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IBTS Newsletter May 2021

Revd Dr Mike Pears, Director.

Dear friends

We are pleased to be able to send you another news update to help keep you in touch with events at IBTS as well as opportunities to take part in the wider community of theological education and research in Europe and around the world.

Of course, we continue a daily struggle with the effects of the pandemic. I have an uneasy sense that the effects on our daily lives and relationships are yet to be fully appreciated. I was intrigued to hear from a friend of an article by Adam Grant in the New York Times about the pandemic and languishing.  He says that ‘part of the danger is that when you’re languishing, you might not notice the dulling of delight or the dwindling of drive. You don’t catch yourself slipping slowly into solitude; you’re indifferent to your indifference.’ I wonder if the language of languishing might assist us in our theological reflection, our practical ministry and our own self-care? https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/well/mind/covid-mental-health-languishing.html

The IBTS community has remained very active through the first part of 2021 and we are very much looking forward to the opportunity of sharing with each other in our IBTS SUMMER GATHERING (1st-2nd July 2021 online).

Amongst other things, we are encouraged by the successful completion of the first course of the Learning Network in the Freedom of Religion and Belief (FORB) and the launch of a new course in Missional Leadership which started just last week. These are significant milestones for this new venture.

We were extremely saddened by news of the death of Oksana Raychynets the wife of Fyodor who is an IBTS research student. Oksana was herself a student at IBTS in Prague and our hearts and prayers are with Fyodor, his family and all at the seminary in Kiev in this time of grief. We also continue to pray for Anthony Cross who is experiencing serious ill-health.

Promotions have been a feature of the first part of 2021. Congratulations are due to Mattias Neve for a successful online defence on 11th March and for the subsequent publication of is dissertation! We look forward to Elie Haddad’s promotion on 10 June 11:45 (zoom link to follow) and just the day before that the promotion of our friend and colleague from the Dutch Baptist Seminary, Hans Riphagen.

There are a couple of short pieces you may be interested to read:

First, we had a nice interview published in Baptist News Global featuring the work of David Gushee and Erica Whitaker https://baptistnews.com/article/european-school-seeks-to-bolster-baptist-scholarship-and-mission/#.YIKgO-gzaUk.

Second, Toivo has produced a good report for the IBTS Blog on the recent Dimensions of Baptist Identity conference hosted by IBTS online. Thanks to Toivo and the team working with him who did such a great job on this conference!  https://blog.ibts.eu/

I know I speak for the whole IBTS team when I say that we always appreciate hearing from you. So do feel free to give us a call, even if only for an informal catch-up!

Peace and Blessings

Reminder of the Summer Gatherings:

Cohort 2021 – PGCert days 28 -29 June
All students and adjuncts – Summer gathering 1-2 July
Programme has been sent to all, and we will be working on the detail in the coming weeks. 


Baptist World Alliance
Baptist World Alliance Congress 7-10 July, online.

There are different options to register but note that the opening and closing sessions are free of charge, you will still have to register, but at no cost.  https://bwa2021.org/register/

For further information, please watch the video:


Life on the Breadline:

Invitation to Life on the Breadline end of project conference on 24th-25th June 2021.  The conference is free to attend and will take place on Zoom.  The conference will combine formal presentations from the project team with interactive workshops and has been planned with a target audience of church leaders, practitioners, and academics in mind.

The provisional conference programme and details of how to book your free conference place are available at https://breadlineresearch.coventry.ac.uk/events/end-of-project-conference/

Invitation to read the newsletter from University Hamburg


EBF Commission on Migration:

You are warmly welcomed to join the EBF Commission on Migration for a Network Conversation to

  • Connect with other Baptists working with displaced peoples

  • Exchange stories of both challenges and encouragement

  • Learn about the Commission on Migration’s plans for the coming year, including mapping

  • the Baptist response to forcibly displaced peoples

The meeting is planned for 1,5 hours

The registration information is available on the website of the EBF:http://www.ebf.org/index.php?sisu=syndmus&mid=42&id=58&lang=eng

Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence:

Between 24th and 28th May this year, the Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence will be holding its third annual conference, via zoom.

The title this year is From the Rising to the Setting Sun: Global Perspectives on Bible and Violence. We have papers on the interpretation of biblical violence, and the use of the Bible in a violent world. Contributors come from twelve different nations and will bring a broad range of perspectives. For more information and registration:


Call for papers

ETF Leuven:

ETF Leuven are organizing a conference on October 8 and 9, 2021, entitled “Bridge-building Leadership in a Polarizing World.”

The Call for Papers is available on their website.

You can reach them at https://www.etf-ilse.org, or  info@etf-ilse.org

Acadia Centre for Baptist and Anabaptist Studies (ACBAS):

ACBAS is pleased to offer an annualprize competition in the general field of Baptist and Anabaptist history and thought,especially in Canada’s Atlantic region. They are are particularly interested in submissions thatsituate their subject within a historical context and framework.

The annual Julian Gwyn Prize in Baptist and Anabaptist History and Thought, in the amount of$250 (Canadian), will be awarded for the best article approved for publication in a peer reviewed journal (including peer-reviewed student journals, open access journals, and hybrid

journals) by a doctoral- or masters-level student, in French or English. The award will be announced by November 1st following the close of the annual competition. (June 30th of each year).

Email submissions to acbas@acadiau.ca