Dear Friends of EuNC,
John reports in Revelation what he heard in his vision: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty” (1:8, NIV). In other words: God has been and will always be the same. Though His ways might change He never stops working. He is the “waymaker” as a worship song puts it. At EuNC we have witnessed the ways and works of our God in the past couple months. Though some challenges remain the same, so does our almighty Creator. We are amazed by how we have been able to celebrate graduations and an inauguration. We are humbled by the blessing of being able to gather as a Faculty to spend time with each other. We are thankful for the stories that have been shared with us and we want to hear more of these inspiring memories and experiences. As you read this newsletter it is our prayer that you will be encouraged by God’s many wonderful ways.
Dennis Lieske (Editor)
Board of Trustees-Meeting
On 30 January the Board of Trustees came together for its annual board meeting. Even though it was through a digital application it was great to see each other again. Last year we had said farewell to Rev. Dr. Klaus Arnold, our previous Rector. This year we welcomed Rev. Mária Gusztinné Tulipán, our new Rector.
One of the highlights was the anual Rector’s Report. It encouraged us that despite of the Covid crisis the Learning Centres were able to continue their classes. There even were graduations. These are great results. Teachers, students, volunteers, our Rector, our Leadership Team and our IT-people did a great job. We are very blessed.
Another highlight was ten short presentations of different Learning Centres. The Executive Committee report was also unanimously accepted, which means that policy and strategy can continue. Important points for the coming years are our stakeholder policy, our board development and our sustainability as a school that can make an impact. It was great to come together as the larger EuNC family and be part of God’s work in Europe. It was also great doing this together with our Rector. By supporting her report unanimously as a board we gave her our full trust.
God brought her on our path. Hallelujah.
(Chairman Board of Trustees)
Faculty Assembly 2021
Faculty Assembly online? In Covid-19 influenced 2021, this was the only option for a College that is spread out throughout Europe and has international speakers. The challenge was accepted. More than 40 faculty members met virtually on 1-3 February to listen to devotionals, Faculty Development input and presentations, as well as spend time together in Cluster Meetings and fellowship time. Three faculty members have reflected on this experience for the In Touch.
Looking back at the last 12 months, I think we can all agree on two things:
1) The COVID-19 pandemic has caused lots of restrictions that have limited our work and personal freedom; 2) We have gotten a lot better at finding creative solutions to carry out our work and at using resources that were overlooked before.
This 2021 EuNC Faculty Assembly has proven that you can use technology and time effectively to create meaningful, informative, and effective events. While we all certainly missed the “incarnational” side of face-to-face meetings, and the warmth that comes with encouraging smiles, loud laughter, sincere hugs, and genuine conversations, I felt our 2021 meetings were a complete success. We were informed of the latest developments, encouraged spiritually to seek God and depend on His grace, and challenged to think of ways to engage our students in dialogues that draw them deeper into seeking knowledge and the manifold facets of truth. We even got to be “present” at the inauguration of the new Rector, Rev. Mária Gusztinné Tulipán, and to pray over her prayers of blessings, even if through the screens of electronic devices.
I congratulate and thank everyone who contributed their work to make the 2021 EuNC Faculty Assembly such a great event.
Rev. Davide Cantarella – Russia LC
Just as with an in-person Faculty Assembly, I enjoyed seeing colleagues and friends again from within my own Learning Centre and from across the region and world. Other faculty members shared about best practices from their Learning Centres, which inspired me to think about new ways of (online) teaching.
Svetlana Khobnya provided a seminar on dialogue as an educational tool. Dialogue is about thinking WITH others, she said, and is meant to be non-threatening and transformational. Dialogue has no winner or loser, like debates do, but is relational and ongoing. We could all use this understanding of dialogue to help us grow in our relationship with others, especially on social media.
Though we couldn’t meet in person this year, I appreciated the time of spiritual, personal, and professional development during the Faculty Assembly. I look forward to the next gathering!
Jessica Wolst – The Netherlands LC
This year, since FA21 was held virtually, I could see my friends during sessions in which I really enjoyed seeing the smiles and hearing voices I miss during the year. The sessions were, as always, appropriate and pertinent to the work in France, and encouraged me. I did very much miss seeing people in person and having the chance to catch up on how life is treating everyone, but in light of the pandemic, I am very grateful to have been able to participate in this virtual meeting.
Melody Terrien – France LC
It was the Opening Service of this year’s Faculty Assembly. It was a special one as well. On 1 February 2021, 19:00 CET, EuNC started its gathering with an Inauguration Ceremony for Rector Rev. Mária Gusztinné Tulipán. The online format of the service, which was livestreamed on Facebook and eunc.edu, allowed people from all over the world to join this important event.
Rev. Dr. Klaus Arnold, former EuNC-Rector and now Global Education and Clergy Development Director, led through the ceremonial portion of the inauguration. The sermon was given by Generalsuperintendent Dr. David Graves who, looking back at EuNC’s history, reminded of how God can make mustard seeds grow.
Other special guests who participated in the ceremony were Euriasa Regional Director Rev. Jim Ritchie and Eurasia Regional Education Coordinator Rev. Stéphane Tibi. EuNC was represented by Board of Trustees Chairman Piet Boekhoud, Director of Curriculum Development and Quality Assurance Rev. Fernando Almeida and from the Ukraine Learning Centre as Student Leader Zee Gimon. Special highlights included several musical contributions from the Learning Centres and Districts in Hungary, the Netherlands and Portugal, another example of EuNC’s diversity.
Rector Rev. Mária Gusztinné Tulipán expressed her gratitude for all the support and congratulations that she received from various places. Amongst the audience and commentors on Facebook were EuNC friends from places like Yerevan in Armenia, Edinburgh in Scotland, and from Hawaii in the US. A recording of the service can be watched on www.eunc.edu and on facebook.com/EuropeanNazarene.
Graduation in Spain
29 November 2020 was a day marked by victory and celebration. Despite the pandemic situation affecting the whole world, the Spain Learning Centre was able to hold its third graduation ceremony. The event took place virtually through the use of technology, but was also broadcasted through our Learning Centre’s Facebook page. We were blessed to have our Rector, Rev. Mária Gusztinné-Tulipan, present and officially graduate the students in their own language. Additionally, the event marked a time of victory for some of our long-time students who have pushed through different challenging circumstances of life to get to this day. The graduation ceremony was followed by an informal time of fellowship among students and faculty together with our Rector. Our six graduates finished the Spiritual Formation programme, and all of them will be pursuing their studies towards the Diploma in Christian Ministry. We are thankful for all faculty and staff who made the event of this day possible, thus creating a milestone for our students.
Rev. Fernando Almeida
(Spain LC Coordinator)
Graduation in Romania
Three graduates of European Nazarene College’s Romania Learning Centre were awarded the Qualification in Spiritual Formation on Saturday, 28 November 2020. Since this year‘s Romania District Assembly had to be cancelled due to Covid restrictions, a special ceremony — held on Zoom and streamed live on Facebook — was planned to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates.
The online format of the ceremony allowed participation and viewing from many different places around the world. Participants joined from 5 locations in Romania and from 2 countries in other parts of Central Europe. Viewers from at least 3 continents watched the live Facebook stream, which is available for viewing on the Learning Centre‘s Facebook page.
EuNC Rector Rev. Mária Gusztinné Tulipán delivered the commencement address and conferred the degrees from Hungary. This year‘s graduates of the Spiritual Formation programme are Roxana Cini, who serves as the leader of the children’s program in the Țigmandru Church of the Nazarene; Relu Cristurean, who serves as the pastor of the Sighișoara Church of the Nazarene; and Oana Cristurean, who serves as the administrator for the Romania Learning Centre. The former two are nearing completion of the Diploma in Christian Ministry to fulfill ordination requirements in the Church of the Nazarene. The Spiritual Formation programme corresponds to the first year of studies in a Vocational Bachelor‘s degree, whereas the Christian Ministry programme corresponds to the first two years of studies in a Vocational Bachelor‘s degree.
(Romania LC Coordinator)
It has been 55 years since the first classes were held at European Nazarene Bible College (now Eurpean Nazarene College) on 10 January 1966. We want to celebrate this anniversary by sharing memories from 55 years of our college life, especially from the early years. Each In Touch issue in 2021 will have a special section with pictures, alumni stories and interviews with people who witnessed the beginning of the college.
If you have any stories, pictures or memories that you would like to share with us, message firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on our Facebook page facebook.edu/EuropeanNazarene.
The picture below is taken from the first yearbook of the school, the „Alpine 1966“.
Education as God’s Guidance
Sergey K. (name changed for security) is currently serving as a Central Asia District Superintendent and a pastor of the Church of the Nazarene. Throughout his life, God has used education as a way to make Himself known to Sergey, and now he himself is helping others learn more about God’s love and salvation for everyone.
We interviewed Sergey to find out how EuNC’s classes and education as a whole impacted his life and current ministries.
How did you come to church?
Back in 1996, my aunt invited me to the church that had just recently been organized. There were a lot of young people and I enjoyed the ability to spend time hanging out together with them. I was 17 at the time and was trying to enroll in a university for the second time. In 1995, I had already attempted it, but I had failed the tests. When I came to church and managed to enroll in the university at the same time, it felt as if it was God who made my education happen. A few years later, I was undergoing a spiritual crisis and decided that I can live well enough without God and church. However, once again, I almost failed my exam session and God once more showed I do need Him in my life.
When did you decide to study at EuNC?
After some time, I decided to become a preacher, but the question arose: Where should I serve? Should I go back home to my first church or remain at the city where I had been going to university? I prayed about it and discussed this issue with pastors. The deciding factor was when I heard that there was an opportunity to study at EuNC. I came back to home where I began serving at the Church of the Nazarene there, and started my EuNC education in 2000.
How did you become a pastor and then a superintendent?
I can’t say I received a clear calling, like Moses or Elijah, thank God. At the same time, while I was an EuNC student, I became a youth leader. Then within four years, I started helping the pastor of a small church, and then became the main pastor there. To be honest, I never dreamed of becoming a pastor because I knew it’s not an easy task, but God gently led me there. The same story happened with becoming a superintendent – it wasn’t my dream or my goal, but rather it was God’s will.
What EuNC classes helped you the most in your ministry?
All classes were useful in their own right because they helped me gain knowledge and experience. However, there were two classes that stood out. The first one was my first-ever class called “Marriage & Family” and it hit home because I wasn’t married yet and didn’t have a family of my own, but I desired to build it upon a good foundation. It was taught by Pastor Michael. The other class was “Christian Education” led by Linda Russell. Its content as well as her personal example, (back then and now), help me even today.
What would be your advice to those who are considering to study at EuNC?
Theological education is important. The main question is whether it’s necessary at the very start or when you start to understand the need for it and to realize your calling. I think pastors are the ones who need education the most, but at the same time, it’s not limited to them.
And my advice: “Don’t be afraid to study. Your education helps you personally and it can also help others.”
Interview by Zee Gimon
(EuNC Volunteer Writer,
Ukraine Learning Centre)
A Word from the Rector
Season of Community Celebrations
This issue of In Touch has turned into a reflection on multiple celebration events. God has brought joy into our hearts: comfort came through His Word, laughter as we saw one another, our souls have been uplifted as we worshiped together, and we were encouraged and inspired through the work accomplished. These past weeks were times of praises and testimonies in the form of reports from the board members at the annual board meeting, from the faculty members at the Faculty Assembly, and especially through the graduation testimonials of our students. It is amazing how God’s people assembling together – even on digital platforms- creates a unique atmosphere of God’s presence and becomes a platform of blessings. We‘re better together than we are alone. Therefore, we need to continue the pursuit of deep-rooted community, even if we need to take extra effort to do so.
I, personally, will always look back at the inauguration service with thanksgiving and amazement. Being able to experience that our college is not on its own but is part of the global church community, that is closer than we might have thought, will inspire us and give us strength.
As we continue living through the times of uncertainty, anxiety, sadness, and grief, we may feel overwhelmed, tired, exhausted, and helpless. We give thanks for times of celebration, that among all the worries and pain, God comforts us, fills us with hope and gives us a future.
With thanksgiving for what He has done and is doing, let us continue to partner in God’s work in theological education.
Rector Mária Gusztinné Tulipán