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INFLUENCE OF STUDY AT KTS

Teachers of the Church Ministries Institute, who have received high-quality spiritual and academic education inside the walls of Kiev Theological Seminary, have decided to briefly share their impression of how education has affected their life and ministry.

Богдан

Bogdan Tymchyshin, Pastor of the church in Lebedin

For me, as a Christian and a pastor of the church, it is important to, “… Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15), and for this I was blessed by studying at Kiev Theological Seminary. My teachers taught me systematic theology and how to conduct a deep analysis of Bible texts, with the purpose of effectively delivering God’s Word to His people.

Many teachers, such as Andy Rist, David Benzel, Eduard Borisov, with their love and personal example, have exerted a profound influence on me and taught me to better appreciate God’s calling on my life. Vasya Ostriy taught us to plan our ministry, so as not to work at random. Wayne Vandervier and Jerry Benge, showed us Biblical tools for nurturing and counseling God’s people. For me, my time spent at the seminary fellowshipping with brothers and sisters is simply the grace of the Lord, bestowed by Him for my spiritual formation.

Сергей

Sergey Tarasenko, New church planter in Ivanovskoe, Donetsk region.

I am really thankful to God that He, through the seminary, showed me how He loves me and takes care of my spiritual growth. Through study in the seminary I understand that I need to be humble with Word of God, the Bible, and that a right understanding of the Bible will have a significant influence on my ministry to the church God has entrusted to me. In relation to my family, in the course Spiritual Formation, God showed me that I also have to be humble with the people I love.

Александр

Alexandr Khandus, The new church planter, Kiev

When I was 18, I was accepted to study at Kiev Theological Seminary, where I received immense help in my practical ministry and in my professional work. Thanks to high-quality teaching skills, my teachers helped me to fall in love to the book, knowledge and the Bible. The atmosphere at the seminary is filled with acceptance and love from all the employees and administration. Mark McDonnell, director of the Bible Study program, showed special care and attention to the minds of students. He taught the students with great enthusiasm and wonder. In my case, the words written by Johann Goethe are quite appropriate: “You only learn from those you love.” My decision to study at the seminary is exactly because of my love for the Bible.

Михаил

Mikhael Suprun, New church planter, Kiev

I studied at KTS from 2004 to 2008. For me it was a wonderful journey, opening up new facets of the knowledge of our Lord. Having little practical experience of ministry in the church, I studied theological subjects, the knowledge of which allowed me to look at many church issues from other perspectives.

I especially want to mention the course Church History – it’s not just information, but the whole experience for 2000 years of church life, both positive and problematic. The teacher of this course, Professor Andy Rist, made it simply unforgettable. Sometimes the impression was created that numerous historical characters came out from the pages of the textbooks and spent their free time with Brother Andy, because he talked so enthusiastically about them.

I would like to mention the courses on theology taught by Dr. Mark Sousy. Our training was always supported by practical examples. In the final exams, one of the questions was always about a practical situation which we had to answer using the knowledge of theology we just learned.

Very profound and practical was the course on the life of the church, taught by Dr. Rick Perhai. For me, this course became a kind of quintessence of all my study at the seminary, and demonstrated once again value of the Church as a special and effective tool in the life of a Christian.

Indeed, it was time for a close relationship with God, and I am very thankful for the opportunity to study at Kiev Theological Seminary!

Виталий

Vitaliy Fomin, Pastor of a church, Kiev

Absolutely everything in this world influences us and shapes our worldview. The only question is, what will be the effect?

The time spent in the seminary classes did not pass without leaving its imprint on me. I am grateful to God for KTS: for the teaching which positively influenced the formation of my worldview, corrected my personal theology, allowed me to crystallize my convictions, and touched upon my deep motives reflected in the practice of life and ministry. The process of influence provided by the training at KTS, did not end, it continues. A worthy academic level in harmony with the emphasis on the practice of ministry is the strength of the seminary. To all who love the Lord, who love His Word, and who love His Church, I recommend training at KTS! May the Lord bless you and may He be glorified through you and your ministry in His Church.

Владимир

Vladimir Nikolaev, Pastor of a church, Kiev

After graduating from the Bachelor’s program in the CMI, for about ten years, I dreamed about continuing my studies. But full-time employment in church ministry and in the administration of the institute did not allow me to fulfill my dream. Before me there were several educational institutions in which it was possible to study in a master’s program. But God led me in a special way to Kiev Theological Seminary. Mike Gustafson, the chaplain of the seminary, recommended that I enter the youth ministry program. My ministry was connected with students, and my children were also of youth group age, so this program was acceptable for me.

All teachers of KTS have influenced me differently. Vasily Ostriy, director of the Youth Ministry program, created the right atmosphere for my studies. It is nice to learn when there is encouragement and wise supervision.

Dr. Richard Perhai helped me to understand the author’s intention in the Biblical text. I still remember how together we analyzed the books on Hermeneutics by Vanhuzer and Osborn. After an in-depth study of Hermeneutics, the Holy Scripture captivated my mind. Professor Sam Hyus helped me see the connection between theology and modern culture. For many Christians it is difficult to apply the ancient text in the 21st century, but Professor Hyus taught me to contextualize Biblical principles for modern society.

The main symbols of the seminary, the Bible and the coffee mug, symbolize a deep study of the Word of God and a friendly atmosphere. We invite all those who wish to prepare for an effective Christian ministry, and to learn more about the Bible and theology, to come study at Kiev Theological Seminary.

Biblical education in Perm’ (Russia)

Студенты из ПермиChurch ministries institute at the beginning of 21 century, organized Bible school in Perm’ Russia, which has almost 15 years of successfully serving, preparing believers for ministry. The first director of the school was an American missionary Leon Duell. The graduates are servants in different cities of Russia. For now, responsible for training in Perm’ is Bill Brown, ABWE mission missioner.
Students with amazing life stories, received quality education through local pastors, who in their time graduated from the various Christian school. One of our student was Alexey Zuev.
Alekskey has seen amazing changes in his life over the past 7 years. He was definitely on the fast track to an early death due to his life style. He was a very serious drug user and even was able to make drugs to sell to others. In his bandit world he was considered very smart and successful. Yet he understood that he was completely empty and without hope. He lived in northern Russia in Archangel when a friend of his went off to a rehab center in our city of Perm. The friend testified that he found Christ and freedom from narcotics through his rehab experience and returned to Archangel to testify to those around him. Aleksey heard his testimony and began to very serious think about his life and lifestyle. Soon he became convinced that he too must go to this rehab in order to save his life from an early death due to the use of narcotics.
Having arrived here in Perm he soon found the peace and salvation through Jesus Christ. With much zeal and care he began to investigate the Bible very seriously. The rehab was a charismatic one and after two years he was not able to stay in that church due to the errors that he saw in their church practices. Thus, he left that church in order to join up with the unregistered Baptists. He was then married, and then he and his new wife were with them for about two years also and then had to again switch churches due to their man made additions and ‘lose your salvation’ doctrines. They ended up with the registered Baptists in their city of Krasnokamsk.
Aleksey has been studying with our institute for the past year and a half and has shown himself to be very capable of handling the word. He is already serving in his local church as one who can lead meetings and he and his wife host a weekly Bible study in their home for outreach purposes. He has a real heart to reach those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, and frequently contacts people and even helps send them off to our rehabs. Praise the Lord for such students who take initiative, and who show real promise to perhaps one day even become a pastor.

Stay on the Line of Scripture

%d1%82%d0%bd%d1%82In conjunction with Leadership Resources International, the Church Ministries Institute held a seminar on expositional preaching near Kyiv on December 13-14. The speakers had international experience for training pastors in homiletical principles. Ukrainian preachers were able to deepen their understanding of expositional preaching through studying through the book of Jonah. A thorough study of this book of the minor prophets produced many important insights. Fellowship around the fireplace, good food and the warm hospitality of our host church in Obukhov further enhanced the training experience.

%d1%82%d0%b0%d1%80%d0%b0%d1%81%d0%b5%d0%bd%d0%ba%d0%be“For me, the seminar was very informative. I learned the historical context of the book of Jonah, learned about Jonah, and tmost importantly I learned about God and His mercy. The book of Jonah helped me to better understand my responsibility before God and the ministry. ”
Sergey Tarashenko church planter in eastern Ukraine.

%d1%84%d0%be%d0%bc%d0%b8%d0%bd“The book of Jonah is not about a fish, but the story of a merciful God and His arm that is not too short to save”.
Vitaly Fomin, Pastor of a church plant in Krukovshina, outside Kiev.

 

%d1%84%d0%be%d1%82%d0%be-%d1%8f“We divided the sermon both topically and expositionally. Many preachers, passed a course in homiletics, but continue to preach as they did in the past, usually topically. This training through the book of Jonah – this is not a regular seminar, it is a philosophy of preaching ministry. Expository preaching is based on the biblical text and remains in “line” with the text in its original context, and then applies it for a modern audience. This is not a quick and easy way of preparation, but it’s worth it. The training challenged me to practice expositional preaching of God’s Word”.
Nikolaev Vladimir, pastor, director of CMI. Kiev.

%d1%82%d0%bd%d1%82-2We plan to continue the study of biblical books for expository preaching. We invite all preachers wishing to enhance first of all themselves, and then others through the transforming ministry of expositional preaching. The next training is May 4-6, 2017 near Kiev. Join us as we plan to study 2 Timothy together.

Seminar “Moving Beyond the Lecture”

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October 26-27 Institute of Church Ministries (ICM) a seminar “Moving Beyond a Lecture”. Seminar speaker was Gil Thomas, fellow worker of ABWE mission and International Director of Good Soil Ministries. The goal of the seminar was to help seminary professors and all who desired to improve their teaching skills by using creative and interactive methods of teaching. 44 people attended the seminar, among which there were KTS workers, staff and graduates, workers and staff of ICM, teachers from other theological schools, missionaries of ABWE, church ministers: pastor, teachers, mentors.

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There are many seminars about improving teaching skills, but according to the words of the participants this seminar was special in many ways.  All the participants noted the relevance of the topic, because the changes in the world are happening so rapidly, including changes in the system of education and in the way people learn now days.  Many of the participants said that it has been the best seminar they attended as it was well organized and the given material was of great quality – people received many useful ideas. Some of the attenders marked that they not only received new ideas how to improve their teaching but they received deeper understanding when and with what purpose to use one or other creative or interactive method of teaching.  The seminar speaker Gil Thomas showed a great example how to create a safe environment so that the students may be open to learn and immediately practice their newly developed skills, so that they can remember better the material they learned. His model of teaching is an excellent example to follow in the way he holds attention of students and in the way he created an interactive learning environment where students learned from each other.

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The new format of education

i122cimgpsh_orig i125cimgpsh_origWhat we can do if students do not have opportunities to come for study in the classroom? What if the teacher cannot come to the students? With these issues we are faced in Church Ministries Institute.
In February 2014 because of war situation in the Donbas, we had the last course “Old Testament survey” in the Bible school in Kirovskoe, with hope that over some time we will be able to come back to the local church and continue training. But, it has passed 2 years, and the opportunity to back to Kirovskoe, uncontrolled Ukraine, we do not have. We prayed a lot for our students that God saved their life there and give them peace on their territory.
All the time we had communication with the bible school, which been in isolation. Mikhail Shevchuk, bible school administrator, attended the annual conference of CMI in 2014 and 2015, and often had conversation with CMI office via mobile phone. The students were eager to continue their studies, but the entrance to the town is just allowed with special permits. After long prayers, reflection and negotiation, we decided to resume the work of the bible school, using Skype.       This format of education was used in Transnistria, in the Bible school in Tiraspol. Students, together with the pastor of the church, passed 2 subjects: “New Testament Survey” and “Basic doctrines of the Bible” via Skype. For the students and for teacher the training in this format was like a journey through uncharted terrain. During teaching process we had a lively atmosphere; a lot of questions were discussed on these courses.

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After this experiment, we found that training on Skype has no significant differences from the standard teaching in the classroom. The most important things for using this format of teaching are HD camera and high-speed internet connection.
30th September 2016, we continue study in Bible school, the Kirovskoe. Group with 12 participants was gathered together. But … suddenly turned off the light in the entire town. The church started to pray and God give the answer in time – at the time of the start of classes the light was turned on. We connect Skype and started study process with “New Testament survey” course.
God has blessed our training, although initially faced with some difficulties. Students are accustomed to the fact that they see the teacher face to face. Teacher on a computer screen perceived unnatural. However, with sometime after beginning of the course, students adapting to this format, and they had many questions and start interesting discussion. After 10 hours of Skype-communication, the desire to continue study, even more increased. Students asked to repeat the course “Old Testament survey” because a lot of the material was forgotten for last 2 years.
Let us pray for church in Kirovskoe, that the education of students through the Church ministries institute program, help Christians who are in the zone of the war, to continue with the courage to preach the gospel of our Lord to people who as a result of military action have lost their loved ones and their homes.
The Church in Kirovskoe is very active in helping children and needy families with food, goods, restoration of destroyed houses. Our desire is to the local church, to grow spirituality, and more effectively serve God in a situation of war.

Mission – God’s desire

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God’s mission did not begin with Christ’s Great commission on the Mount of Olives, but much earlier. God’s entire plan for the salvation of humankind, beginning with the Book of Genesis – it is God’s mission. Jesus just continued the work of the Father, and the Church continues the work of God’s Son. On 12-16 September 2016 Church Ministries Institute held a seminar “Kairos”, on the course of Missiology, which motivated students to expand God’s mission for the salvation of the nations.

The course of “Kairos” reveals that mission is rooted in the nature of God, who sends and saves. This is mission from a biblical perspective. All Scripture is permeated with the desire of the Creator to tell about the great glorious history prepared for the people!
According to the students, this course helped them to see big picture of God’s plan of redemption. The important discovery was is that the preparation for the mission much more serious than is commonly understood and looks at first sight.
The practical aspects of the seminar were just great: modeling of worship in different intercultural contexts. Teachers were available for questions and clarifications of the study material. They used different methods in the learning process, feel a deep knowledge of the material and were sensitive to students.
We expect that course of Missiology not just in theory inspire our students, but helps them on practice be part of God’s mission.
We are waiting for a next course “The Theology of Paul the Apostle” from 28th November – 2nd December 2016.

Extreme Institute 2016 – Impressions of the Project Participants

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Spiritual growth is always associated with great pain and stress…like climbing the mountains when our frail body is screaming, not wanting to continue to move to the top of the increase in God, when our inner man resists and does not want to reach spiritual heights.It is one of the complex processes of the Christian life. Author Brian Zahnd encourages “spiritual climbers’ with the words:” Do not stop half-way from the top, climb to its peak; do not stop half-way in the Christian life, overcome all the way. Do not be mediocre: strive for the best”.
For over 10 years CMI has been holding ‘ Extreme Institutes “- a project that includes deep Bible study and theology out of the classroom walls , often in the open air, and the participation of students and teachers in evangelization. From10 to 18 July God gave us the opportunity to spend an anniversary “Extreme” in Verkhovyna in the Carpathian Mountains .
It was not our first visit to this beautiful mountain village. In the past we held there a winter project –a study of the theology of the Gospels and Acts, activity with skiing, enjoying the scenery of the snowy mountains –anunforgettable time. But “the summer Carpathians”, according to our students, are even a more exciting picture.

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Located in the heart of the Carpathian Mountains and studying the theology of holiness in the context of The Epistle of Romans 6-8 chapters, we could not remain indifferent to the people who live there, and we, together with the local church, participated in children’s evangelization.
It was interesting to plunge into the world of Hutsul culture. Visiting a museum, listening to exciting stories, songs, and even playing on national musical instruments, we were part of mountain local flavor.
We climbed to the top of Pop Ivan Mountain –can we forget this? How much effort it took for our teachers and students to overcome this difficult path and, with joy, look down and photograph from one of the Carpathian peaks. Overnight in tents – it was a special moment -when the wind shakes your tent, ready to rip it apart and the air temperature does not cooperate – chilly, you feel so weak compared to the strength of the wildlife and even more admire the power and majesty of its Creator! Throughout the ascent and the transversal of the mountains we felt a friend’s shoulder, whether teacher or student – encouragement and support were our companions throughout the hard way.

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Some participants of the project wanted to stay another week and climb not only to Mount Pop Ivan (2028 meters) but also on Hoverla (2061 meters) and other hills of the Carpathians. Others, after studying the Epistle to the Romans, had the desire to deeply explore this amazingly multifaceted theoretical and practical aspect of the book. Evenings by the fireplace, communication in the rooms and a beautifully manicured courtyard helped students from different cities to learn more and support each other, encouraging a life of holiness, a life of struggle of the spirit with the flesh, in which, ultimately, will win the one who in us by His authority and power. Such an inspiring conclusion was reached after studying just a small part of the great messages of the Apostle Paul.
We hope that every member of the project fruitful spent time in Verkhovyna.Even the pool and sauna were available to all who came. It should be noted that the age of the oldest “extremals” VitalyKobzar, who says about himself that he is not just an old man (rus.- “Star”), but “superstar”, 68 years old. Lifting up to the Pop-Ivan, he confirmed the principle “growth never ends, it is the process of a whole life.”

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According to Mikhail Suprun: “Climbing to the mountains gave me understanding of the physical limitations of the human body. I thought about the fact that the Lord has given to us eternity, but He put us in a limited space and time for the understanding of his majesty! Great, we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (2 Cor. 4:7). Studying Romans6 – 8 once again showed how the Lord teaches us some lessons:the deadness of the believer to sin and the life in Christ, the law in the Christian life and the unconditional love of God – especially memorable themes. In a lively discussion participants confirmed the relevance and practical words of Scripture.”
Oleksandr Khandus also shared his impressions: “some activity, exciting Bible study and Christian fellowship, contemplation,the surprising color of the Carpathians…all this became possible for me through the project of the Church Ministry Institute ” Extreme Institute – 2016 “. For the first time I have seen the beauty of God’s creation from the height of the Carpathian slopes. It captures the spirit of projections created by God, and I want to shout David words, “For what you have done I will always praise you” (Ps. 52:9) One feature of the extreme institute is the combination of elements of rest and training into one. So, Vladimir Nikolayev, director of CMI, conducted training on the subject “The holiness of the believer based on the Epistle to the Romans chapters 6-8″ And for me personally, the issue of the grace that is taught by the Apostle Paul, has been perceived in a new way. Specifically, the believer has a new position in Christ, which frees him from the power of sin and death. His life is renewed completely and this regenerate man is obliged to Christ”.
We are full of gratitude to God for the privilege of studying His word, beholding the beauty of His creation, and we are hoping for the mercy of God, looking forward to “Extreme Institute – 2017″, where students together with teachers in an informal location again will jointly engage in enhancing their spiritual and physical health. Every believer needs a catalyst for spiritual growth, and our project is one of the responses to this need. Praise the Lord!