What has Christian Education contributed to India?

What has Christian Education contributed to India?

What has Christian Education contributed to India?
Mangal Bahadur Tamang
Kathmandu, Nepal 


The modern world has recognized the power of a pen is mightier than a sword. It has the power to make as well as to break a nation. But it begins with one mind with education. This one-mind is more powerful than all nuclear weapons the world has now. Nelson Mandela said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

The purpose of Education

Why should we educate ourselves? why should we open the school if not for business purposes alone? Why should we send our children to school instead of SaReGaMaPa, or voice kids alone? Why should we encourage the whole society and nation to educate every mind if possible? In sum: what’s the purpose of education? 

Sydney J. Harris said, "The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows." Anyone who is not educated is all for themselves. They cannot reach others. They cannot teach others. They cannot hear what others are saying and cannot see the history, present, and future that others see. But education turns a person from being mirrors into windows. Martin Luther King said, "The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education." King goes one step further and says that it's not only about a mind but also of a character transformation. That is, Educated means transformed life not just transformed mind.

The purpose of Christian Education

What do we say the purpose of Christian Education in our life, society, and nation then? Do we have different purposes rather than education in general alone? Or does it have its peculiar nature towards education? Pope Benedict XVI said, "The aim of all Christian education, moreover, is to train the believer in an adult faith that can make him a "new creation", capable of bearing witness in his surroundings to the Christian hope that inspires him." So, Christian education moves one step further than education in general. It is not limited to mind and character formation but total life transformation. It should produce a "new creation" that would bring hope to the people around. T.S. Eliot said, "The purpose of a Christian education would not be merely to make men and women pious Christians: a system which aimed too rigidly at this end alone would become only obscurantist. Christian education must primarily teach people to be able to think in Christian categories" and bring a transformation in the worldview of a person. The categories that one was without Christian education should be changed. The Scripture and Theology should inform his worldview. This should be the purpose of Indian Christian Education (ICE). The goal is to change the whole worldview by changing the world system. This comes only when we have a strong foundation of the knowledge of redemption of Jesus Christ and future hope of new creation in Jesus Christ. It is beyond Liberal Christian education which extended beyond ethical life in the world.

In light of this understanding, what has Indian Christian Education (ICE) brought to India? It is difficult to measure the change in the mind of people. But through the impact, the ones who are educated make their society and literature develop. Therefore, on this basis, I would like the offer six important contributions of Indian Christian Education (ICE) in India.

    1. The sense of brotherhood among the people of all casts, all corners, and all credentials is developed. In Christ, there is no discrimination. Deeper love, justice, and solidarity of the Scripture have facilitated the strong fraternity. 
    2. Oneness in Christ has brought unity within the context of diversity in India because diversity is a big issue in India. Many have used diversity equivalent to discrimination. For instance, "If he is not from my community, he should be hated" is a sort of attitude that exists among the people. But Jesus' message of unity has brought diverse groups together in the church and school and says that we are different but we are in unity. God is one, and we must be one. Such a message is powerful among the new generations.
    3. Uplifting the poor, oppressed, and neglected ones in society is one of the ways to demonstrate God's love among the people. Such an approach has helped to educate Adivasis and Tribals in their education, life, and worldviews. 
    4. Literature from the Christian perspective has helped many to understand God's love for everyone. Often, non-Christians hesitate to come in direct contact with Christians but they can touch Christians through their pieces of literature. South India and North East India have been forefront in investing in Christian literature.
    5. The Christian emphasis on the spiritual aspect is pretty important in the Indian context, which values spirituality over the physical world and life. But ICE has demonstrated the need to balance the spiritual and physical elements from the Bible. We care about nature and the world because it is the creation of God. 
    6. Most importantly but not least, we teach the message of hope of eternal life in Jesus Christ. It is the most powerful message the world has ever heard. All the moral values, social achievements, and educational empowerment are worth only if we see the future. And Christianity provides that future hope. Therefore, they can look back to Christ, live now in Christ, and hope for the coming Christ in the future. It transforms all of our lives, worldviews, and world systems.


The impact made in India through Indian Christian Education has not been full-blown yet. Nevertheless, it has brought significant change in Indian individuals and society. We must keep on doing this good work. We also must be clear about our purpose. Then only we can plan better and practice Christian Education for Indian society. Your small contribution counts. Keep up your good work. 

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