The Pastoral Theology Program was started by BEE International, as they desired to offer those who finalized either a theology program or the BEE International program (E.B.E.) the possibility to continue their education. The program offers in-depth training in Pastoral Theology, both for ministry and also with the purpose of developing ”resource” workers, who would share with others what they have learned, so that their students would continue the same process. The program was coordinated, since its inception by Dr.Andy Seidel. Dr. Seidel is the executive director of the Center for Christian Leadership, at Dallas Theological Seminary, from 1997 to present. Since 2009 the ATS-Pastoral Theology curriculum is developed on the BIG-Impact platform, in partnership with Entrust 4.
Accomplishments: 10 generations of students graduated in all these years, an impressive accomplishment for an informal program.
The first 2 generations had the courses in English, the next 8 in Romanian. The last generation just graduated in November 2013.
The program in Romanian was made possible only if continued, in terms of organizing and management of the program by the Romanian students who studied in English. Among those involved in organizing and managing the program are Mihai Dumitrascu, the current coordinator of the program, Teodor Bulzan, Cornel Marincu and Daniel Iosub.
Since 2010 the courses were transposed into an e-learning platform, which brought an increase in the quality of student preparation and, also, significantly increased the interaction among students and students/teachers.
The purpose and characteristics of the program: That students will become specialized (through the forming of the Christ like character and through the forming of various competences) in pastoral theology, and become ”resource” people, teachers of teachers, Christian shapers.
In accordance with the principles of adult education, the program intends to be interactive, inductive and experiential. The student has to be a person of character, who serves the Lord and the church he pastors.
By attending this program, the student has to be equipped with knowledge, skills and abilities through which his ministry would become more effective.
The current team:
Mihai Dumitrascu – coordinator
Members: Gelu Paul, Ovidiu Ghita, Adrian Totan, Adrian Lauran, Brian Eby, Dorin Dumitrascu, Titus Pastean, Lucian Rotaru, Alex Ilie, Emanuel Moisa, Aurel Bahnaru, Woody Woodward, Lidija Paul and Ursache Petru.
The faculty is re-writing the courses, adjusting them to serve the needs of the Romanian churches and is also aiming at a future academic accreditation at a Master level.
A new generation of students will be accepted into the program on 2014. We dream of a day when ATS program will become a Master level course, inside a US university.
What do the graduates say about this program?
Claudiu Stefan: ”The ATS meant an opportunity from God to bring me to a new level of relationship with him. He did this both through my instructors and through my fellow students. I was surprised by the beauty of those sincerely looking for God – we drew close together, because we found ourselves around a common element: our sincere motivation to allow ourselves to be modeled by God!
During these 3 years we shared the struggles and failures, the joys and aspirations and, especially, the experiences with God, helping each other grow – and this is no small thing!
Looking back, now, after I graduated, I can say without a doubt that I did not have the feeling of going to school (although this was a reality). I experienced something more alive, more captivating, more challenging through the assumed standard, more personal – it was that intimate group in which disciples are formed, Jesus’ disciples!
Through this program you are forever challenged, you become another person, closer to Christ, to his thought (Philippians 2:5-8). You regard serving, serving him with different eyes. Even though, on a human perspective, things tend to get complicated a lot, you get a guide, a philosophy for ministry.”
Lucian Rotaru: ”When I entered the program, I told my coordinating pastor that I intend to quit the position I was holding at that time to be able to fully dedicate to the church ministry. The church needed a refreshment of the vision and the hopes people had were for me to draft the church vision and then to work towards its implementation. This burden seemed too big for my shoulders and I was very ill prepared for such expectations.
By going through the ATS program I grew with small steps in the right direction. I understood what my role is in drafting the vision, I developed the necessary skills to write a coherent vision and I got encouragement through the fellow students and professors.
During this time I was helped in disciplining myself, arrange my priorities, meet the deadlines, do my homework and interact with the others, while growing in a measurable way.
Praise the Lord Jesus for everything!”
– The Lord will lead us in selecting all the next generation students.
– The Lord will bless the professors involved in this program, including Dr. Andy Seidel, its initiator.
– The Lord will open doors through which we will be able to gain the academic accreditation.