Isabella Thoburn Degree College is the first Christian College for women in South Asia and was established in 1886.
At present, the college is affiliated to University of Lucknow and recognized by UGC.
The College teaches five undergraduate courses, leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.), Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.), and Bachelor of Library and Information Science (BLISc). It also offers nine postgraduate courses leading to the degrees of Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Science (M.Sc.).
Isabella Thoburn College is the first Christian College for Women in South Asia. Its founder, Ms Isabella Thoburn, was the first American Woman Methodist Missonary to sail to India in 1869, after the Women's Foreign Missionary Society (WFMS), of the Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in Boston to champion the cause of women in India.
The orgin of the college was in a school of girls opened by Ms. Isabella Thoburn on 18 April 1870 in one room, in the city-centre bazaar of Aminabad. There was then six girls. By 1871, the school had expanded and moved to occupy a house named Lal Bagh, the house of the treasurer of the last Nawab of Awadh. On 12 July 1886, Miss Thoburn's school was renamed as the Lucknow Women's College and began to teach Fine Arts Classes under the supervison of the University of Calcutta. IN 1894, this connection was abondoned in favour of a new one with Allahabad University.
After Miss Thoburn's dealth in an attack of cholera in 1901, the College, still at Lal Bagh, was given its present name in her honour. In 1923, during the Principalship of Ms. Florence Nichols, the College became a separate institution and moved to the Chand Bagh estate of almost 32 acres, where it has remianed until the present day. Chand Bagh estate of almost 32 acres., where it has remained until the present day. Chand Bagh means "Moon Garden". The property was once a royal garden. The College's Principal, Sarah Chakko (1905-1954) was the first woman president of the World Council of Churches.
The college is now affiliated to Lucknow University. The buildings it has developed on the Chand Bagh campus since in 1920s include student hostels, lecture rooms, laboratories, a library, a College Chapel and a large hall. The College teaches five undergraduate courese, leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts (B.A), Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com), Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.), and Bachelor of Library and Information Science (BLISC). It also offers nine postgraduate courses leading to the degrees of Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Science (M.Sc.).
The Institution traces its roots back to the founder Ms. Isabella Thoburn's ideology : "No people ever rise higher, as a people, than the point to which they elevate their women." When Ms. Thoburn came to Lucknow, She observed how there was noticable discrepancy in the level of advancement of men and women. She decided that her first priority would be the education of girls, and the next priority would be evangelistic work with women secluded in their homes.
It is the mission of the College to assist in the creation of women leaders who manifest intellectual competence, spiritual maturity, mental strength and moral uprightness, who will champion the cause of justice, love, truth and peace, and who are ever open to further growth. This fulfills the criterion of Social Accountability towards the society. This vision was reflected in the location and property chosen for the institution as well.
To help girl students achieve self-discipline, cultivate good habits, and imbibe high ideals and virtues.
To train students in clarity of thought and accuracy of expression and develop in them leadership quality.
To build a community to staff and students committed to the common pursuit of truth and moral excellence.
To promote a healthy modern outlook amond the women while drawing inspiration from our motto, our ancient cultural heritage and tradition.
To become an institution of social change and a force of integration among linguistic, religious and caste groups and to inspire young women to work for the eradication of social evils.
To inculcate in the students a sense of responsibility to the nation and encourage their creative involvement in the building up of a new developed india, a country free from exploitation, injustice, ingnorance, poverty, misery and corruption.