Emanuel University and Seminary in Oradea, Romania, has sought to provide the best theological education possible for its students since the school’s inception, but its goals reach far beyond the walls of the school, the school’s president said during a visit to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Oct. 24.
“We are developing a partnership between Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Emanuel University and Seminary in Romania in the areas of faculty development, theological education and missions,” Paul Negrutz, president of Romanian school, said.
Negrutz, accompanied by his assistants Elijah Soritau and Samuel Clintoc, met with Southwestern Seminary President Paige Patterson to discuss ways in which the two schools can extend a partnership that until now has only been a loose and incidental association.
In the area of theological education, Negrutz explained that the Romanian seminary will begin by sending some of its faculty to the Fort Worth campus of Southwestern Seminary.
“Starting this January, one of our colleagues will pursue a master’s degree in theology at Southwestern,” Negrutz said, referring to Clintoc. In addition to his role as assistant to the president, Clintoc is also a public relations officer and professor in the New Testament department at the Romanian seminary.
Patterson is already well known among Romanian Baptists. In 1998, his commentary, A Pilgrim Priesthood: An Exposition of First Peter, was translated into Romanian by Editura Institutului Biblic Emanuel in Oradea.
Negrutz invited Patterson to serve as professor emeritus of systematic theology at Emanuel Seminary. Patterson accepted the invitation and will teach a one-week course in May. First Lady and Professor of Theology in Women’s Studies Dorothy Patterson will also teach a one-week course on women’s ministry.
Additionally, the two seminaries will partner to send students from both seminaries on joint mission trips. Students will travel jointly to do evangelism, church planting and discipleship in places such as Siberia, the Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria, Turkey, Albania, Macedonia and in the Middle East.
“While we have no formal arrangement, due to the fact that so many of their students speak Russian, we can naturally work together with Emanuel Seminary and with our students in Bonn, Germany, for the purpose of missions.”
Negrutz said that Emanuel Seminary students also recognize that they have a mission to preach and teach the gospel their own back yard.
“All of this has as its under-girding element the fact that we are conservative Baptists and we want to provide the best theological education for our students, for our faculty, but also to help Europe rediscover its conservative belief,” Negrutz said.
Emanuel Seminary was started in 1990 as a seminary and university, but Negrutz said the school traces its roots back to 1985 when it was an unofficial, “underground” theological training program.
“In those days, a number of our visiting faculty accepted to come underground,” Negrutz said. “Some of them were Southwestern professors.”
Emanuel University and Seminary has more than 1,000 graduates in nine countries. Between 98 and 99 percent of the school’s graduates are currently serving in the ministry. All of Emanuel’s trustees are Southern Baptist.
The seminary will host the first conference of the European Conservative Baptists of Europe in July 2006. “The conference will be held in our school, and that gives us a great joy because it is our desire to reach Europe back for Christ,” Negrutz said.
In light of the fact that the two seminaries have unofficially associated together for several years, Negrutz is optimistic about future collaboration. “With the leadership of Dr. Paige Patterson, we are developing and expanding our partnership into reaching more and wider areas for Christ,” Negrutz said.