Dharwad was chosen by destiny to be a seat of learning and a centre of culture. During the British regime many educational institutions were established which made Dharwad what it is today- a centre of education. Dharwad attract many dedicated missionaries from Basel, Switzerland and from West Germany, to name a few, Rev. Ferdinand Kittel, Rev. Zigler, Rev.Mogling and others.
Kittel College came into existence on June 20, 1960 as the Diocesan College of the then Mysore Northern Diocese of the Church of South India. It is name after Dr. Ferdinand Kittel, a famous savant and a Kannada Lexicographer who spent most of lifetime in India as a missionary from Basel Mission, in particular, at Dharwad for one year (1883-84) as the Principal of Basel Mission High School.
His contribution to Kannada language and literature is a pioneering one. His monumental work Kannada-English Dictionary published in 1894, has continued to be a landmark in the field of Lexicography. His other works include a Kannada Grammar and Prosody. Rev. Ferdinand Kittel breathed his last on 19th December, 1903 at Tubingen, Germany. Late Shri R S Bangera, Chairman, BMHE centre, who served as Principal of Basel Mission High School for decades was a driving force behind the establishment of this college along with Shri. B. A. Bhasme, Shri C J Ammanna, Rev. V.P. Dandin, Sri. P S Dhawale and others.
Principal T. Reuben took over the charge as the first Principal of the college by the persuation of the Management.
Kittel College aims at scholarship, fellowship and leadership to mould the young students with spirit of dedication for service in life. Kittel College started with science faculty in 1968 and Arts faculty was added in 1969. Since Principal T. Reuben was selected as the member of the Public Service Commission in December 1968, he had to relinquish his principal ship to Mrs. S. T. Reuben who held the charge till Rev. John Satyanathan of L.V.D. College, Raichur joined Kittel Science College as the Principal on 1st July 1969.