Although there are many centres of theological learning in Sri Lanka, the discipline "Christian Studies" is offered only in the University of Kelaniya and in the University of Jaffna. Christian Culture attempts to present an understanding of Christianity to students from diverse religious traditions employing the methodology of inter-religious dialogue. The study of religions has always been fostered by the various religious traditions. Sri Lanka can boast of the Pirivena Tradition and the West had its monastic schools. When the rest of society rejected the heritage of the past, these schools preserved and fostered their development. The study of Theology as a science in the university tradition of learning emerged towards the end of the First Millennium of C.E. with centres in Paris and Blogna in the forefront, eventually, the Paris tradition migrated to Oxford and Cambridge. The 15th Century saw other centres of learning throughout Europe. Buddhist studies became popular in Western universities in the 19th and 20th Centuries. However, Christian studies did not attract the intelligentsia of Sri Lanka for a very long time. In the course of last few decades Christian Studies are a popular subject among Asian students. The Chinese University of Hong Kong offers attractive courses to many non-Christian students specially coming from the mainland China. It is developing into a popular centre for Christian Studies in Asia. In India, the Chairs of Christianity at the Universities of Mysore, Madras and Madurai are playing analogous roles.
The University of Kelaniya is the only centre for higher studies which offers Christianity as a subject which could be studied in the Sinhala medium. The section remains the only space in the arena of university education where the Sinhalese of any religious persuasion or none, can study for a university degree in Christianity in medium of Sinhala right up to the Doctoral level. When the subject was introduced to the university, many Buddhist monks availed themselves of the opportunity. In fact one of the former senior lecturers in the department of Christian Culture at is a Buddhist Thero who had followed the special degree course in Christian Culture offered by the University.
The section on Christian Culture offers a unique opportunity for the Buddhist-Christian Dialogue in Sri Lanka. Buddhist-Christian Dialogue and intercultural studies is an important area of concentration and in Western Universities. In Sri Lanka, it is fostered in centres such as the Thulana Research Centre, Gonawala, Kelaniya, Centre for Society and Religion, Colombo 10, Ecumenical Centre for Study and Dialogue, Colombo 5. The Sri Lankan universities have not developed adequately this area of research. If such a development is in place, it has the potential of attracting foreign students to local universities. Hence the section on Christian Culture at the University of Kelaniya could liase with the faculties of Christian Studies, Theology and Divinity in classical European and U.S. universities as well as modern Asian universities and centres for Buddhist-Christian Dialogue. Christian Studies are indispensable to understand English, French, German and Russian literature. The classics in these languages have originated in the context of Christian Culture. Hence the section on Christian Culture at the University of Kelaniya is a point of reference and an asset to the lecturers and students studying English, French, German and Russian in the university. It is also of value to the post-graduate students pursuing comparative studies in the Department of Pali and Buddhist studies of the University of Kelaniya