When Southwestern President Paige Patterson and First Lady Dorothy Patterson first walked on the grounds of what is now Emanuel University and Seminary in Oradea, Romania, the institution was just a dream, but a recent trip to the campus by the Pattersons affirmed the reality of answered prayers.
“At that time [the property] was on the outskirts,” Mrs. Patterson recalled. “There were no businesses. It was just out on the edge of the city, and we went out and walked around and prayed for the property.”
The Pattersons made their first visit in 1993, but today, the campus is home to a large multi-purpose building that includes a dormitory, classrooms and offices, and a chapel building. Future construction is also planned for the university and seminary, including a classroom building which will include a library and three levels of classrooms.
“I think one of the things that perhaps God has been able to use us to do in our connections with the seminary is to affirm the fundamentals of our faith, the doctrinal foundations upon which our faith is built,” Mrs. Patterson said.
The Pattersons recently made the journey to Romania to each teach a one-week course to students there. Dr. Patterson also gave the commencement address to the 120 graduates of both the university and seminary. Throughout the week, Dr. Patterson taught in the mornings on the topic of Revelation and Inspiration, and in the evening sessions on the topic of Ecclesiology. Mrs. Patterson taught on Biblical Womanhood in all of her sessions. She also had the opportunity to address a group of women in an organization called Beauty of Holiness.
“They have been trying to put before themselves the biblical standard of holiness, so it was especially delightful for me to meet with them,” Mrs. Patterson said.
The Pattersons were also able to celebrate the publishing of A Woman Seeking God: Discover God in the Places of Your Life, a widely-read book Mrs. Patterson wrote that has now been translated into the Romanian language. Mrs. Patterson said she didn’t know the book was being published in Romania until she arrived there and was thrown a party in honor of the release. Her husband had given permission for the release of the book.
“They had an autograph party for me, and I was just absolutely shocked at how many women came,” she said.
Elijah Soritau serves as assistant to the president and professor at Emanuel. Soritau recalled that the translation of Dr. Patterson’s book, A Pilgrim Priesthood: An Exposition of First Peter was also a surprise to Dr. Patterson upon its publishing in Romania in 1999. Soritau said A Woman Seeking God was one that his wife had enjoyed years before, and they sensed it was needed in Romania.
“We can assure you that you will be strengthened in your walk with God just as my wife has been through the teaching of Dr. Dorothy Patterson,” Elijah and his wife, Raelene, wrote in the introduction to the Romanian translation. Emanuel University and Seminary and Faclia Publishing House cooperated in the publishing of the book.
Soritau noted that the publishing house is already working with the Pattersons to have more of their books translated into the Romanian language. Mrs. Patterson noted that she has already sent the books The Family: Unchanging Principles for Changing Times, BeAttitudes for Women and Where’s Mom: The High Calling of Wives and Mothers to be published there. She noted that though women in Romania have been oppressed by Communism and its effects on the family, she sensed a great interest by women to manage their households, nurture their children and help their husbands.
“I’ve been working with students now for 30 years and there is a great deal of comparison to be made between the struggles of a student family and a mother who wants to stay in the home with her children . . . and a situation where government-imposed sanctions keep them from having a living wage there,” Mrs. Patterson said.
Today, Emanuel University and Seminary has 396 students and more than 1200 graduates in 16 countries, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Italy, Greece, France, Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, Albania, Turkey, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, Romania and the United States. Approximately 92 percent of Emanuel University graduates and 98 percent of seminary students are currently serving in ministry positions. Emanuel is the largest conservative theological school in Europe, Soritau said, with 26 full-time faculty and 24 adjunct faculty. Master’s degrees from the institution are now available in pastoral ministries and biblical counseling. Bachelor’s degrees are available in pastoral theology, music, social work, literature and business.
Dr. Paige Patterson serves on the board of trustees for Emanuel University and Seminary and also as professor emeritus of theology.