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Fruitful partnership has been the lifeblood of IBTS over many years and we continue to work actively and strategically with generous partners. Working closely with partners enables IBTS to adapt and shape its own education and research provisions to best serve the needs on the ground and to remain faithful in its mission which is to ‘empower scholars and leaders in the church for the world’.

I see theological research as an intellectual endeavour of the heart; it emerges from our questions and yearnings about God, the world and ourselves. By attention to specific enquiries, we seek meaning that enriches particular contexts and also contributes to a boarder remit. Hence, research is enhanced when carried out in community, where work is rigorously scrutinised and challenged, and researchers are generously encouraged and supported. IBTS is one such space of learning, with our students, drawn internationally, undertaking innovative and imaginative research around the globe, with passion for the histories, theologies, communities, churches and countries which they inhabit.

Dr Fran Porter
Chair of IBTS Academic Oversight Committee and researcher

IBTS is the premier centre for Baptist training in Europe bringing Baptist distinctives in shaping theological frameworks in a Post Christian context of European mission. It offers a unique space for reimagining how Baptist polity and heritage could revitalise mission shape communities for Christ. It is BMS’ privilege to collaborate with IBTS in our shared commitment for growing missionally minded leaders to engage with the re-evangelisation of Europe for Christ.

Kang-San Tan
UK, General Director BMS World Mission

There was a familiar Low German phrase in Mennonite communities which captured some of their perspectives on higher education: je jelieda, je fechieda (roughly translated: the more educated, the more perverted). As an academic and theologian, I struggled to come to terms with my own passion for learning, research and theology in light of a faith community that was somewhat suspicious of higher learning. Afterall, the interpretation of Scripture and theological discernment doesn’t simply belong to the “experts,” the academics, but it belongs to the whole church. So why pursue further theological education? Honestly, I’ve never thought that my theological training somehow makes me “better” than the saints in my congregation. But the gift rigorous theological engagement has provided me with countless opportunities to engage the intricate beauty of the Christian faith and practice. Careful attention to the complex details of a text or a community’s life, has brought me again and again brought me into wonder and awe. For this I am grateful.

Prof. Irma Fast Dueck
Associate Professor of Practical Theology at Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg

The Faculty of Religion and Theology at Vrije Universiteit cherishes the partnership with IBTS. We share a commitment to academic rigour, motivated by personal existential engagement, and aiming for a contribution to a better world. In that spirit we have welcomed the new chair on social ethics, in the person of Prof. David Gushee, as well as the highly relevant PhD projects that our IBTS students are working on. This, we believe, is theology at its best: driven by visions inspired by the gospel, we devote our studies to making something of the Kingdom visible in this world.

Prof. Ruard Ganzevoort
Dean of Faculty of Religion and Theology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

The greatest challenges we face, both in the church and in the world, require serious engagement in theological research. Without it, we often end up jumping from one short-term solution to another, lacking memory, depth, and imagination that is borne of disciplined wrestling with theological ideas. That’s why it’s so exciting to see the kinds of questions our research students are tackling.

Rev Dr Lina Toth (Andronoviene) SFHEA
Assistant Principal & Lecturer in Practical Theology, Scottish Baptist College

IBTS is a valuable long-term partner of CBM. In addition to excellence in quality theological education and research, the Learning Network, which aims to strategically train younger leaders who will then each form their own learning communities, provides a platform and model for long-term contextual leadership training. This new cutting-edge leadership training initiative represents an 'out-of-the-box' innovative approach which makes IBTS an exciting and influential partner to work with for years to come!

Rev. Dr. John Chan
Canada, Director of International Partnerships, CBM