ worship is Praise and Worship programme called Sings-inspiration. It is part of the community programme held every Sunday evening from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Sings-inspiration is a time of fellowship and singing praises to God together and each member experiences the joy of fellowship with God and enriches their spiritual life. It is not only a time of singing but also a time of learning songs as well.
A Retreat Program is arranged at least two times in an academic year in the initial period. Now it is arranged once in a year. The purpose of retreat is to reflect, renew, and deepen our commitment to serve the Lord. It is a time of sincere meditation and recommitment through singing, preaching, group sharing and prayer.
Cleanliness is one of the emphases in AICS, as such a Social Work Committee has been appointed right from the time of its inception to look into the matter. Since the institution is in its developmental stage, certain work is still necessary for its progress. The faculty and students incharge organizes social work every Saturday morning at 6:30:00 a.m. and every student is involved in cleaning the hostels, offices, classrooms, courtyards, etc., and they are also involved in other important works.
As much as spiritual exercise is necessary to balance academic activities, so also our mind needs to be refreshed now and then by physical exercise. In order to do that a Games and Sports Committee has been formed to take necessary action. An annual sports day is also arranged every year.
Since English is the medium of teaching and learning, emphasis is given to the use of English as the medium of communication in every sphere of life and activity at AICS. This is to help every member, particularly students who were brought up and educated from a non-English speaking background. This will enable them to learn and speak English properly and fluently. It is the language of the classroom, devotions, worship, playground, dining hall, social work and in all the activities of all members of the community.
Students are encouraged to build up their own library in addition to the prescribed text books. In order to help the students by making some important books easily available and at reasonable prices, the Book service is run by the College under the care of one of the Faculty members.
AICS Choir and Male Voice are formed officially to enrich the worship life of the college community. A full time Music Teacher is in charge of the Music program and choir. They have been playing significant role not only within the worship of the college but also in other activities.
The College has two hostels (Men’s Hostel & Women’s Hostel). The Men’s Hostel can accommodate 120 male students; and the new Women’s Hostel can accommodate 72 persons.
Wardens assisted by Hostel Secretary and Assistant Secretaries care for the day to day administration and management of the life in the Hostels.
The College is a member unit of the Student Christian Movement of India. It elects SCM Committee members for a period of one year. The Committee organizes various programmes such as a Seminar, Male Voice, Choir, participation in reflections on social issues, etc. The Unit is actively involved in regional and national programmes of the Student Christian Movement.
All the students of AICS are members of the SWC. The committee is responsible for the welfare of the students. The principal is the chairperson, and the Secretary and other office bearers are selected by the faculty council from students.
There are other Committees, such as – Social Work Committee; Games and Sports Committee; Worship and Music Committee; Hostel and Mess Committee and Magazine committee. A faculty is selected to be in charge of every committee.