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Campaign against St. Stephen’s principal

June 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Delhi, India, Persecution

St. Stephen's CollegeSt. Stephen’s college principal Valson Thampu’s message of “teach and preach” and advocacy of an audit to examine Christian presence among teachers, students and other employees are being used by college alumni in their campaign against his policies.

Thampu had, in a document “Towards a spiritual renewal of our mission to educate”, spoken of the “the need for mission audit vis a vis institutions” that is spelt out in examining “how strong is the Christian presence in a given institution”.

He had pointed out the need for “institutional renewal” and the need to reinforce Christian values.
Thampu had said that “Biblically, teaching is complemented by preaching. We are to teach and to preach, even if ‘preaching’ has become suspect even among Christians today.”

The alumni campaign against the alleged attempt to strengthen the influence of the church over the college is gathering momentum with over 300 former students extending their support to the campaign.

Within two days of the start of the campaign, which also raised concern over the bishop of Church of North India disregarding Delhi University (DU) authorities and the selection committee in appointing Thampu as principal, 150 alumni from Mumbai, 83 from Delhi, 50 from Chandigarh and 15 from US have confirmed their support.

The four-page statement of the alumni with four annexures and Thampu’s controversial document point to the DU letter of February 20, 2008, addressed to bishop Sunil Singh who chairs the governing body (GB), stating the need for the candidates to possess a relevant PhD degree. “…The GB should ensure incumbents shortlisted for the post of principal possesses a PhD degree in a relevant subject that is being taught in the college,” the letter had said.

The alumni say these directives were ignored as the bishop was keen to “plant a fellow priest (Thampu) who lacked the requisite qualifications”.

– Times of India

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