The 2019 admissions season at UETS is underway. Student enrollment at UETS was just 303 in 2013, but by the 2018-2019 school year that figure grew to more than 500 with 70 full-time students, 472 part-time students including 50 students at Central Asia Bible Institute. At first glance, overall student enrollment may not seem impressive, especially compared to that of much larger North American seminaries, but considering the relatively short history of theological education in Ukraine, the progress is remarkable.
There are several reasons why student enrollment has been on the rise over the past few years. First, UETS offers relevant, high-quality programs which are accredited by the European Council for Theological Education. Second, Ukraine as one of the most open countries in terms of religious freedom in the world is ripe for church growth and new ministry which translates into greater demand for well-trained and equipped ministers. Third, UETS faculty members have the academic credentials, expertise and practical ministry experience that students are looking for. Finally, UETS graduates have a reputation of being competent and committed ministers.
The music program continues to experience growth in its enrollment numbers. This multi-year trend is the result of positive recommendations of current and former students as well as the explosive popularity of our annual Music in Worship conference, which has drawn hundreds of Christian musicians from all over Ukraine.
“I am enrolling in Music Ministry program because I would like to obtain more than a music college can give or, in other words, to grow not only professionally, but spiritually. I know that God wants to see me in worship.” – Mykhailo Kyrychenko
“When at Music in Worship camp last year, I was impressed by the way UETS students mentioned their alma mater. They said that years of studying there were the best years of their lives. Actually, I had never heard anything like that about any educational institution in Ukraine. That is why I am here.” – Daryna Bondarkova
Many applying theology students are already actively involved in various ministries. They all seem conscious of the need to improve not only professionally, but spiritually:
“I have some experience ministering to drug addicts. I had the opportunity to become an exchange student in Denmark, but I decided to study at the seminary.” – Veniamin Moturnak
“I’ve just graduated from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv with a degree in chemistry, but I wasn’t sure I was ready to pursue a scientific career. So, I decided to lay a solid spiritual foundation first and find my place in ministry. I’ve come to this seminary because there are UETS graduates at our church who recommended studying here.” – Veronika Zadoya
On June 8, 2019, students, faculty and staff of Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary took part in the National Prayer Day for Ukraine.
This is the fourth year in a row that thousands of Christians have gathered at Kyiv Sports Palace to worship God together, and pray for peace and prosperity for their nation. This endeavor is supported by local churches all over Ukraine.
The power of joint prayer can hardly be overestimated. It is always of primary importance, providing hope, especially in times of war and crises. It is only God who can bring harmony, peace and comfort. We are grateful that Ukraine is one of few countries in the world where Christians representing different denominations can gather in large numbers to freely and openly pray together.
UETS was privileged to take part in this important event. This year Kristina Pavlova and Mospanenko Yanina as well as students Roman Leshchuk, Max Sirodan and Anastasia Patay were involved in organizing and putting on this event. For some it was their first experience being involved in putting on an event of this scale.
The UETS student choir directed by the head of Music Department, Maryna Yarmolenko, joined the united evangelical choir on stage.
Tina Denisenkova, a third-year student of music, performed a song co-written with Kristina Pavlova. The orchestral arrangement for the song was done by our partner and visiting lecturer Steve Thompson. Karyna Buliuk, a first-year music student, also sang for the event.
On June 7, 2019, students of Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary, as well as faculty and staff, attended a special prayer service in the seminary chapel. The service, which concluded the academic year, was held in celebration of the students’ accomplishments, with particular focus on the soon-to-be graduates.
Though it was not an official graduation ceremony yet, which is usually held in September, the event confirmed an old seminary tradition to pay respect to those who faithfully completed their studies in order to serve the Church and transform society.
Debbie Sutton, a long-standing partner of Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary joined Ivan Rusyn, UETS President, Serhiy Fliuhrant, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Maryna Yarmoneko, Director of the B.Th. Program in Music Ministry and Theology, Radyslav Tatsiun, Director of the Resident B.Th. Program in Theology and Christian Ministry, in pronouncing blessings and wishes to the graduating students.
Musical praise during the service was rendered by one of UETS worship teams, student choir conducted by the head of the Department of Music Ministry, Maryna Yarmolenko, and instrumental ensembles.
May the Lord richly bless you, dear graduating students!