As we journey from the Day of Ashes through the Lenten Sacrifice to the Celebration of Christ, this newsletter reaches you in a time when there is a military conflict in Europe: sound of bombing raids and sirens, sight of refugees fleeing from their homes; a time when libraries become bomb shelters. We are heartbroken. The images and stories are overwhelming. However, when we hear the names of the countries in conflict in the media, regardless in what light they are portrayed, we can only think of YOU. We cannot distance ourselves from the events because we see the dearest faces of our students and faculty colleagues, faces of church people: faces of our family in the countries that are in conflict, from where people are fleeing, and countries to which refugees are flooding.
When our students enrolled in the spring courses of the Foundations of Biblical Studies, Church History, God’s Mission and the Church, Church Leadership, Internship, Mentoring, and the Ministry Integration, our faculty and students would have not imagined that the courses will have to be delayed indefinitely, that some students would not be able to submit their assignments because they need to hide or flee for their safety.
During this time we are naturally compelled to live in the spirit of Lent which offers the most appropriate response to the heartbreaking reality of our world. As if the whole world were observing Lent globally this year, and sharing one another’s burden. Even the ugly side of our fallen world has not been able to obscure the beauty of compassion and love: the conscious or unconscious imitation of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ during His journey of passion. Hope in grief. In times like this, we want to affirm our values as a multinational and multicultural college, one of them being: “EuNC is a faith community. Our members do their utmost to respect and value one another. We do our best, as individuals and as a community, to pursue a closer relationship with God and to reflect His likeness.”
Let us pray that libraries will turn from bomb shelters into places of peaceful study again, and our students, disrupted in their theological studies, will be able to continue their studies and pursue their calling to become ministers in the Church, even if it requires our sacrifices to make it happen.
With the apostle Paul, we say that the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort “will deliver us again. In Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers.”
Thank you for acting courageously, responding immediately, and for being connected with us.
Rector Mária Gusztinné Tulipán
Character formation is one of the hallmarks of theological education; hence it is central to our curriculum’s educational outcomes and our educational activities. One of these activities is mentoring, where on a personalized contact between one student and a mentor, issues about the shaping of character for leadership are dealt with.
In an effort to reflect upon our mentoring and character formation initiatives, EuNC convened its 2022 Faculty Assembly. Due to the travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic, the event was held once again in digital format. This event format allowed us to increase our capacity and make it available for all of our faculty. This time, we counted with an average of 51 participants in all the sessions, including the opening service.
The event started on January 31 with an live opening service where we counted our blessings for the past year and were inspired by the message of our Rector Rev. Mária Gusztinné-Tulipan. In the sermon, we were encouraged to stand united working for the training of men and women for ministry. In the two days that followed, the sessions were opened by devotionals from EuNC alumni. Dr. E. LeBron Fairbanks then led our faculty through reflective times on the role of teachers to nurture and shape the character of the emerging leaders they come in contact with during the classes. Dr. Fairbanks brought back to our awareness that at the core of every course delivered in our Learning Centers is the development of emerging leaders with the training they need to succeed in their ministries. Further, a large portion of this training is related to fostering, nurturing, and shaping character. One way this is specifically done is through the mentoring of students. We are thankful to Dr. Fairbanks for his insights and for sharing his heart for leadership development.
The event was also a time to share some news regarding institutional development: our Rector presented her report for the previous academic year; the Club 55 initiative among alumni and friends of EuNC was presented; and new EuNC Faculty Roles were introduced to help define adequate expectations for faculty development according to the level of engagement of each faculty member with EuNC in a Faculty Development Plan.
Our time together ended with a special worship song shared by the Croatia Learning Centre titled, “Lord, I Need You”, which reminded us that all we do at EuNC is in vain if God is not with us. Our goals and desired outcomes are in vain unless God walks with us on the journey of educating the next generations of leaders for the Church.
Rev. Fernando Almeida
(Director of Curriculum Devlopment
and Quality Assurance)
On January 29, 2022, EuNC held its annual Board of Trustees Meeting via ZOOM. Although the trustees attending were spread throughout Europe, there was a strong sense of unity of purpose and direction. Peter Ullinger, the chairman, opened the session with a devotion from John 15 where Jesus talked about the importance of the branches (us) remaining connected to the vine (Christ). In this way, we are “Growing Together” – the strategy plan of EuNC for 2020-2030. Even during the pandemic, this vision is being accomplished.
One of the highlights of the meeting was receiving the report of the rector, Rev. Mária Gusztinné Tulipán. She presented that there were 19 graduates that received a Certificate in Spiritual Formation or Diploma in Christian Ministry in the past academic year. Next year, EuNC is anticipating celebrating with 33 more graduates. Mária also thanked the 25 Learning Centre Coordinators/Administrators and 12 general administrative staff that make this possible. Although the challenges and tragedies during the pandemic are clear, one Trustee thanked EuNC for adapting quickly and being a source of help and moving forward while many other aspects of life were put on hold. As EuNC continues to adapt, they have updated several systems and have budgeted to continue to improve their technology next year as well.
The meetings closed with appreciative and encouraging words from Regional and Global Leadership. Rev. Jim Ritchie (Regional Director), Rev. Stéphane Tibi (Regional Education Coordinator), and Rev. Dr. Klaus Arnold (Global Clergy Development) spoke of the joy of working with EuNC as it has become a model for the Global Church in borderless education. They also spoke of the joy of working with EuNC in fulfilling its mission to “Enable Christlike Disciples for Ministry.”
(BoT Member for the Croatia Pioneer Area District)
EuNC is always thankful for the great support and effort by so many people that help us to bring academic education to our students. Therefore, we want to welcome every new Faculty member that has joined their respective Learning Centres in the past months.
• Rev. Vatroslav Župančić (Lecturer Croatia LC)
• Rev. Antero D. Fontes (Lecturer France LC)
• Rev. Craig Shepperd (Instructor Albania-Kosova LC)
We also would like to welcome Melody Houston in her new role as France Learning Centre Coordinator.
In the summer of 2021, EuNC changed its student information system that keeps track of student, course, financial and constituent records to GNECsis (Global Nazarene Educational Consortium Student Information System). This is a system originally developed for Eastern Nazarene College by Quinsoft Corporation who has released it to the open source community. It has been further developed by the global Church of the Nazarene, in particular with making it fully web-based, into a fully developed system for use by our Nazarene schools as well as others. This not only allows EuNC to save costs, in particular on our annual maintenance/support, but also to be on a similar system as over 11 other Nazarene schools throughout the world. This process has taken nearly a year to complete due to the complexities of conversion, documentation, training and a few new pieces that were needing to be developed for our needs.
In a world that will never be crisis-free we hear Jesus’ word from John 16: “‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’” This knowledge motivates and encourages us not to give but even more pursue the kingdom of God. EuNC is therefore glad and thankful for the ongoing efforts by our various Learning Centres. We are excited for graduations to happen in several LCs in the month of March. We applaude our students, faculty, Coordinators and Administrators on this wonderful achievement. Let us continue to support them in prayer and all our strengths as they continue to minister in a world that our Lord has overcome.