The Karnataka Central Diocese is one of the twenty-two dioceses of the Church of South India covering the central part of Karnataka.
The year 1810 witnessed the arrival of the first ever Protestant missionary, the Rev. John Hands of London Missionary Society at Bellary, Karnataka State (erstwhile Mysore). During the later part of 19th century also witnessed the arrival of other missionary societies such as the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society (1821) Basel Mission (1834), the society of propagation of the Gospel and the Church Missionary Society. Except for the Basel Mission, the other Missions became part of the South Indian United Church (SIUC) which came into existence in 1908. The South Indian United Church (SIUC) was formed and sustained by the efforts of the Rev. Vedam Santiago of Madurai. When he envisioned the formation of the Church of South India a number of hurdles had to be crossed including those of caste. The Anglican Bishop Azariah was approached by Rev. V Santiago and persuaded to be a leading force in the bringing together of the varied churches in South India. Thus it was that Rev. V Santiago along with other SIUC leaders brought about the Church of South India under the later leadership of Bishop Azariah. When the Church of South India was formally inaugurated in 1947, Mysore Diocese was one of fourteen dioceses. Acceding to a proposal made by the Synod in 1964 to create smaller dioceses to provide better administration, the Diocese in 1969 approved the scheme for dividing the Diocese into three units. As a result of this division, the Central Karnataka diocese came into existence on 1 May 1970, on trifurcation of the then Mysore diocese.
Under the leadership of Bishop Norman C Sargant, the Mysore Diocese was trifurcated and the Mysore Central Diocese came into being in the year 1970. When Mysore was renamed as Karnataka then the Diocese also changed its name from Mysore Central Diocese to Karnataka Central Diocese.