Church Mission in the War

Professional Development Program
Online/Distance Mode

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Program Goals

Creating a relevant educational environment aimed at enhancing the capabilities of pastors and ministry leaders operating within war-torn contexts.

This program will be beneficial to

  • church pastors
  • assistant pastors
  • ministry leaders

Admission requirements

  • belonging to a local church
  • at least 3 years of experience in a leadership position

Program Details

  • Duration: February 23 - April 13, 2024 (2.5 months, 10 weekend blocks)
  • Schedule: Friday, 18:00-21:00, Saturday, 10:00-17:00
  • Format: Distance Learning/Online Seminars
  • Document Submission Deadline: February 21st

Learning Outcomes

Enhanced Character

  • adaptive to the challenges of the war times
  • responsible in action
  • opened to cooperation

Broadened Knowledge

  • understanding of complex theological and historical concepts
  • understanding the limits of the minister's responsibility in crisis pastoral care
  • basic legal awareness in the context of martial law
  • holistic vision of church ministry

Refined Skills

  • formulating and teaching answers to complex theological and historical questions
  • identifying the signs of post-traumatic stress and providing first aid
  • basic skills of counseling families in conditions of separation

Curriculum Intro

  • The Sermon on the Mount in the Context of War

    The main goal of the seminar is to analyze the key texts of the Sermon on the Mount that may be misunderstood and applied wrongly to times of war (topics like pacifism, forgiveness, justice, reconciliation, love to the enemy, etc.); demonstrate the limits of their meaning and application nowadays.

  • War and Forgiveness: (Not The) Time to Forgive

    The second wave of military aggression has once again raised the question of justice, forgiveness, restoration of relations, etc. Moreover, it often exposed a distorted understanding of the dynamics of conflict and the manipulation of various biblical texts. The key goal of the seminar was to rethink conflict as a phenomenon, based on the analysis of the main biblical narratives of (fraternal) conflicts, and help understand its dynamics: the sequence of matters such as justice, forgiveness, restoration of relations, reconciliation etc.

  • War and the Problem of Evil

    War as a manifestation of concentrated evil sets a difficult task for ministers: to competently explain the problem of evil and teach about this phenomenon in an accessible way (Why is there evil? Why does suffering, grief, tragedy exist?) This seminar is designed to help ministers, on the one hand, to rethink the theological explanation of the problem of evil, and on the other hand, to acquire skills in understanding how to speak and teach about evil. This seminar aims to help ministers, on the one hand, reconsider theological explanation of the problem of evil, and on the other hand, acquire skills to understand how to speak and teach about evil.

  • War and Independence: Historical Stages in the Formation of Ukrainian Identity, Lessons from History for the Present

    During the new cycle of the fight for the country's identity and originality, against the backdrop of the myth of the "russian world" regarding who, when and how ‘invented’ Ukraine, the seminar aims to form a clear understanding of the historical path of Ukraine's formation and the lessons we (Ukrainians) can learn from this historical experience we have today (both positive and negative).

  • War and the Church: Lessons from History and Principles of Survival

    The seminar is intended to present models of church response to military and social conflicts in primarily Ukrainian history (including the experience of other countries); identify lessons from history that would be helpful for the church today in its response to war; point out negative experiences that should not be repeated.

  • War and the Relevance of a Holistic Mission

    The seminar intends to achieve two main objectives. First, to lay a worldview foundation where church ministry is understood not through the lens of the usual dividing into "holy" and "secular", "church sphere" and "non-church sphere", but through the perspective of understanding that any sphere of human existence is a part of God's reality. Therefore, every aspect of human reality needs to be in line with the values of the Kingdom of God. Secondly, to present specific examples of holistic mission and try to highlight lessons relevant to the Ukrainian context.

  • The Social Role of the Church During Times of War

    In the context of military aggression, the issue of the social role of the Church in times of crisis is becoming increasingly relevant. The seminar is intended to address this issue from three perspectives: - Church and Government; - Church and People; - Church and Empire (oppressor).

  • War and Biblical Ethics of Military Duty

    In the context of military aggression, there is an inevitable need to enhance understanding of the biblical ethics of military service. This seminar focuses on two main aspects: (1) The Bible and armed defence. It will address topics like the military oath (pledge), bearing arms, the difference between "taking life" and "killing", alternative service, etc; (2) Chaplaincy as a form of military service. The following questions will be addressed: what is chaplaincy, what it actually is and what it is not; methods of chaplaincy; reasons why chaplaincy training is important today; how the church can cooperate with chaplains in their service to the military.

  • War and Separated Families

    Considering the problem of divided families due to military aggression, the seminar is focused on 2 main objectives: - first, return to the definition of what a family is and what are the key indicators of a family; - secondly, to try to answer the complex questions of our time: How does the long-term absence of one of the parents affect family relationships? - How to make up for lost ground in relationships? - What can be recommended to separated families to maintain their connection despite the separation?

  • Pastoral Care in the Time of War

    In response to the threats of war and the traumatic experiences many citizens of the country have endured (occupation, leaving their homes, bombings, captivity, constant feeling of threat), the seminar aims to discuss a series of questions with church ministers: - Why is war a unique traumatic experience? - What are the signs/symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (analysis of practical situations)? - First aid skills (practical recommendations). - What are the boundaries of a minister's responsibility? - When and where should help be sought? - What should be considered when ministering to internally displaced people?

  • War and Pastors: Challenges for Pastors in the Time of War

    The purpose of the seminar is to discuss and share experiences, thoughts, and recommendations regarding the challenges faced by pastors due to military aggression: - How to remain church ministry active and functional despite large numbers of ministers and church members emigrating due to the war (when no leader teams left)? - What kind of responsibility does the pastor have for his church members who have moved to another country? - How do you balance between caring for the church and caring for the people in need and not to move from being a pastor to becoming a social worker? - How to avoid devaluing your spiritual ministry when serving as a humanitarian aid after church services? - How to integrate the church of internal displacement believers? - How to protect oneself from manipulation with humanitarian aid? - What are the principles of working with people in need? When does help/aid start to be harmful?

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