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South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies

South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies (SAIACS pronounced sai + axe), is a Christian evangelical institute for postgraduate theological studies and research in Bangalore, India. Its tagline is: "Excellence for mission."

South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies (SAIACS)
FounderDr Graham Houghton
PrincipalDr. Prabhu Singh
Location, ,

It was founded in 1982, by Graham Houghton, after an over-tea conversation with fellow New Zealander and missionary Bruce Nicholls. Initially, a two-year Master of Theology (MTh) programme in Missiology was offered under the umbrella of the Association of Evangelical Theological Education in India (AETEI), in partnership with Madras Bible Seminary in Chennai (then Madras). However, the first batch of students had some of their classes in Chennai and others in Bangalore. Finally, by 1983 the programmed moved permanently to Bangalore and sought and received accreditation from Asia Theological Association under its own name.[1]

Since its inception, SAIACS has grown to offer various degrees within several specialisations. It has 130 students on campus each year. In its first year, the SAIACS library had about 100 books. Today the library has over 40000 volumes. SAIACS is now a largely residential research institute which has an evangelical ethos and offers postgraduate degree programmes for an MA, MDiv, MTh, Doctor of Ministry (DMin), Doctor of Missiology (DMiss) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Currently there are six departmental specialisations being offered at SAIACS; namely, Old Testament, New Testament, Theology, Missiology, Pastoral Theology & Counselling and Study of Religions.[2]

The first principal of SAIACS was Graham Houghton. In 2004, Ashish Chrispal took over as principal. He was followed by F. Hrangkhuma as Principal from 2006-2008, Dr. Ian Payne, from 2008-2018. The current principal is Dr. Prabhu Singh.



Accreditation and PartnershipEdit

All SAIACS degrees are accredited by ATA. In 1997 SAIACS, was also recognized by the University of Mysore as an accredited research institution of the university, enabling SAIACS to offer an accredited Indian PhD programme.[4]

In June, 2011, the University of Mysore further recognized SAIACS as a Centre for Specialized Studies to offer MA in Theology.[5] Similarly, in June 2012, the MPhil programme, which is identical to the MTh programme, was recognised by the University.[6]

In June 2011, the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) established the RZIM Chair of Apologetics at SAIACS.[7]

In June 2013, Asbury Theological Seminary (Kentucky/Florida, US) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SAIACS to "facilitate greater partnership between the two institutions. The partnership involves students and faculty exchange, resources sharing and joint classroom interaction."[8]

In May 2015, Laidlaw College (Auckland, NZ) also signed an MoU with SAIACS to collaborate in research and mentoring, sharing of resources and facilitating exchange of students and faculty.[9]

Academic programsEdit

SAIACS offers residential degree programs for Masters of Arts in Christianity (MA), Master of Theology (M.Th.), Doctor of Missiology (D.Miss.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), and a non-residential Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.).

The residency requirement for the M.A. and the M.Th. programs is two academic years. This period may be extended where equivalency course requirements are added to a student's M.Th. program. Doctoral programs involve longer periods.

Typically, courses are taught in modules of four weeks (Monday to Friday). For the M.A. degree, a typical module consists of 60 classroom hours and an exam at the end of the module. A typical module for the M.Th. program consists of 45 classroom lecture hours, usually held in the first three weeks, and 15 classroom hours of student presentations of either a paper or seminar.


Most students to SAIACS are sent by their sponsoring church or mission and are already under appointment to continue their service upon completion of their studies at SAIACS. Most of the students have served as ordained ministers, theological teachers or missionaries and Christian workers in churches in Asia. While students are largely from India, SAIACS gets students from Australia, Bhutan, Brazil, Canada, China, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Kenya, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand and USA.[10]

SAIACS PressEdit

SAIACS Press is the publishing arm of SAIACS, and it aims to publish research that challenge the church in South Asia. Most of its publications are written or revised for India. There are primarily two types of publications; the Dome Series and the Spire Series. The Dome Series publications are scholarly works. Spire Series books are more popular guides to Christian thought and living.[11]


In 2005, the Continuing Education Opportunities Centre (or CEO Centre) was started at SAIACS with the aim to generate scholarships for deserving SAIACS students. The CEO Centre is a premium conference centre and management training site, built right next to SAIACS.[12]


  1. ^ SAIACS: The First Thirty Years. Bangalore: SAIACS Press. 2012. pp. 29–35. ISBN 9788187712282.
  2. ^ "Academics at SAIACS". Archived from the original on 2015-06-10.
  3. ^ "Location on Google Maps". Google Maps.
  4. ^ "No. CDC/F-153/96-97". University of Mysore. |first1= missing |last1= (help)
  5. ^ "No. PMEB/13 - South/2010 - 11/13". University of Mysore. |first1= missing |last1= (help)
  6. ^ "No. PMEB/13-South/2010-11/199". University of Mysore. |first1= missing |last1= (help)
  7. ^ "RZIM partnership". Archived from the original on 2012-08-30.
  8. ^ "Asbury SAIACS Partnership".
  9. ^ "Laidlaw College and SAIACS Partnership".[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "SAIACS Student details". Archived from the original on 2015-06-10.
  11. ^ "SAIACS Press". Archived from the original on 2015-02-23.
  12. ^ "CEO Centre". Archived from the original on 2015-06-10.

External linksEdit