For 45 years, Baptist Bible Seminary at Clarks Summit University has been training students from around the globe to be Christ focused, Scripture driven and ministry ready. BBS has offered an accredited Doctor of Philosophy program for about 20 years. Now BBS is partnering with Novosibirsk Theological Biblical Seminary and the Slavic Gospel Association in Russia to offer a Doctor of Philosophy program to students in Russia.
While BBS has graduated students from Russia, such as Dr. Evgeny Bakhmutsky (’16) (see his article on page 29), this new partnership allows the possibility for students to remain in their home country for the entirety of their education experience.
NTBS was founded with the assistance of SGA in 2000. Eric Mock, vice president of ministry operations for SGA, says theological education in Russia was just beginning in the ‘90s. While bachelor’s degrees and a Master of Divinity are accessible through NTBS, Mock says there is a need for a Scripturally sound doctoral degree in his country.
“As time has progressed…there is a desperate need for professors who would be the trainers of trainers, who would begin to take the theological education in Russia to this next limit. They don’t have, internally in Russia, the resources to make that happen,” says Mock. NTBS is the only higher theological institution in the Asiatic part of Russia.
“We’re really excited about a partnership with Baptist Bible Seminary because BBS has the resources for training, while uniquely holding fast to sound doctrine, including a dispensational perspective, that is consistent and resonates with our doctrinal position,” says Mock.
Offering a theological Ph.D. in Russia will give students the opportunity to gain more tools to develop their study and writing. “Advanced doctoral training is so critical. And that’s why our partnership with Baptist Bible Seminary then becomes absolutely essential at this time in which we find ourselves in the lands of Russia. We are really excited about this partnership. It makes sense on theological levels, it makes sense on a timing level, and it makes sense in strengthening the training, teaching and preaching ministries of faithful Bible believing churches throughout the lands of Russia,” says Mock.
Dr. Mark McGinniss, BBS professor and editor of the “Journal of Ministry and Theology,” and Dr. Wayne Slusser, seminary dean and professor, have collaborated with NBTS and SGA in Russia to process the logistics.
Both BBS faculty and NBTS faculty will teach the Ph.D. courses, which mirror the courses and concentrations in the existing BBS program. Students will have the opportunity to take one-week summer modules at the NBTS campus in Siberia. One-week fall and spring modules at the BBS campus in Clarks Summit will also be available to them, as well as online courses taught by BBS instructors throughout the year. When they have completed their program, NBTS students will graduate with a Doctor of Philosophy from Baptist Bible Seminary.
Impacting the world for Christ happens when God allows fellow believers to work together and when students of the Word become teachers of the Word (2 Tim. 2:2). “The faculty of BBS is thrilled to partner with the Novosibirsk Theological Biblical Seminary,” says Slusser. “It provides us with a new and exciting venue to teach and mentor students to gain knowledge and wisdom from the Word of God, to handle correctly the Word of God and to help provide scriptural discernment necessary for both life-long learning and serving Christ in future ministry opportunities. Simply put, we have the privilege to use this opportunity in order to make a global impact for Christ and His church.”
By Joanna Wyman (’17)