As of today, being fully aware of the importance not only teach, but to practice what you teach, almost all key faculty of Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary are involved in pastoral ministry. Some of them have been pastoring churches for many years, the other planted news churches just a year or so ago, having set a good example of practical ministry for the seminary’s students and graduates.
Serhiy Fluihrant, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, for example, is a senior pastor of Tabernacle Church which gathers on UETS campus. Initially, when the church was planted around a decade ago, it was intended to serve UETS resident students, living on the campus, and UETS graduates living nearby. Today, it is a full-fledged church, which serves not only UETS students and graduates, but the whole neighborhood. It is attended by around 100 people.
Andriy Meleshko, instructor of Theology, is a pastor of the New Community Bible Church planted in the town of Irpin’ two years ago. Since that time the congregation has doubled (from 12 members of the planting team to 24 church members). During this time the church also launched ministries for teenagers and preschoolers.
Oleh Bornovolokov, in turn, Professor of the History of the Church, has been pastoring Reconciliation Church in Kyiv since 2007. Today, the church has a full-fledged children’s ministry, organizes camps for children from non-believing families and shars with them good news about Christ. There is also developed social ministry which lies mostly in helping elderly and disabled people.
Fedir Raychynets, the head of the Department of Theology, has been one of the pastors at Bethany Church in the town of Bucha, which is within 15 minutes driving distance from Kyiv, for many years. Being a teaching pastor, he contributes to the formation of sound theological views of the congregation.
Kyrylo Proshko, the Director of the Center for Missiological Studies and Practice, and a UETS graduate, became a co-planter of a new international All Nations Church in Kyiv two years ago. The newly-planted church pursued the aim to reach out numerous foreigners, primarily foreign students, living in the capital of Ukraine, showing them through love and acceptance that our God is a God of a stranger, orphan and widow. Today, along with other members of the team, he holds weekly meetings attended by nationals of different countries such as Algeria, Livia, Azerbaijan, India, China.
Ivan Rusyn, UEST President, started a new church in Kyiv along with his friends a year ago. It is worth noting that a few faculty and recent graduates take active part in developing this young church (Kateryna Symchuk, Anton Sylka and Vasyl’ Raychynets and others). Despite all challenges in connection with the coronavirus pandemic, the last year has given rise to several ministries such as children’s ministry, women’s ministry, and missions. During the quarantine, thus young church was even privileged to have its services broadcasted in one of national TV channels.
It is also worth mentioning Denys Kondiuk, dean of the School of Theology and Christian Ministry, and his wife Olha Kondiuk, who are starting a new church within the international Vineyard movement with focus on college students and recent graduates.
Undoubtedly, new communities of His disciples, who reflect love, truth and hope, are of primary importance in order to carry out God mission in the present-day world, particularly amid pandemics. Whenever we reach people with the Gospel and baptize them, we realize the great calling of Christ.