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Pushcha-Vodytsia Kyiv Ukraine

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‘Theology is fascinating!’ PDF Print E-mail

Testimony of a first-year student of Theology and winner of the William Kotiuga scholarship

My name is Nikita and I am from Mariupol, an industrial city in Eastern Ukraine. Initially, I lived in a healthy family, but everything changed when my father became a drug addict. I don’t know exactly when he started doing drugs, but I was 6 years old when it became obvious. I remember my grandpa trying to protect us from my father and my uncle, who was addicted to drugs too. Later they were both imprisoned.

My twin brother and I lived with our mom who took care of us. Life seemed normal until my dad, having been released from prison, filed a claim on his share of the property. We had to split the property although we would have no place to live. However, God provided us with a new home in a miraculous way. A bank offered to buy out our old ground-floor apartment to turn it into a branch office and buy us two new apartments instead. So, we were able to move into a remodeled apartment and live there.

I was 8 when my mom started going to church. I also attended church and had friends there, but though I called myself a Christian, there was no serious commitment in my life.

I repented in 2009 having responded to an altar call during a church service. I decided to repent because I had realized that everything around me, including myself, was not accidental or purposeless. I saw sense only in Christ. Despite various temptations that came later, the awareness of my belonging to Christ filled my heart with great joy.

As far as my dad is concerned, I had been engulfed in hatred towards him and could do little about my inability to forgive. His readiness to kill my mom had haunted me non-stop. In the years that followed my repentance I realized the need to shift that burden off my shoulders by asking God for forgiveness. It happened in due time, as shortly thereafter I found out that my father had died.

Before entering the seminary, I took an active part in music ministry (sang, played the guitar) at my church. Also, I was a youth leader there. Today, I go to a new church plant in Kyiv that has around 20 people. This is a church of internally displaced people who moved from the war zone in Eastern Ukraine. These are the people that are on my heart to serve. I am involved in youth discipleship there and preach occasionally.

What I really want to do in the future is to write articles and/or books on apologetics of the Christian faith. Theology is fascinating and attracts me for a number of reasons. First, I am studying theology to enquire further into my own faith; and second, to use the acquired knowledge to draw people nearer to Christ.

I am so thankful to Willy Kotiuga for the scholarship award which is sure to have an effect on my life and, hopefully, the lives of others who will be impacted by the ministry that this theological education will enable me to undertake.

Commencement Prayer Service 2017 PDF Print E-mail

On May 9, 2017, students of the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary, as well as faculty and staff, were invited to a special Dedication to Ministry program in the Seminary Chapel. The prayer service, which concluded the academic year, was held in celebration of the students’ accomplishments, with particular focus on the soon-to-be graduates.

Rector Ivan Rusyn offered an introductory prayer; and musical praise was rendered by a UETS choir conducted by the Chair of the Music Department, Maryna Yarmolenko, and instrumental ensembles.

William Atkinson, a senior lecture at the London School of Theology and a featured speaker to the gathering, pronounced the benediction.

We celebrate the gifts for ministry and the academic achievements of the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary class of 2017. In this year of celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we can have confidence that these graduating students will serve the church and world providing leadership to congregations and other ministry settings as pastors, teachers, youth leaders, diaconal ministers, chaplains, associates in ministry, and a variety of other positions.

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