Kretzmann Commission

The Kretzmann Commission[1][2] was constituted in 1969 by the Board of Governors of the Andhra Christian Theological College, Hyderabad to:

Kretzmann Commission Report
Mission statementto survey and study the task of theological education in the Churches related to the College Society
Commercial?no
LocationRajahmundry
OwnerBoard of Governors, Andhra Christian Theological College
FounderThe Rev. M. L. Kretzmann, D.D., Secretary for planning, study and research, Department of World Missions of the Lutheran World Federation (Convenor),
CountryIndia
Key peopleThe Rev. K. Devasahayam,
The Rev. A. B. Masilamani,
The Rt. Rev. C. S. Sundaresan
Established25 October 1969 (1969-10-25)
Disestablished29 November 1969 (1969-11-29)
FundingWorld Council of Churches and the Lutheran Church in America

survey and study the task of theological education in the Churches related to the College Society

These ecclesiastical societies related to the college society at that point of time (1969) included:[2]

The Commission report was tabled before the Board of Governors of the College Society which eventually led to the building[5] up of curriculum-intensive courses[2] and the equipping of the seminarians with capacities to lead the church in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Theological education took an upward rise with the Kretzmann Commission Report. The Kretzmann Commission was enabled with the assistance of the Theological Education Fund of the World Council of Churches and the Board of World Missions of the Lutheran Church in America.[2] The secretary of the Board of Governors, W. D. Coleman, on behalf of the board published 1,000[2] copies to be circulated among the Churches in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

A couple of years before the Kretzmann Commission was constituted, seminarians deliberated on the church's mission with special reference to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. In 1966, a graduate thesis was undertaken by a candidate studying at Serampore College entitled The Hebrew Concept of 'Righteousness' as proclaimed by the 8th century Prophets and its implications for the Church's mission in Andhra Pradesh[6]

Commission membersEdit

FindingsEdit

The commission members met during various points of time during the latter half of 1969,[2] first on 25 October 1969 to draw up a plan and again a month later during 26–29 November to summarize its findings. The members of the commission met at different places for visitation and consultation. As part of field visits,[2] the members had been to,

In addition, the members of the commission also had special consultations[2] with Canon Emani Sambayya, Dr. P. David and Reveremd Erik W. Nielsen. As for the background material, the commission members accessed scholarly action reports relating[2] to the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church Society, especially the papers of B. V. Subbamma, S. W. Schmitthenner, W. P. Peery and James A. Bergquist, the papers of the Board of Theological Education of the Senate of Serampore College, the National Council of Churches in India and other papers. The commission took cognizance of the concerns of the church in Andhra Pradesh (Telangana included).

The commission also devised a structured questionnaire[2] for use among two kinds of respondents, the church leaders and the old students, during field visits.

OutcomeEdit

At the very outset, the commission recommended for Indian teachers[2] to be placed in seminaries to take up theological curriculum, especially for the core subjects in theology. The commission further recommended that theological education broaden its horizons in keeping up with the changing times. Based on the recommendations of the commission, the Andhra Christian Theological College did away with the erstwhile Licentiate in Theology programme and embarked on two graduate programmes,[2] a Bachelor of Theology and a Bachelor of Divinity. As part of the curriculum study, the commission members foresaw the need to include worship, social analysis, interfaith, gender concerns, inculturation, psychology, language usability, personal devotion, sociology and many other interdisciplinary courses.[2] In the ensuing decade, the faculty members were able to upgrade their academics at national and international universities and returned to teach in the college who included,

Many of these Teachers also played a role at the Senate of Serampore College (University) and subsequent curriculum revisions at the University level. In 1985, a Content analysis of theological syllabi being taught at the Seminaries in the country was undertaken by the Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society, Bangalore. The New Testament Scholar M. V. Abraham[11] and the Old Testament Scholar G. Babu Rao,[12] the former being associated with the Leonard Theological College, Jabalpur and the latter associated with the Bible Society of India in Translations were given the task of finding out the extent of theological syllabi using the statistical tool of Content analysis.[11]

Similarly, a research on the theological education in India was also undertaken by Siga Arles in the 1990s at the University of Aberdeen and its findings were published with the title Theological education for the mission of the church in India, 1947–1987: theological education in relation to the identification of the task of mission and the development of ministries in India, 1947-1987, with special reference to the Church of South India[11] which was published in 1990 by Peter Lang, Frankfurt.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Raymond Brady Williams, Christian Pluralism in the United States: The Indian Immigrant Experience, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1996, p.291. [1]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Theological Education in Andhra Pradesh - The Kretzmann Commission Report, Printed by A. Nageswara Rao at Saraswathi Power Press, Rajahmundry, 1970. [2] Archived 27 January 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ The Diocese of Karimnagar came into existence only in 1978.
  4. ^ The Diocese of Nandyal was under the ecclesiastical purview of the Anglican Church and later the Church of North India at the time of formation of the College [3]
  5. ^ James A. Bergquist, P. Kambar Manickam, The Crisis of Dependency in Third World Ministries: A Critique of Inherited Missionary Forms in India, Christian Literature Society, Madras, 1976, pp. 50, 63.[4]
  6. ^ G. Babu Rao, The Hebrew Concept of 'Righteousness' as proclaimed by the 8th century Prophets and its implications for the Church's mission in Andhra Pradesh, an unpublished graduate thesis presented to the Senate of Serampore College (University) in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Bachelor of Divinity degree, Serampore, 1966.
  7. ^ G. Solomon, The concept of Suffering in the Bible and in Hinduism, Eastern University, King of Prussia, 1957.[5]
  8. ^ K. Wilson, Culture and Conversion: An Analytical Study of the Interaction between Western Theology and Eastern Culture through the Christian Missions in the Indian Sub-Continent, Syracuse University, Syracuse, 1972.[6]
  9. ^ Though Wilson returned to teach at the College after his doctoral studies, he preferred to teach Philosophy at the state-run Osmania University. Indian Journal of Philosophic Studies, Volume 1, Issue 1, 1974, p. 53.[7]
  10. ^ "Contributors (?)". University of Edinburgh Journal. 1991.
  11. ^ a b c Siga Arles, Theological education for the mission of the church in India, 1947–1987: theological education in relation to the identification of the task of mission and the development of ministries in India, 1947–1987, with special reference to the Church of South India, Peter Lang, Frankfurt, 1990. [8]
  12. ^ G. Babu Rao, "Content Analysis of Theological Syllabi – Old Testament" in Religion and Society, Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society, Bangalore, 1985. [9]