• Welcome to the USA

    Landing at Washington Dulles Airport is always an experience. Arriving at the capital city of the world’s last superpower tightens the stomach as one imagines the struggle of trying to get in to fortress America. Obviously KLM thinks it will be a problem as they broadcast a jolly commercial from US Homeland Security telling us what to do and the dire penalties of not doing it twice! Finally de-planed, into the immigration hall for division into the sheep (US and Canadian citizens) and the goats (rest of the world). This time there is a new amusement – jolly Disney music playing and images on screens of all sorts of Americans…

  • Trip to Elstal

    Trips to another country are always exciting! On November 17, all  M-level students of IBTS had an opportunity to stay for the night in the Baptist seminary in Estal (Germany). It was good to meet some students and to speak to teachers who showed us around the campus.  What we enjoyed the most, however, was visiting the library (you can see us in the background of the picture if you look carefully;) ) – Radostina et al

  • A historian gets excited!

    Well, what a difference a word can make. In my investigations of the Anabaptists in Sobotište in the seventeenth century I had always been looking for reference to the Haban, as they were usually called (probably from ‘haushaben’). However, on our recent visit to the Anabaptist house in Sobotište we were able to go into a museum where we were given literature that consistently referred to the ‘Hutterites’ in the area (Anabaptists named after Jacob Hutter). I have studied the Hutterites and their interest in communal living, but some digging around in the last day or two, especially reading what Robert Friedmann (the Mennonite historian) has written, revealed a story…

  • On the pilgrimage with the Anabaptists

    Tuesday morning started early. At 07.00, fourteen of us  – students, staff and community members – were standing in the parking lot awaiting boarding the cars for a field trip to the Anabaptist House in Sobotište (Slovakia) and a stop at Mikulov (Czech Republic, Moravia) where Balthasar Hubmaier had left a significant trace. IBTS is one of the group of partners who have a stake in the house built by the Anabaptists in what used to be their settlement in Sobotište, so we try to visit the house regularly to see it is in good order and to introduce our students to this particular part of our history and heritage.…

  • On the crossroads of values

    This week, several of us have been participating in the activities of the European Evangelical Accreditting Association. Gathered with other Visitation Evaluation Team members for a couple of days in the Mennonite-Anabaptist Academic Centre in Bienenberg (near Basel), we talked together about the purpose and the challenges facing theological education in Europe today. The issues discussed reminded us what the father of the modern education, Jan Komensky, emphasised 400 years ago: education must be concerned with the growth of human person.

  • More on the Moravians in Herrnhut

    I would like to reflect a little bit more on the Church Hall of the Moravian Church congregation of Herrnhut, which was mentioned by Dima in the previous post. What grasped my attention foremost was the fact that there was neither a pulpit nor an altar in the church but only a big green table. The reason for such a furnishing of the prayer hall points to the continuing emphasis on the origin of the Moravian Church organised on the basis of the priesthood of all believers. Raised or privileged places for clergy are therefore not part of the church furnishing. Many of the various services are held by laypersons.…

  • Stay at the cloister in Erfurt

    Ruslan, our Magister student from Kyrgyzstan, sent in his impressions from the Bible, Community and Context students’ trip to Germany in the footsteps of Martin Luther: Early morning. I wake up at 06:30 to have time for making pictures around the cloister. After 20 minutes I am ready to walk and experience something of the old Erfurt. Waking up in the monastery where Luther lived as a monk is a vivid impression itself, but my heart is craving for more. So I go out and my next experience is not so nice – a typical European cold rain. I try to find something interesting around, but can’t because of the…

  • Anabaptists in Wartburg

    It is well known that Wartburg castle, which the students visited two weeks ago, is famous due to many historical events that have happened there. For example, after Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the door of the Church in Wittenberg in 1517, he initiated the reformation period which led to the formation of the Protestant – Lutheran church. He was excommunicated by the Pope as a heretic and outlawed by the emperor after refusing to revoke his teachings at the imperial diet of Worms. He then found refuge behind the mighty walls of Wartburgh on May 4, 1521 and lived there for ten months. Most of the writers dealing with…