The Institute is situated on Baker Hill, Kottayam, Kerala. It is named after St. Ephrem, the great Syriac theologian poet and saint, aptly described as the Harp of the Holy Spirit. It was inaugurated on September 14, 1985 by his Holiness Mar Thoma Mathews I, Catholicos of the Orthodox Syrian Church.
SEERI is sponsored and supported by the Malankara Catholic Archdiocese of Tiruvalla; its aims and objectives however, are distinctively ecumenical; it works in close collaboration with all Churches, particularly those that share the Syriac patrimony. SEERI seeks to foster and deepen the mutual understanding of these Churches through close collaboration in the study and search of their common heritage.