About CSI

The Church of South India (CSI )

The Church of South India (CSI ) is the successor of the Church of England in India. It came into being in 1947 AD as a union of Anglican and Protestant churches in South India. With a membership of over 3.8 million, it is India’s second largest Christian church after the Roman Catholic Church in India.CSI is one of four united churches in the Anglican Communion.

The CSI was inaugurated September 27 in 1947 at St. George’s Cathedral Chennai, it was acclaimed as the most significant event in the Church Union movement, because for the first time after centuries of historic divisions, churches with Episcopal and non-Episcopal ministries were brought together in a united Episcopal church.

Four different church traditions had been brought together in the CSI, Anglican (Episcopal), Congregational, Presbyterian and Methodist. All these churches had been established in India through the missionary work of churches in Europe, America and Australia, who had started their work in India at different periods from the beginning of the eighteenth century.

One of the three churches to come into Church of South India was South India United Church (S.I.U.C.). S.I.U.C. was formed in 1908. This was a union between Congregationalists and Presbyterians. The Basal Mission, district of Malabar also joined the S.I.U.C. in 1919.

When C.S.I. was inaugurated there were fourteen dioceses. Today the church has twenty-two dioceses and more than 2 million members. There are eight diocese in Tamil Nadu, six in Andrhra Pradesh, four in Kerala, three in Karnataka and one in Sri Lanka.


The church is governed by a synod based in Chennai and headed by a presiding bishop bearing the title of Moderator who is elected every two years.


The church is further divided into 22 dioceses, each under the supervision of a bishop, including one diocese encompassing Jaffna, Sri Lanka.

Name Headquarters Location
Dornakal Diocese Dornakal Andhra Pradesh
Karimnagar Diocese Karimnagar
Krishna-Godavari Diocese Machilipatnam
Medak Diocese Secunderabad
Nandyal Diocese Nandyal
Rayalaseema Diocese Kadapa
Central Karnataka Diocese Bangalore Karnataka
Karnataka Northern Diocese Dharwad
Karnataka Southern Diocese Mangalore
East Kerala Diocese Melukavumattom Kerala
Madhya Kerala Diocese Kottayam
North Kerala Diocese Shoranur
South Kerala Diocese Trivandrum
Coimbatore Diocese Coimbatore Tamil Nadu
Kanyakumari Diocese Nagercoil
Madras Diocese Chennai
Madurai-Ramnad Diocese Madurai
Thoothukudi – Nazareth Diocese Thoothukudi
Tirunelveli Diocese Tirunelveli
Trichy-Tanjore Diocese Tiruchirappalli
Vellore Diocese Vellore
Jaffna Diocese Jaffna Sri Lanka

Missions and Committee

For proper guidance of the life and work of the Church the CSI Synod has set up various Commissions and Committees. The following are some of the important ones:

  • Ministerial Committee: which deals with issues relating to the ordained ministry.
  • Theological Commission: which deals with questions relating to the faith of the Church.
  • Liturgy Committee: for advising the Church on matters relating to worship and orders of service for different occasions.
  • Board of Mission and Evangelism: for promoting missionary outreach both within the CSI area and outside.
  • Union Negotiations Committee: for negotiations with other churches towards wider union.
  • Commission on Political Questions: for considering issues of justice and peace from the perspective of the Church’s witness to the Gospel.

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