"...this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." Matt 24 v14
The College of Theology and Education starts preparing leaders of small groups for Bible study. The courses took place on Saturdays. The programme was initiated by the leadership of “Bethel” church from Chisinau. The project was realised with the help of Fiodor Mocan, a graduate of the Christian University from St.-Petersburg. The programme included 10 disciplines and in addition to the Saturday meetings, the students attended three one-week seminars taught by professors and graduates from other Christian institutions. The first students were members of churches who responded to the invitation of Bethel church.
The Moldovan Baptist Union launches Holy Trinity Institute in which all courses are taught in Romanian. The first director of this institute was Valeriu Ghilechi, a graduate of Emanuel University in Oradea, Romania. In the first year, 11 students were accepted through recommendations from churches across Moldova. Among the first teachers were graduates of the Theological Seminary of Bucharest, Romania: Serghei Namesnic, Mihail Malancea and Ion Miron. The institute developed a Bachelor of Theology programme taught in Romanian and Russian.
An agreement between the Baptist Union and the leadership of Bethel church unites the two institutions “Grace” and “Holy Trinity”. This decision was the result of a need in the evangelical-Baptist community for a Christian institution staffed by competent people and had a significant impact upon the future development of the institute. The Director of this newly-formed institution was Fiodor Mocan. The Academic Dean was Valeriu Ghilechi and the Dean of Students was Simion Placinta, a graduate of Emanuel University, Oradea.
At the first administrative council in September, it was decided to register the institution as: “College of Theology and Education”. The unification of the two entities required a high degree of effort in the early stages, but the eventual outcome was remarkable.
: Helped by the Southern Baptist Convention from the United States and the Baptist Union from Moldova, the College was established on its present campus in the centre of Chisinau with all its facilities: dormitories, offices, library, classrooms and cafeteria.
The first graduation of CTE students took place in the spring, with 21 students receiving diplomas in Theology, 16 in Christian Pedagogy, 2 in Music and 16 in Extramural Studies. That summer it was decided to start a new program in Social Work, to be taught in Romanian.
: Under God’s guidance and backed by the prayers of brothers and sisters, a section is established specialising in the training of missionaries to Turkic-speaking people living in the Gagauzia region of Moldova and for students from Central Asia. The college also initiated the process to receive accreditation from the Euro-Asian Accreditation Association (EAAA) for the theological program.
: The first graduates received certificates authorised by EAAA confirming international recognition of the studies.
The College of Theology and Education completed the process of reorganisation resulting in a new status as a university and a new name. The Latin name “Divitia Gratiae University” translates as “the riches of His Grace”. In the same year the faculty of Management and Foreign Languages was launched. Ron George started visiting the college to add an Islamic dimension in their missions programmes and also to help lecturers understanding. Back in the UK the Romanian Aid Fund was handed over and renamed Eurasia Educational Foundation to raise funds and help the University. New directors were appointed as part of that transfer.
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