Interserve’s roots go back to the early 19th century as a movement of Christian women from around the world.

Inspired by the love of Jesus, and with the desire to do what they could to bring about his promise of fullness of life, women set up educational and healthcare initiatives to serve the women and children they met who lacked access to education or healthcare.


In 1852 the Calcutta Normal School was inaugurated, followed by several hospitals across India which existed to serve all those in need. Other forms of service were initiated including community development programmes, caring for people with leprosy, plague relief, and caring for orphans, reflecting our organisational commitment to whole-life ministry.

For the first hundred years of its life Interserve was an organisation run solely by women who came not just from India and Great Britain but also New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Canada and Ireland. Interserve later merged with a like-minded organisation based in the USA and Interservers now come from many more countries from around the world.

In 1952 Interserve decided to allow men to join. Interserve’s ministry has expanded to include peoples from the Asia and the Arab World living elsewhere in the world, a trend that started in 1960s UK among immigrants from South Asia.


Much has changed since those early days but our core desire remains the same. Motivated by the love of Christ, serving in partnership with the global church and using the skills, passions and abilities that God gave us, we seek to see lives and communities transformed through encounter with Jesus Christ.