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About HITHA
Introduction to HITHA

 
HITHA Board of Directors

The following are the Current Board of Directors of HITHA:

 

  1. Santha Kumari Mondithoka (Academic Dean, HITHA) – President from January 2017
  2. Rev. Sudhakar Mondithoka (Director, HITHA and a Visiting Professor at SABC, SAIACS, and other Seminaries) - General Secretary/Managing Trustee/CEO
  3. Peter Prince (A software professional working with a bank) – Member (from Dec. 2015)
  4. Rishi Paul Pendurti (Working with a Multinational Company and also serving as Adjunct Faculty in NT at HITHA) – Treasurer (from the 31st of January, 2017)
  5. Subhashini (an IIT Graduate and home maker) – Member (from March 2016)
  6. Raja Sekhar Addanki (with 10 years of experience in TV Media and now working with an Edu Tech Company as Director for Strategy and Communication) – Member (from November 22, 2016)

 

The Following are Former Members of the HITHA Board:

 

  • Dr. Augustine Pagolu (Teaching OT at a Seminary, Indonesia) – President until his demise in December 2016 (one of the three pioneers and founding members of the trust)
  • K. John Vikram (Retired IRS Officer/Income Tax Department) – Treasurer (from Dec. 2015 till January 2017 – retired early because of personal reasons)
  • Dr. S. Jeya Raju (Professor at the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad) - Treasurer
  • Dr. Shobha Paul (Teaching at a Medical College, Hyderabad) - Treasurer
  • Dr. Raj Kumar Songa (a Physician, Hyderabad) - Member
  • Dr. Joseph Prabhakar Dayam (Teaching Theology at UTC, Bangalore) - Member
  • Ratna Babu Merigala (GM-Finance, BSNL, Hyderabad) - Member
  • Dr. Siraj Pitta (formerly a Reader in Chemistry and currently an Evangelist-Bible Teacher based in Vijayawada) - Member

 

 

 
A brief history of HITHA

God laid a burden on Dr. Augustine Pagolu's heart on one of his trips to the city of Hyderabad. It was a burden to equip the many Christians that are in the marketplace. Out of this burden came the vision to start an institute that will focus on 'marketplace theology and apologetics' and equip Christian professionals and adult learners so that the whole people of God might be equipped for works of ministry (Eph 4: 11-12).  Meanwhile, God was laying similar burden on the hearts of the Mondithokas (Santhi and Sudhakar) which they informally shared with some friends in order to explore how this might take shape. When one day Dr. Pagolu called them from Singapore to share his vision with them, they began to realize that this might be from the Lord. Then they prayed over it, and discussed the matter over phone as often as they could.  All this had happened during the years 2006 and 2007. After praying and discussing for a number of months, they decided to share this vision and burden with some friends in order to get their inputs, and called for the first consultation on June 14, 2008 at the Residence of the Mondithokas. Dr. Pagolu came for this from Singapore and the following were present: Dr. K. Rama Krishna Rao, Dr. Raj Kumar. S, Mrs. Lois Krishnaiah, Mr. Jerry Thomas, Mrs. Liny Jerry, Mrs. Kamala Chiranjeevi, Rev. J. Chiranjeevi, Mr. K. Joseph Jaisurya, Mr. Franky Fernandes, Mr. George Paul, Dr. G. Peter, Rev. M. Prabhudas, and Mr. M. Ratna Babu. Dr. Pagolu and the Mondithokas shared the burden and the vision with the group and then Dr. Pagolu presented a concept paper with the rationale, vision and mission statements, possible study programs, study methods, etc. There was a sense of excitement and enthusiasm among the members. After much prayer and deliberations, they all agreed that the proposed institute will meet a definite need. There was much discussion about the uniqueness and distinctives of this institute and about maintaining high quality both at entry and exit.  This group decided to pray more, to think about it, and to have another consultation.

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Not just another Theological College

Hyderabad Institute of Theology and Apologetics (HITHA) is a Theological institute with difference.

hitha logoThe immediate reaction would be ‘no, not another theological college’! Well this is understandable given the proliferation of denominational, inter-denominational, individual and family based theological colleges all over the country and for various reasons. But we are not aiming at a ‘traditional’ theological college modeled after the medieval monasteries situated on sprawling campuses with magnificent buildings and custom made dormitories, libraries, chapels for various purposes. That era may be over. The curriculum in traditional theological colleges also is modeled after monastic training with a heavy emphasis on dogmatics, classics and philosophy. Though some of these may still be needed the way they are taught in traditional set ups is increasingly becoming irrelevant for today’s challenges. Those training models and those that pass through them further widen the gap between the so called clergy and the laity. As a result many of those who come to minister in our churches find it hard to bridge the gap between faith and the daily challenges members face in our fast changing society. This is the reason why many so called ‘mainline churches’ are struggling to survive with no vision for winning people of other faiths to Christ or to equip their members for ministry in their own churches, or for mission to the unreached.

A New Paradigm

So ours is a paradigm shift so to speak. Our focus would be Christians in the market place and what they are involved with during ‘the other six days’. The colossal establishments of our churches over the centuries are too huge and too expensive for serving people one day a week for a couple of hours meeting with God. It is biblical that the ministry, that is, witnessing for Christ and drawing others to the church, ought to be carried out by ‘every-member ministry’, and the gifted and trained teachers are to equip the members for such ministry (Ephes. 4: 11-12). But most members don’t feel that they have any ministry except to attend the church for that one hour a week and get whatever they can for the week and give whatever they can for the pastoral service received. So our aim is to train the whole body of Christ especially those working in the market place, those interested in knowing the word of God, growing spiritually, being witnesses in the market place, and serving the church in whatever way possible.

Some churches do have training programs for their members, but this is often a piecemeal type, brief and disjointed. The members do not get any basic theological framework through which they could explain various ethical challenges they face in the world, such as abortion, infanticide, homosexuality, divorce and remarriage, or doctrinal issues, such as evolution and origins of life, trustworthiness and adequacy of the Scriptures, or different heresies such as the new age movements, the Gospel of Judas, the Da Vinci Code and so forth. Most members of our churches do not know how to understand and interpret the Bible nor do they have structured plan for daily devotion for their own lives.