The Church of Pakistan

After partition of India in 1947, the Church of India, Burma and Ceylon became known as the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon (CIPBC). It published its own version of the Book of Common Prayer, which served as its authorised liturgical text. Later in 1947, four southern dioceses left the CIPBC and merged with South Indian Methodists and South Indian Presbyterians & Congregationalists to form the Church of South India. In 1970, ecumenical dialogue led to the merger of the parts of the Church of India, Burma and Ceylon in India and Pakistan with other Protestant Christian denominations (including the Scottish Presbyterians, United Methodists and Lutherans), thus creating the Church of North India and Church of Pakistan, and to the creation of separate provinces of Sri Lanka and Burma.

The Church of Pakistan came into existance by the union of four denominations: Anglican, Methodist, Lutheran and Presbyterian (Scottish), which took place in 1970. The United Presbyterian Church which had been involved in the negotiations did not join. Initially there were four dioceses in the Church of Pakistan, i.e. Karachi, Multan, Lahore and Sialkot, but in 1980, through a special resolution and for better ministerial work, four new dioceses were created: Hyderabad, Raiwind, Faisalabad and Peshawar. There are eight active diocesan bishops with an additional bishop for the Gulf Ministries. This appointment was made to take care of the pastoral and worship needs of Urdu-speaking workers in the Gulf. There is a presiding bishop for the Church of Pakistan who is known as the Moderator and has responsibility for a three-year term. The United Church of Pakistan is the second largest church in the country.

Christian missions in what is now Pakistan originated in the 16th century, proselytizing among Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims. Until the partition of India in 1947, missionary activities were concentrated on Hindu Punjabis. Members of the church are mostly from Punjab, India. 

Most of the educational institutions like colleges and schools have been nationalized and operate under the control and direction of the government. The Church of Pakistan has initiated some significant steps to continue its role in education in the light of the policy of nationalization. Schools that were nationalized in 1972 have been returned to the church. The largest, Forman Christian College Lahore, was given back to the Presbyterian Church in 2003. It is hoped that in due course other colleges will also be returned. Outstanding institutions include United Christian Hospital, Gujranwala Theological Seminary, St Thomas Theological College Karachi, Edwardes College Peshawar, Mission Hospital Sahiwal and Kinnaird College for Women in Lahore.


The Moderator/President Bishop

The Most Rev Dr. Azad Marshall is currently serving as the Moderator/President Bishop of The Synod, Church of Pakistan. He is the Bishop of The Diocese of Raiwind and holds the title for The President- National Council of Churches in Pakistan. Bishop Azad Marshall was unanimously elected as the Moderator/President Bishop of The Church of Pakistan on May 14, 2021. 


Deputy Moderator

The Rt. Rev. Kaleem John is currently serving as the Deputy Moderator of The Synod, Church of Pakistan. Bishop Kaleem John is the Bishop of The Diocese of Hyderabad. The Diocese of Hyderabad is one of the 8 dioceses of the Church of Pakistan. The diocese was formed in 1980 and serves the entirety of the Sindh province of Pakistan, with the exception of Karachi. Most of its parishes exist in the rural areas of the province.

The Secretary

Mr. Shahzad Khurram is from the Diocese of Sialkot. Mr. Shahzad Khurram holds a Master Degree in Business Administration and is serving in the education sector of the Diocese of Sialkot. The Diocese of Calcutta now The Diocese of Sialkot,  was established in 1813 as part of the Church of England. It is led by the Bishop of Calcutta and the first bishop was Thomas Middleton (1814–1822) and the second Reginald Heber (1823–1826). Under the sixth bishop Daniel Wilson (1832–1858), the see was made Metropolitan (though not made an Archbishopric) when two more dioceses in India came into being (Madras, 1835, and Bombay, 1837).

The Treasurer

Mrs. Sadaf Paul is currently serving as The Treasurer of The Synod Church of Pakistan. Mrs.Sadaf  Paul holds a bachlor's degree in law and is from the Diocese of Multan. She is a lawyer by profession and possess a serving heart with diverse knowledge and wisdom. 



St Thomas' Theological College, Karachi 


Begun as a Karachi diocesan retreat centre at Selwyn House, Karachi, at the initiative of the Bishop of Karachi, Arne Rudvin, St Thomas' Theological College (STTC) became the Karachi Diocesan Seminary in September 1976. For several years during the early 1980s, Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, UK, was senior tutor and Hardman from Australia was principal for a few years during this period. On 22 February 1987, it was taken over by the Provincial Synod to provide graduate theological, pastoral, and practical training to ordinands, evangelists, church workers, and deacons/deaconesses of the whole of the Church of Pakistan (CoP).


In 1989, the board invited Rev. Pervaiz Sultan and Rev. Jerald Mall to join the faculty. Rev. Pervaiz Sultan became vice principal in 1993 and then in 1995 became principal, taking over from Bishop Arne Rudvin who had been acting principal for many years. Rev. Jerald Mall then became vice principal of the college.


The college is managed by a board of governors, consisting of bishops of the CoP, one member from each of the eight dioceses, the principal of the college, and others. This body is accountable to the CoP Synod. The responsibility of the board is to determine the curriculum of the college and to award certificates to students, and it has the executive power to manage the college's finances.


The college offers a three-year Master of Divinity (M.Div.), a three-year Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.) as well as a two-year diploma in theology and religious education and a one-year certificate in theology. In January 1998, a pilot project offering evening classes was begun. The six-month basic Christian teaching course was so successful that further courses have been held.


Students come to the college from many of the dioceses of the CoP. Students from other recognized churches or para-church organizations also study at the college. With over thirty-three students having been enrolled at any one time, the strength of the college community with student and staff family members is over seventy. Approximately 70 per cent of all contemporary CoP clergy in Pakistan have graduated from the STTC. From Cathedrals to shantytown dwellings, graduates of the college are working diligently in their various roles in their communities.

The faculty at the STTC has worked on promoting practical theology. Biblical languages are maintained as a priority for church leadership. The faculty also encourages students to engage in a broader participation in mission and preaching. Members of the college board of governors have affirmed the college's unique contribution in the promotion of leadership at different forums.

United Christian Hospital

United Christian Hospital (UCH) is a 250-bed hospital teaching hospital located in Lahore, Pakistan. It was established in the 1960s. Presbyterian Church purchased the land, Methodist Church with the help of Anglican Church constructed the building. It is affiliated with the Church of Pakistan.In 1964, Pakistan's first open-heart surgery was performed in the hospital.