Posted on February 26, 2024 Cloud of Witnesses – Feature Limatula Longkumer

Cloud of Witnesses – Celebrating 210th Anniversary of International Ministries

Dr. Limatula Longkumer

Registrar of Senate of Serampore College, India

I am from Nagaland, North East India, and belong to the Ao tribe. From childhood, I had a desire to go for theological studies, but my parents were not able to support me because I have 10 siblings. My father was a teacher in a village school, and with his meager income, he had to support our big family. Had it not been for the International Ministries-Council of Baptist Churches in Northeast India (IM-CBCNEI) scholarships, I would not have gone for theological studies. I was awarded the IM-CBCNEI scholarship for my Bachelor of Divinity (BD) studies.  In 1992, after serving six years at Eastern Theological College, Jorhat, my husband Wati Longchar, and I went to the United Theological College, Bangalore to pursue postgraduate and Ph.D. studies, Wati was awarded an IM-CBCNEI scholarship for his doctoral studies. With this scholarship grant, somehow, we managed our studies. Our family is indebted to IM/ ABFMS for equipping us throughout our theological careers till today.  What I am today is because of the financial help I received from IM-CBCNEI for my first theological degree program. I am very thankful to IM/ ABFMS for their financial support.

I have been in the teaching ministry for more than 30 years. I served at the Eastern Theological College, Jorhat Assam, for 28 years during which I served as Vice Principal for five years, and 4 years at Bishop’s College, Kolkata during which I served as the Registrar of the North India Institute for Postgraduate Theological Studies (NIIPGTS) for two years.

After more than three decades in the teaching ministry, I joined the Senate of Serampore College (SSC) in 2018 as the Dean of the Department of Research/ SATHRI, looking after the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min) and Ph.D. programs of the Senate. We have the D.Th program for South Asia, called the “South Asia Theological Research Institute (SATHRI).” During my tenure, the Senate revised the D.Min curriculum thoroughly and strengthened the D.Th. programs. Currently, we have more than 200 active Ph.D. research students. The Senate of Serampore College is the theological education wing of the Serampore College.

In 2022, I was appointed the Registrar of the Senate of Serampore College. I am the first woman appointed as the Registrar of the College, though the College is more than a hundred years old. As a woman, holding the leadership position of Registrar has many challenges.  But by God’s grace, I can successfully discharge my responsibilities.

The Serampore College was established by William Carey, Joshua Marshman, and William Ward in 1818, and the Senate of Serampore College was started in 1918, as a theology department, and it is 106 years old. This is the biggest theological University in India, running both residential and Extension programs. We have D.Th., D.Min., MTh., BD,  BTh, and BMiss, besides various extension programs. There are 71 colleges affiliated with the Senate of Serampore College from all the regions of India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, with a total enrolment of nearly sixteen thousand students and a thousand faculty members.

I have been married to Wati Longchar, who is now serving as the Executive Director of the Foundation for Theological Education in Asia and the Pacific (FTEAP). We have three sons.

Once again, IM/ ABFMS is a backbone for many people in Northeast India and worldwide and has been supporting leadership development. May God continue to bless the IM/ ABFMS ministry!