Colombo Theological Seminary (CTS) was founded by a remarkable meeting of minds among a group of Christian leaders from diverse denominational backgrounds – Pentecostal, Dutch Reformed, Methodist, and Anglican. They had a common vision of equipping believers through a base offering easily accessible, culturally relevant, evangelically focused, advanced theological training. This was envisioned as taking place first in the city of Colombo and eventually extending to all of Sri Lanka; and the surrounding countries. Significantly, the vision was to provide resources to the Church for the transformation of nations – from Sri Lanka to our South Asian neighbours and farther afield as the Spirit may still lead: potentially, a region with a harvest field of one billion and more believers.
CTS’ ministry began in the mid-1990s, following a meeting between a Christian banker and an internationally respected theologian. Many others before them had felt the growing need for a long time about the value of a Theological School in Colombo. God wonderfully brought many people and resources together on this project, resulting in the formation of the seminary now known as CTS.
The Impetus Institute, which was the Bible School of the Assemblies of God – Ceylon, donated all its resources to the new seminary. The Board of the non-functioning Colombo Bible College bequeathed its parliamentary registration of 1971. The then Dutch Reformed Church, now the Christian Reformed Church of Sri Lanka, gave its Vice-President as the founding Principal of CTS. The first intake of students came from Pentecostal denominations and Charismatic backgrounds.
Thus CTS commenced operations as a multidenominational seminary, in rented premises in western Colombo, on the 30th of May, 1994. With the purchase of a property in Kohuwela (a busy suburb at the southern edge of Colombo), the fledgling seminary shifted its operations into a converted tea-packing factory on newly acquired land in 1998. Within the first ten years since inception, CTS sent out over 100 trained graduates as ambassadors for Christ and published important theological resources, with the ripening promise of more to come.
Today CTS has completed over 18 years of ministry by the grace of God, and is a respected centre of theological education serving the cosmopolitan population of Colombo and its suburbs while reaching far beyond, training students from all over the country in Sinhala, Tamil, and English. The seminary provides theological education in nine regions around the island in all these three national languages, and averages an annual total intake of over 650 students. Through its publishing arm, CTS Publishing, it has published over 45 written resources in English, Sinhala, and Tamil. The seminary provides a thorough equipping for pastors and Christian workers in remote regions of the country through a series of Ministry Enrichment Seminars, averaging ten seminars and 550 pastors/Christian workers a year, whilst addressing practical and topical issues of Christian life and ministry.
CTS is demonstrably a multidenominational, multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual, truly Sri Lankan seminary.