Southern Asia Bible Institute (SABI) was established by the Assemblies of God Missionaries in July 1951 with 8 students. Rev. Alfred Cawston who was among the founders became the first principal of SABI. Students, along with the principal and family, lived first in a bungalow on Davis Road. Later the school was moved to 15, Cockburn Road, where the ‘First Assembly of God Church’ is built today, near Cantonment Railway Station.
From 1951-58 SABI offered a three-year certificate (C. Th.) programme. In 1958, a fourth year was added and offered Graduate in Theology (G.Th.) diploma. In 1968, the institute was upgraded to Southern Asia Bible College and the G.Th. was accredited by the Board of Theological Education of the National Christian Council.
SABC was relocated to the present campus in 1970 with around 80 students. In 1974 –‘75, Asia Theological Association accredited its Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.) degree and in the same year the Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.) degree programme was started. In 1981, ATA accredited the B.D. programme. This degree was renamed as M.Div. in 1991. Serampore accreditation for the B.Th. programme continued till Serapore University stopped the system of accreditation and subsequently SABC got a probational affiliation for B.Th. But in the same year, SABC Board decided to withdraw from the affiliation and continue with the ATA accreditation only.
In 2009, the “Centre for Global Leadership Development” (CGLD) was established as an umbrella organization over Southern Asia Bible College. Today the college offers the B.Th., M.Div., and D.Min. programmes. The present enrollment includes over 280 regular students as well as over 700 in the distance learning (DL) programme. The D.Min. programme has about 28 students in the first two cohorts.