• From IBTS to Scotland

    I am pleased to announce on the behalf of the academic leadership of IBTS that our dear colleague and Pro-Rector/Academic Dean Dr Lina Andronoviene has accepted the appointment of Lecturer in Practical Theology in the Scottish Baptist College. We are delighted for the new opportunities opening up for Lina, but at the same time we regret that we are losing such a capable colleague from the full-time IBTS team. Lina first joined IBTS as a student in 2001 and then worked with us as a colleague in different capacities from 2003. Her holistic contribution to IBTS has enriched the academic and spiritual life of the community. We anticipate that Lina…

  • Director of Baptist and Anabaptist Studies appointed

    The Board of Trustees of IBTS are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Toivo Pilli as the new part-time Director of Baptist and Anabaptist Studies. Dr. Pilli comes from Estonia where he is currently pastor of Tartu Salem Baptist Church and an associate professor at Theological Seminary in Tartu. He had previously been Director of Baptist and Anabaptist Studies at IBTS, Prague from 2002-2006. Dr. Pilli has experiences of historical baptist theology in an East European context, is concerned for baptist identity, and has demonstrated a good understanding of academic and spiritual mentoring that recognises the contextual needs of his students. He will take up the post in Amsterdam…

  • Building new partnerships, working hard to get the paperwork right

    As a result of the decision of the University of Wales to cease validating institutions and its present downsizing, at IBTS we have been working hard at building new partnerships to replace this defunct collaboration with a once-great federal University. Parush, Lina, Lydie and Tim have worked incredibly hard to “give flesh” to the relationship with the VU University in Amsterdam for our doctoral programme and with the University of Manchester for the MA in Baptistic Histories and Theologies. Last week I accompanied Lina to the Religions & Theology Academic Panel which is a meeting of academics from the Department of Religions & Theology and the theological college partners (Nazarene Theological…

  • Lady Library Has a New Friend

    Yet another impression from VU Amsterdam………this time about the library Part of my last month‘s mission in Amsterdam was to visit the VU University and Theology Library, a new home for the majority of our doctoral students, and to explore various possibilities for them in regard to how to use the library most effectively, how to get a WiFi, where to order the books, etc. For me, it was actually a refreshment to be in the library and not to keep in mind MARC 21, AACR2, authorities, Z39.50 and other highly specialized library tasks. Mind you, several things seemed very strange to a conservative part of my personality, such as…

  • Rift as a Space to Meet God

    Henrikas, one of our Research students, reflects on the student-led conference we enjoyed in Amsterdam during the research colloquium: The conference on migration and dislocation invited creative look at the practical implications of my research. I wondered: can the dislocation, rift and rupture become a space to meet God? Besides, can our action (which suggests newness and rift) be a meeting place with God? God’s presence in Scriptures is strangely hidden in the cloud, near and yet distant. In terms of place or space, there is an image of the temple. According to Yves Congar, the temple is to be viewed in the history of growing interiority and intimacy with…

  • Chips and More Chips

    Not the edible variety but electronic chips. In Amsterdam a chipkaart enables you to use the metro, trams buses and trains. You load lots of euros onto the card and it gets subtracted each journey you make. It feels like traveling for free and it’s only when you have to recharge your card that you’re reminded it isn’t. In the Student Hotel you are given a round blue key fob. You don’t need a real key as the chip inside it opens the doors from the public area and the door to your bedroom. To buy anything at the hotel’s restaurant (called The Kitchen!), you can only use a debit…

  • Feeling Welcome

    Simon Oxley shares some of his impressions of the Colloquium: Two welcomes, one hoped for and one unplanned, were highlights the Research Colloquium in Amsterdam for me. The hoped for welcome came from the faculty and administrative staff of the VU. They turned out in force to meet us when we had a mass visit early in the fortnight. Then several professors came one by one to listen to and then discuss progress reports by students. It was very reassuring and encouraging to see the confirmation that IBTS is a valued partner. The unplanned welcome came in an urban walk, part of the students’ Migration and Dislocation conference in the…

  • Migration and Dislocation

    This is the theme of the IBTS student conference taking place in the middle of our doctoral colloquium. Great stuff, and lots of thoughts: about various situations of dislocation today; our own (personal and communal) attitudes, gut-level reactions and responses to migrants; our reading of biblical narratives – either to support  our position and defend the space we inhabit, or to accept the challenge they put to our reading of today’s realities. – Lina