For those who don't know or don't fully understand, explain briefly ADC's Prague extension.
We are privileged to offer the Acadia Doctor of Ministry in Europe in a partnership with Acadia Divinity College, The International Baptist Theological Seminary (currently in Prague and moving to Amsterdam in 2014), The European Baptist Federation, and Canadian Baptist Ministries. There are very few locations in Europe that this professional degree can be offered. Certainly in continental Europe we are one of the few locations that can offer a degree of this calibre to people in Christian ministry. We are in the second year of the program and it is exciting to see the momentum slowly build as the word is getting out about the program.
Tell us about your involvement with this new ministry of ADC, as well as your other ministry responsibilities.
I am currently working 25% time as the European Director of the Doctor of Ministry program and this involves recruitment, negotiating the various facets of the European program, and teaching as well. This agreement was incorporated into my 75% role as a Global Field staff for CBM alongside my work on the staff of the European Baptist Federation as the youth leadership training coordinator. We offer training services to over 52 nations in the European Baptist Federation Family that are in Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa. I have spent the past several years creating and developing a volunteer training program for youth ministry called Horizons that is in seven languages and is offered to some 30 countries at the moment. Deann and I also host teams that serve in our "home country" of the Czech Republic and manage a busy household of two active boys.
What has been the reaction of the church and students in Prague to this D. Min. partnership?
The reaction has largely been very positive with several people trying to discern what the difference is between the academic PhD and the more practically and professional based Doctor of Ministry. Since the degree is not common here, it has largely been an education for people as to the value and the distinctiveness of the program. There are many that know about the degree and have been looking to study in the USA or Canada but cannot afford to come, so they have been thrilled that a quality program with the reputation that Acadia has can be offered closer to home. So there is a growing and deepening interest by many people these past two years. The current students who are in the program have been thrilled with the experience thus far and we aim to keep that momentum rolling!
Are there prayer items you would like to let the ADC community know about?
I would pray for the very challenging transition that we are facing as an academic community in Prague. The campus is being sold and we will move operations to a Baptist Study Center House in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. It will be the end of an era—17 years in Prague for the seminary. We are now scaling back operations with our chief focus being on doctoral studies (PhD and DMin). While we as a family will remain in Prague since we are established here and I will only have to be physically in Amsterdam for a few weeks a year, there are many whom we will have to say goodbye to as our academic team will be dissolved and our local staff will be made redundant. These transitions are also sad as we look back at a rich and valuable experience for so many students, but we also want to turn our faces forward to the next chapter and enjoy what God has planned for future students. Part of my personal challenge is promoting a new program that is fraught with challenges of moving to another location and country. So pray for the students, that we can serve them in this transition well, and that the new students will not be daunted in registering as we get them through their programs.