Although academics are the focus of seminary life, the community aspect of the seminary experience cannot be overlooked. Living together as a community of students and teachers is vital for the proper personal and pastoral formation that is required for the ministry of the church. As the student body is quite diverse, students are exposed to different cultures and personalities that may be encountered in the future while serving as ministers. Therefore, learning how to interact, live and function together meaningfully is the aim of hostel life. Thus, community or hostel life is a very important and integral part of the lives of all seminarians.
The seminary campus consists of three hostels that house the B. D. M.Th. students as well as quarters for faculty members and residential D. Th. students. The Main Hostel and the Annexe are the two hostels where the B.D. students reside, while female students reside in the Ladies Hostel. Several of the M. Th. & D.Th. students are also housed in the Annexe which is also known as the P. G. (Post Graduate) block.
The Hostel Warden, a member of the faculty, is appointed to oversee the affairs of hostel life. Along with the hostel Warden, the Hostel Secretary, who is elected from the B. D. IV batch, also provides leadership in the hostels. The Hostel Secretary represents the student body and voices its concerns as well as ensures that students follow the rules and regulations that are prescribed for life in the hostels. The Hostel Executive Committee which consists of the Principal, Hostel Warden, Hostel Secretary, Refectory Secretary, and representatives from each of the four B. D. batches, as well as a representative from the Ladies' Hostel and one M. Th. representative, meet twice a month to discuss matters related to hostel life and to the managing of the refectory. The Hostel General body meets once a month mainly to discuss and approve the previous month's refectory accounts as well as to raise concerns and to make decisions regarding hostel life in general.
Each day in the hostels begins with the rising bell at 5:30 AM at which time the students are encouraged to take part in personal devotions and to prepare themselves mentally and physically for the challenges of the new day. .Following this, students attend chapel at 6:45 AM, proceed to the Refectory for breakfast, and then attend classes until 1:00 PM. After lunch and a short afternoon break, students continue their academic pursuits and spend time in the library until 5:00 PM. At 6:30 PM, evening worship will begin and that is followed by dinner. After dinner, until 8:30 PM, students are encouraged to watch the latest news reports on the TV that is housed in the Main Hostel Common Room. At 8:30 PM, the study bell rings, and students resume their studies until compline (evening prayer) which begins at 10:15 PM (on MondaySaturday) or 9:15 PM (on Sundays). Usually compline is held in the respective hostels where the students reside and is led by the students themselves.
Although classes do not take place on Saturdays: students are engaged in other activities that are aimed at maintaining the cleanliness of the hostels. After breakfast on Saturdays, the morning hours are spent cleaning the .common areas of the hostels (i.e. bathrooms) and cleaning individual rooms. After this cleaning is properly completed, students are free to utilize the library until 12:30 PM. Following this, students meet as small groups for intercessory prayer until 1:00 PM. Saturday afternoons are usually spent preparing for Sunday service in the respective parishes where students are assigned to.
Seminary life is not confined to the hostels themselves. Hostel life also involves the community and society at large. The seminary community or family comes together at various instances to ensure that the campus is kept clean and beautiful by taking part in sramdhan as well as gardening and agricultural activities. The members of the community also are able to use their talents in the various programs that are organized by the Abraham Malpan Society, the Cultural Programmes Committee, and the Seminary Choir. Our relationship to society is fostered through our involvement in community service activities as organized by the Community Service Committee, Thus, seminary life and hostel life include responsibility to the community and to society. It is through such commitments that students are able to prepare effectively for the ministry of the church.
Every year, during the second semester, the entire seminary community consisting of students and faculty as well as their family members embark on a oneday outing that is known as the Community Picnic. These picnics are always a time of fellowship, fun, and relaxation. These trips are also designed to be educational and informative as well. These picnics are enjoyed by one and all and always seem to be one of the main highlights of any academic year.
It is in the refectory or the mess as it is popularly known that we receive physical nourishment. It is a place for sharing meaningful experiences during the time of table fellowship. The time at the mess is one for informal interactions.
The refectory is under the supervision of the warden, but the daytoday affairs are looked after by a student refectory secretary. Also, a team of five students are assigned to manage the mess for a period of one month at a time. The students are given opportunities to manage the refectory three times during the course of the BD programme. They are responsible for preparing the menu and purchasing all items needed to effectively run the refectory. Students are also divided into groups of six and are assigned specific days in which they are to serve.