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International Baptist Theological Study Centre Amsterdam

The Baptist House
Postjesweg 175
1062 JN Amsterdam

Tel: 0031 2021 030 25


International Baptist Theological Seminary of the European Baptist Federation o.p.s.

Nad Habrovkou 3
164 00 Praha 6
Czech Republic

Tel: + 420 296 392 311


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News 2009

A Peaceful New Year to all our readers

The IBTS community, the Board, Rector, Academic Team, students and community, wish you all a peaceful 2010.

The past decade has been one of remarkable growth in academic success for IBTS. Our alumni continue to serve the world church in many countries and situations. Entering 2010 we are confident that this next decade will be one of continuing joy as we seek to fulfil God's purposes in our degree, certificate and informal education programmes.

/31. 12. 2009/

Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen

IBTS, as an Eco Seminary, is keeping in close touch with the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

Amongst those present representing British NGO, Christian Aid, is IBTS Alumnus, the Revd Alex Alexander MA MTh. Alex is part of a group of 28 cyclists from Christian Aid traveling to Denmark to draw attention to the Conference.

Also present is Tim Jones BA MSt, Climate Policy Officer for the World Development Movement. He was one of the consultants in designing our "Theology of Creation Care " module. He is the son of IBTS Rector, Keith Jones. Theri activites can be followed on web sites:

/11. 12. 2009/

IBTS becomes part of Wales Global Campus

International Baptist Theological Seminary students now have the opportunity to become part of the world’s largest online global campus.

The virtual ‘Global Campus’ has been launched by the University of Wales with the aim of bringing together its 80,000+ students and more than 120 higher education institutions in 30 countries.

Students studying for a University of Wales qualification at International Baptist Theological Seminary will have access to a range of online services at, becoming part of what will arguably become the world’s largest University campus. Lecturers teaching University of Wales courses worldwide will also be able to log on, and access a personalised academic network connecting them with their University of Wales colleagues around the world.

University of Wales students and lecturers will receive exclusive access details to their Global Campus accounts via their International Baptist Theological Seminary email address. Once logged in, students, staff and alumni can meet, start discussion groups, form common interest groups and study collaboratively. By using a whole host of integrated Google applications, students and staff will have access to an online office suite which will enable them to share documents, schedule work and meetings, chat and even hold their own video conferences. The University email address assigned to them will remain with them for life, enabling them to stay connected with the University and with its worldwide network.

Vice-Chancellor of University of Wales, Professor Marc Clement, said: “The Global Campus has been created in response to our desire to engage more with our international body of students, and to enhance the student experience.

“The aim is to provide a comprehensive array of online services – a virtual campus where all the members of our university, wherever they are in the world, can meet. Our aspiration is to create a strong, worldwide, fully interactive community of staff, students and alumni – a University in the truest sense of the word. We urge all students and staff to become a part of that community by logging on and giving us their own input and contributions to the Campus.”

Many of the University of Wales’ international students are distance learners and Professor Clement is confident that Global Campus will provide them with a virtual campus whose facilities they can use just as they would those of a bricks and mortar campus: “Our aim is to create a global community of scholars, and give our students the tools they need to communicate and work together, regardless of location. Students taking a University of Wales MBA in Singapore can discuss their studies with students taking a University of Wales MBA in India, Wales or China.”

Plenty of universities have secure areas on their websites for students where they can access services, online learning resources etc, but the range of online tools, social networking and integrated services which will be available on the Global Campus is still quite rare. Professor Clement said: “The University of Wales Global Campus will allow people to make their own contributions. We hope that our students, wherever they may be, will use the resources that Global Campus offers to enhance their relationship with the University.”

/10. 12. 2009/

IBTS engages with Advent

The IBTS community has begun traditional Advent activities before the end of the Trimester on 18 December.

Events include special Advent worship, a daily Advent question at morning refreshment break, a traditional visit to lead worship at Liberec Baptist Church, Advent carol evenings, a visit to Burmese refugees of Baptist background living in Moravia and a Christmas party and Dinner. The Rector and his wife will also have an Open house during this season.

/30. 11. 2009/

Spiritual formation key to life at IBTS

IBTS forms our communal and academic life around worship and our "M" level spiritual formation module is key to that.

IBTS Autumn (Fall) intensives second week is the traditional time for two special events. The delivery of the "M" level spiritual formation module by our Senior Research Fellow, the Revd Dr Ian M Randall and our autumn visit to the Anabaptist house in Sobotiste (Slovakia) and the historic home of Anabaptists, Mikulov (Nikolsberg) Moravia. A  maximum attendance group of seven full and part time students are participating in this special week which is one of the highlights of the IBTS Calendar.

/7. 11. 2009/

EU Grundtvig meeting at IBTS

IBTS is part of a European consortium having informal adult education meetings under the EU funded Grundtvig programme.

From Thursday to Sunday 5 - 9 November  an educational event under the EU Grundtvig programme will be hosted by IBTS. Partners in this project from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Northern Ireland will meet on the campus to exchange information about social, political, cultural and religious realities within their contexts and the current realities as citizens of the European Union. The meeting will be especially important in view of the final ratification of the EU Lisbon Treaty following the signature of Czech President Klaus on the documents in Prague this week. Now all 27 member states of the EU have ratified the Treaty.

The Grundtvig programme is named after Danish church reformer Grundtvig who was part of the founding of evangelical and baptistic life in Denmark and was very active in adult informal education.

/5. 11. 2009/

2009 Nordenhaug Lectures

The 2009 Nordenhaug lectures are being delivered by Professor Paul S Fiddes of the University of Oxford.

Professor Fiddes, long time friend of IBTS is delivering six lectures on "Post Modernity and Wisdom". He is a British Baptist minister, formerly Principal of Regent's Park College, University of Oxford. He is now a Fellow of the College and Professor of Systematic Theology in the University. He holds the Oxford degrees of MA DPhil and DD. He also holds the degree of DD from Bucharest University. The lectures are due to be published as a new book by Professor Fiddes in due course.

/2. 11. 2009/

Annual Environment Month launched at IBTS

Students and academic staff launched the annual environment month at IBTS with a Subotnik !

The community spent Saturday morning clearing out surface water ditches, gathering up leaves and generally beautifying the campus. Led by Site Superintendent Mgr Vladimir R Parushev, teams of women and men cleaned out the open ditches, tidied up various open areas and gathered up the autumn leaf fall to be composted.

Rector Keith Jones commented "this is an excellent community activity always rounded off by a hearty soup lunch in our G building." For the next four weeks IBTS  will work through an environmental programme which has theological, ethical and practical components. This Environment Month has been an annual feature of IBTS ever since it became an eco-seminary.

/25. 10. 2009/

EBF Consultation offers advice on the way ahead


Thirty representatives of European Baptist life gathered in Prague 1 and 2 October at the invitation of the European Baptist Federation to discuss the future of the International Baptist Theological Seminary.

Under the guidance of Dr David Goodbourn, a British Baptist who is President of the Partnership for Theological Education in Manchester, Union leaders, the EBF Vice President, EBF General Secretary and the EBF Chair of the Finance Committee, members of the IBTS Board of Trustees and the BWA President reflected together on the values of IBTS and what was the best way forward.

There was overwhelming affirmation for the seminary continuing as a high-quality research and academic centre serving the needs of Baptists in Europe and the Middle East through doctoral and masters programmes, research institutes and conferences. Baptist and Anabaptist studies and work in missiology and applied theology were seen as being very important and must be maintained. Those present at the Consultation also suggested that IBTS should develop help with leadership training, especially of new union leaders and work more with mission challenges in the EBF region. These initiatives need not necessarily be at degree level.

However, to do this the challenge of generating sufficient income to run the institution means that serious issues have to be faced for the future including reducing expenditure and increasing income.

Advice issued by the consultation to the specially-appointed Strategy group, who have to recommend ways ahead for IBTS, came to the conclusion that there were three possible ways forward to be explored.

The first preference is to stay on the current campus, but hard work has to be done to reduce costs and to increase income, possibly requiring the appointment of a campus development officer.

If after investigation the economics cannot be made to work, then two other options should be considered – one would be to move in the Prague area to a smaller, more modern cost-efficient campus. On this would be library and offices, and the facilities of others would be used for lecturing and accommodation. Such a smaller site might be named the European Baptist study Centre. The other to relocate to another country in partnership with another Baptist or evangelical institution, possibly changing the language of instruction, accreditation and validation etc, but this was only to be contemplated if there were real and permanent savings.

Following the twenty four hour consultation the official Strategy group had a session to prepare a report for the up-coming meetings of the International Baptist Theological Seminary Board of Trustees and the European Baptist Federation Executive committee.

More information?

Contact: the EBF General Secretary or the Rector of IBTS.

/6. 10. 2009/

EBF Consultation on future of IBTS

30 European Baptist leaders gathered at IBTS on 1/2 October 2009 to consider the future of IBTS.

Like other Christian institutions, IBTS has been badly hit by the Global Economic Downturn. The reserve funds have reduced dramatically, grants from donors have fallen between 30 and 100% and the deficit on the accounts for 2008 is unsustainable.

The consultation looked at the current work of IBTS and pronounced it as a vital resource for Baptist research in Europe and the Middle East. The work of IBTS in doctoral programmes, research Master's degrees and research projects must continue.

The Consultation priorities how -

1. If at all possible on the current site by reducing costs and increasing income to produce a balanced budget and retain the reserve funds for major repairs.

2. If that is not possible, then relocate to smaller, eco-friendly premises near to Prague airport.

3. Only if that is not possible, consider relocating to a partner institution in Europe with good international air connection and where validation could be maintained, local accreditation obtained and teaching could take place in a major European language (English/German/Russian/French/Spanish).

/3. 10. 2009/

Diamond Jubilee Appeal raises over Kc 1.3million !

IBTS Celebrated our Diamond Jubilee in the Academic year 2008 - 2009 and one element was a special appeal for donations.

Rector Keith G Jones reports that so far over Kc 1.3 million (Euro 52,000) has been raised in the appeal, with much of the money coming from Europe. "This is excellent news for us and tells us that European Baptists are really committed to the work and ministry of IBTS". The money was raised by sponsored events, such as IBTS staff entering the Prague Half Marathon, by gifts from churches and individuals and by some special gifts from Baptist Unions. The gifts have been used to purchase a new seminary van, install new software in the library and enhance some of the student facilities.

This has been of special help in a year when some of the major donors to iBTs have cut their giving by between 20-80 because of the global economic crisis.

/30. 9. 2009/

The Revd Dr Simon Oliver appointed Senior Research Fellow

The Rector of IBTS, the Revd Dr Keith G Jones, has appointed a new Senior Research Fellow.

The Revd Dr Simon Oliver, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Nottingham and former University of Wales Moderator to IBTS has graciously accepted the invitation to continue to work with IBTS, especially in our post-graduate research programme.  Dr Oliver is a leading Anglican theologian, recently appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury to serve on the new Inter Anglican Standing Commission for Unity, Faith and Order. He has published extensively on the Trinity and on issues of Systematic Theology.

Dr Jones commented "Simon Oliver has been of immense help to us at IBTS and we are all delighted that he is willing to continue to serve us in this important way. I know our doctoral students will benefit greatly from his insights and rigourous thought."

/15. 9. 2009/

IBTS Commencement Service 2009

The IBTS Commencement service for the 61st Academic Year took place on Tuesday 1 September 2009.

Students, robed Academic Staff, staff and community members gathered in the seminary chapel for the traditional event at which students, academics and community members declare a covenant together as to how they will worship, study and live together in the coming year. The Revd Dr Ian M Randall, Senior Research Fellow, gave a challenging and inspiring address on following Jesus.

After the commencement Service a Festal buffet meal was held in the seminary dining hall. Intensive lectures and study programmes continue through the orientation period until 12 September.

/3. 9. 2009/

IBTS 61st year has commenced !

Research and Critical Thinking lectures are now underway.

New M level, Post Graduate Certificate and MPhil/PhD students are now on site and taking part in very full days of research and critical thinking lectures and seminars. Each day more students join them as visas are granted and students are able to make their travel arrangements. Returning students and Certificate in Applied Theology students are also arriving and once registered with the Czech authorities are able to prepare for the full Orientation Programme which begins on Saturday 29 August.

/26. 8. 2009/

IBTS plans for 61st Academic Year

IBTS is now in final preparation mode to receive new students for the 61st Academic Year.

The new intake of "M" and post graduate students should be on campus by Monday 24th August when a week of lectures and seminars on research and critical thinking begins. The Rectorate Team - Rector Keith G Jones, Pro-Rector Parush R Parushev and Kvestor Petra Veselá are completing final arrangements for the orientation programme which lasts until 12 September.

New students will be introduced to the amazing dictionary of European Baptist Life and Thought which was launched at the EBF event, Amsterdam 400. It is already a best-seller amongst European Baptists and was commissioned by IBTS eight years ago.

IBTS Rector Dr Keith G Jones comments "despite turbulent financial realities in Europe, IBTS is in good heart and with much affirmation from our EBF family we launch into our 61st year with confidence."

/3. 8. 2009/

IBTS Alumnus third in Europe-wide competition

IBTS MTh Alumnus, Joshua Searle, has come third in a Europe-wide ecumenical competition.

As part of the celebrations of 50 years of the Conference of European Churchesbeing celebrated in Lyon, France, 14-21 July 2009, this week, a competition was run for young Christians in Europe to write a short essay on "Hope".

Former IBTS Student Body President, Joshua Searle, now a doctoral student at Trinity College, Dublin, came third. The winner was a young female pastor in the French Reformed Church.

Well done Joshua !

/17. 7. 2009/

IBTS Quinquennial review 2009

IBTS has been subject to a thorough Quinquennial Review by the University of Wales, our validating body.

The end of June saw an extensive review of our degree programmes, resources, facilities and lecturing team by a special panel of the University of Wales. Chair of the panel, Dr David Ashelby, told the Rector and Academic Dean the report to the University Validation Board would praise the programmes and facilities put in place, the way the programmes are delivered, the quality of assessment and the quality of supervision for the doctoral degrees. The glowing review is further proof that IBTS is offering a first rate quality education to those who choose to sign up to our Master of Theology, Post Graduate Certificate in Theology, Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

/4. 7. 2009/

Congratulations to Dr Noble !

Tim Noble, Course Leader in Missiology and our Magister programme, has been awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree !

Tim has successfully defended his dissertation at the Vrije University in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  His dissertation topic was "Keeping the Windows Open - The Theological Method of Clodovis Boff and the Problem of the Alterity of the Poor".

The dissertation has been published by IBTS and is available from our bookstore.

We congratulate Dr Tim on this splendid achievement !

/25. 6. 2009/

IBTS completes 60 glorious years

IBTS has concluded its 60th year of academic work with a weekend of celebrations.

Members of the Board of Trustees, the officers of the European Baptist Federation, Alumni, Rectorate team, Academic staff, students, volunteers and friends of IBTS gathered for an excellent weekend of events to conclude the 60th year of service to European Baptists. The events held in the Prague campus included a Graduation Ceremony, a service of ordination, an open air service of thanksgiving and a birthday party. The event also saw the launch of a special celebratory coffee table book "IBTS Unique".

Now, IBTS staff are working towards our involvement in Amsterdam 400, celebrating 400 years since the first Baptist congregation was formed.

/8. 6. 2009/

IBTS Celebrates Diamond Jubilee this week

The IBTS community is in festal mood as we celebrate 60 years of service to Baptists throughout the world.

The programme for the week 26 -31 May includes alumni re-unions, a Graduation Ceremony and festal buffet on the Friday; an ordination to Christian ministry, and a Birthday Party on the Saturday and a service of thanksgiving in the Courtyard (weather permitting) on the Sunday. A beautiful coffee-table illustrated history of IBTS from 1949 to 2009 has been produced by a team under the leadership of Tima cheprasov and the book goes on sale at the Diamond Jubilee.

Rector the Revd Dr Keith G Jones comments " this is a historic week for IBTs and we are so glad to have had messages of supprot from around the world"

/25. 5. 2009/

IBTS gains Erasmus Charter

IBTS has been entered into the European Union Erasmus Programme from September 2009. Notification came from the EU Commission in Brussels just before Easter 2009.

This is excellent news for the seminary which has several strategic educational partners throughout Europe who also participate in the programme. "Being an Erasmus Charter holder within the European Union will help us with student and faculty exchange programmes to promote higher education and lifelong learning amongst Christians and with other universities and institutions of higher education in Europe" said the Revd Dr Keith G Jones, Rector of IBTS, on learning of the award.  IBTS already cooperates with institutions in the following EU countries - Bulgaria,  Estonia, Great Britain, Lithuania, the Netherlands , Poland, Romania and Sweden.

/23. 4. 2009/

Easter Greetings from IBTS

The Rector, Rectorate and Academic Team and the IBTS community extend Easter greetings to all.

The IBTS community is working through Holy Week  recalling various events recorded in the Bible in our worship, Bible studies and other reflections. On Palm Sunday many participated in worship at Sarka Valley community church with the distribution of Palms. In our IBTS community morning worship we are dfocusing on events during Holy Week. On Maundy Thursday we celebrate the institution of the eucharist. On Good Friday we recall the events around the cross.

IBTS official Easter break is Good friday and Easter Monday.

/6. 4. 2009/

Prague Half Marathon Triumph!

Three members of the IBTS Community completed the Prague Half Marathon Saturday 28 March 2009

CONGRATULATIONS to Tim Noble, Vanessa Lake and Anna Cheprasova, all of whom completed the 2009 Prague Half Marathon. Tim did the race in 1 hour 45 minutes approx and the two girls in just over 2 hours. They were cheered on their way by many members of the IBTS community. They were sponsored as part of the IBTS Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.

Well done !

/29. 3. 2009/

IBTS staff and students take part in Prague Marathon

IBTS has two staff members and a student taking part in the Prague Half Marathon this weekend.

The Personal Assistant to the Rector, Vanessa L Lake BA MTh, the Course Leader in Contextual missiology, Tim F T Noble MA STB and Master of Theology student Anna Cheprasova from Voronezh, Russia, are all participating in the Prague Half Marathon this weekend to raise funds for the IBTS Diamond Jubilee appeal. Rector Keith G Jones comments "I am delighted that these three members  of our community have been committed to training, getting sponsors and preparing for this event to assist our Diamond Jubilee Appeal Fund." Many members of the IBTS Community will line the route on Saturday to encourage them.

You can find out more about our participation by visiting our dedicated blog site

/27. 3. 2009/

Danish Baptist Pastors at IBTS

From 23 - 27 March the pastors of the Danish Baptist Union are meeting at IBTS.

Each year the pastors hold an annual conference and this year instead of the meeting being in Denmark they have come to IBTS, Prague, where members of the IBTS Academic Team will lead them in exploring issues of common concern on being the church in Europe today. IBTS Rector Keith Jones comments "several of us have had the privilige of speaking at the Danish pastors' conference, but now it is a special joy to have the pastors visit our community here at IBTS."

/23. 3. 2009/

Northumbria Community at IBTS

The annual visit of the Northumbria community to IBTS takes place 15-22 March 2009.

For the past three years groups from the Northumbria community, whose Mother House is at Hetton Hall, near Wooler, in Northumbria, have been coming to IBTs to share insights into contemporary use of Celtic spirituality and missionary zeal within the baptistic family of churches. This year the team is led by the Revd Pete Askew, an adviser on new expressinos of church life to the Anglican Bishop of Ripon and Leeds.  IBTS adapts to using the Northumbria office in a morning, at noon and for compline for the week and Certificate students receive lectures from community members.

IBTS Rector comments "this is an important link between the Northumbria community and the IBTS community. Unfortunately, this year neither community leader - Roy Searle or Trevor Miller - have been able to be part of the team. 

/16. 3. 2009/

Diamond Jubilee gift from London

IBTS has received a very generous gift from Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, London.

The Rector and Board of Trustees are delighted to annouce a gift of  twenty three thousand British pounds ( 746,000 Czech koruna) from Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church in London, UK, to the IBTS Diamond Jubilee appeal. IBTS Rector Keith G Jones comments " this represents an amazing gift by our friends at Bloomsbury to the work of this institution. In this time of economic challenge when so many of our partners are not able to support us as they, or we, would wish, Bloomsbury have shown their deep commitment to the work of theological education in Europe and the Middle East. It is a very encouraging and inspiring development!" 

/24. 2. 2009/

Baptist - Orthodox Conference Christian Mission at IBTS

IBTS and the Orthodox Faculty of Sofia University are jointly hosting a conference on Christian Mission in an Orthodox context 08-11 February 2009 in Prague.

Baptist and Orthodox Scholars from Europe and North America are meeting on the IBTS campus in Prague at the joint invitation of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology at St. Kliment of Ochrid Univeristy in Sofia, Bulgaria and the IBTS Research for Systematic Studies of Contextual Theologies.

Papers given reflect issues of comparative and contextual studies of the discourse around canonical territory in Europe; integration in the new Europe and the challenge to Orthodoxy;  the enabling of ecclesial leadership in the context of the Armenian Apostolic church; issues of theological formation; religious freedom ; shared roots for Russian Orthodox and Baptist communities; issues of proselytism and the integration of European Christian roots.

IBTS has a partnership with the Orthodox Faculty in Sofia and is committed to the promotion of Orthodox - Baptist dialogue, which is not happening elsewhere between Baptists and Orthodox.

/9. 2. 2009/

Principal of Ricks Institute, Monrovia, gains doctorate at IBTS

Olu J Menjay, Principal of the Ricks Institute, Monrovia, Liberia, has gained his Doctor of Philosophy degree through IBTS.

Dr Menjay prepared his thesis as a post graduate student of IBTS and presented it at a viva voce examination with External Examiner, Professor Andrew Walls of Edinburgh and Internal Examiner, the Revd Dr Ian M Randall, Senior Research Fellow at IBTS.  The Chair of the Examination Board was the Revd docent, Dr Parush R Parushev, Academic Dean at IBTS.  Dr Menjay engaged in analytical historical research on Christian education within the Liberian context with particular reference to certain prominent past missionaries who served in Liberia. 

The University of Wales Doctor of Philosophy degree is awarded by submission of a thesis and by oral examination, the viva voce. IBTS has over forty students enrolled in this programme.

/3. 2. 2009/

Professor Gordon Wenham launches colloquia on the Psalms

Professor Gordon Wenham, Gloucester UK, has launched the special IBTS Institute of Biblical Studies colloquia on the Psalms.

Speaking to a group of Old Testament scholars, academics and students at IBTS, Professor Wenham explored issues of the memorisation of Biblical Literature with special reference to the Psalms and by comparison with the place of text memorisation in the ancient world and also in the Christian world. The colloqium (22-24 January) features also lectures by Professor Craig Evans (Acadia Divinity School, Canada),Dr Robin Routledge (IBTS), Dr Michael Rohde (Elstal, Germany) and others exploring the place and relevance of the Psalms in evangelical communities especially in relationship to the New Testament, creation concerns, the theology of conception and related topics.

Over fifty participants are involved in the colloquia.

/22. 1. 2009/

Thomas Helwys Institute involved in Azerbaijan

The Revd Dr P R Parushev represented Thomas Helwys Centre on a recent Human Rights visit to Azerbaijan.

A team from the EBF led by General Secretary, Tony Peck, has paid a five day human rights visit to Azerbaijan. Included in the team was Parush Parushev, one of the core team of the Thomas Helwys Institute. The team met with Baptist leaders, representatives of other faith communities, representatives of various EU governments and officials of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The team presented their report to officials of the Government of Azerbaijan. The report will also be held in the resources of the Thomas Helwys Institute.

/19. 1. 2009/

IBTS wishes you a peaceful new year of learning !

The Rector, Rectorate and Academic Team wish you a peaceful new year of learning and growing.

IBTS enters 2009 celebrating 60 years of service to baptistic communities in Europe and the Middle East. With thousands of alumni serving all over the world we believe we are making a real difference to the growth of true disciples of Christ in  countless local churches, seminaries and unions.

We hope you will celebrate with us in Prague at the end of May 2009 !

/4. 1. 2009/

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