Stay on the Line of Scripture 2

IMG_6557A seminar workshop was organized by the Church Ministry Institute, Kiev Theological Seminary and the international mission “Leadership Resources”. It was second workshop of six that are scheduled over the next three years in the Kiev region.
Pastors of churches from different cities and villages in central Ukraine were able to attend this seminar to update their knowledge deeper into the study of the biblical text (2 Timothy) and to take a fresh look at already familiar texts.
“It is really a breath of fresh air for us to be at this seminar, and I planned a number of sermons based on book of 2 Timothy” – Pastor of Messianic Church, Viktor Mural-Sikorskiy.
IMG_6555Much of the workshop time was devoted to working on the text. The trainers encouraged all the pastors to stay keep on line with the Scripture, not deviating from it in any direction.
The pastors also got acquainted with the methods and principles of working with the Scriptural text and the practical application of concepts such as genre, structure, theology, and so on. The next seminar is going to be in November 2017, when we will work with book of Genesis.

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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”


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.


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.








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.