New academic year – new horizons for ministry
An Interview with Rev. Anatole Volodymyrovych GLOUKHOVSKI, president of the Ukrainian Bible Society, founder and rector of the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary
— Anatole Volodymyrovych, Christian education is a subject of numerous discussions and there are many visions thereof. What can you say as to its urgency?
- Christian education is not a whim, but an urgent need of the modern church, and, like any other field of activity, it requires highly-qualified and well-trained specialists, for this will define the quality of their ministry in many respects.
The Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary [UETS] offers all-round training of ministers through a synthesis of study, prayer and practical service in churches and Christian organizations.
—What kind of year is this for the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary? What is the present status of the UETS?
- The UETS has served in the field of Christian education for 13 years now. September is a special month for our institution. It is not only the beginning of a new academic year, but also an interim stage of our ministry: presentation of diplomas to graduates. This year, we have 26 graduates who were awarded bachelor’s degrees, diplomas and certificates certifying their qualification level. With God’s help, we managed to overcome a stereotype which arose in the beginning of our ministry as a denominational seminary, when each union and denomination established their own educational system as they opened bible schools and seminaries. We are greatly honored with the trust of 16 Christian unions and denominations, not only of Ukraine but also of countries of the post-Soviet space and distant foreign countries whose ministers study here.
—Which forms of study and departments are offered by the UETS?
-The UETS presently has three departments: the full-time department, stationery-extension program [mixed], and extension-study departments, and the following faculties: pastoral, Christian, musical ministry, and Christian counseling. In meeting the requirements and requests of the churches, we have developed and successfully run special programs: School of Youth Ministry, School of Muslim Studies, School of Tutorship, and School of Management. Today, we are training 750 experienced and young ministers coming from city churches of many thousand and from small village churches. The programs of the UETS are accredited by the European Evangelical Accreditation Association at the bachelor’s level, and the program of the qualification level “master of theology and pastoral ministry” is in the process of preparation and we will be able to offer it in the nearest future.
—Does the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Academy fulfill solely an educational function?
-I view the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Academy not only as an educational center, but also as a center of light, grace and God’s unlimited love, where the physically hungry receive daily bread, the spiritually ruined are fed with the truth of God’s word, and where the morally depressed find rest for their souls. The UETS is, first of all, a local church with the respective order, structure, purposes, aims and ministry. We are also well aware of its needs. The seminary is a place which initiates the planting of new churches, in which process both the staff and students of the UETS participate. In order to keep the unity of the place, we have a team including youth, children’s and women’s ministries. The question of the development of church education as basic theological education is of no less importance. It is a new line of our activity. All these ministries are intended for assisting not only the establishment of the church, but also its participation in efforts to transform society by means of the word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. The UETS runs the Rafa Center for counseling and the family and a soup kitchen for the poor. The seminary has become a popular place to hold Christian conferences and youth and children’s camps.
—What relations does the seminary maintain with local churches and Christian organizations?
-The seminary closely cooperates with churches and Christian organizations of various unions and denominations, as we train representatives thereof. We engage pastors and church ministers in instruction. We successfully run joint evangelization and social projects. We are open and welcome churches to cooperate and Christian and non-Christian organizations to implement joint projects of service to the Lord and the people. We aspire for the seminary to be effectively engaged in service both to local churches and society.
This interview was posted on RISU’s Ukrainian-language site on 29 November 2005.
How to find UETC:
Hamarnyka Street,57, Pushcha-Vodytsia ,city of Kyiv, 04075, Ukraine
tel.: 8(044) 4318242, 4318241;
E-mail: [email protected]