It all started with a vision when the Christ of the Cross confronted Mr. K. V. Cherian on July 25th, 1944 with this question, "All these have I done for you, what have you done for me?" This made him resign his well settled white collar job and blindly step out for Christ's Mission.

After many tough years in Tamil Nadu, Mr. Cherian & family came to Kerala to take up the position of the editor of a newly started magazine. The first copy of the "Navajeevodayam" (meaning, 'Dawn of New Life') magazine came out in print in February, 1951.

Mr. Cherian initiated a fellowship meeting in Kerala on the 1st Tuesday of every month. About 30 pastors from various churches gathered for the first ever interdenominational conference in Kerala. This led to the start of the "All Kerala Christian Fellowship", (A.K.C.F). Mr. Cherian developed a Bible correspondence course called, "Jeevaprakasham" meaning light of life. After a few years, the office and ministry shifted from Kottayam to Tiruvalla. The present Navajeevodayam campus, in Tiruvalla came into being in 1964.

A burden to train young men and women led to the establishment of Navajeevodayam Bible College in 1983. The vision of Mr. K. V. Cherian, is being largely fulfilled through the efforts of Dr. George Samuel. Navajeevodayam Bible College was renamed, Olive Theological Institute (OTI) in 2012.

Today, OTI conducts M.Div, B.Th and Dip.Th programmes; all of them are accredited by Asia Theological Association (ATA).

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