As it resulted from the government-organized census of 2011, the Romanian Pentecostal Christian Denomination consists of 362,314 members. It follows then, according to the same census, that almost 2% of the total number of people residing in Romania are members of the Pentecostal Christian Denomination; thus showing that the Romanian Pentecostal Church is the fourth largest church in Romania in terms of number of believers.
As a large Christian community, beneficiating of rights and privileges under the Romanian Constitution as regulated by the Law of Religion, the Pentecostal Church can and has to establish and run institutions of higher education in order to educate and train qualified personnel in the area of Pentecostal pastoral theology.
According to the Law of Education No. 1 of 2011, ITPB and its study programme, as an accredited institution/programme of higher education, is an integral part of the Romanian national system of education, and complements national higher education offer, through running a study programme with a specialization on Pentecostal pastoral theology, the only programme of its kind in Romania.
In chronological order, the official documents pertaining to the establishment and operation of ITPB and its study programmes are:
– Resolution no. 125410/1976 (16 July 1976) issued by the Department of Religious Affairs of the Socialist Romanian Republic. The Theological Pentecostal Institute has been established in 1976 as a Theological Seminary, offering a 4 years study programme, under the name Seminarul Teologic Penticostal din București.
– Resolution no. 142 from 8 February 1990, through which the Pentecostal Christian Denomination – the Apostolic Church of God from Romania formalizes the change of the Pentecostal Theological Seminary from Bucharest into the Theological Pentecostal Institute of University Level from Bucharest, within which operates the Faculty of Pentecostal Theology, offering a specialization in Pentecostal Pastoral Theology.
– Resolution No. 164 from 6 April 1992, through which the Theological Pentecostal Institute of University Level education from Bucharest is authorized to operate starting with the academic year 1992-1993 (see Annex 002).
– Resolution No. 442 from 10 August 1998, which authorizes ITPB to operate provisionally as an institution of higher education that offers a programme in Pentecostal Pastoral and Didactic Theology (residentially for 4 years and non-residentially for 5 years). The programme was also provisionally authorized according to the Law No. 88 of 1993, republished, regulating the accreditation of higher education institutions and the recognition of the certificates these issue (see Annex 003).
– Resolution No. 1011, from 8 October 2001, pertaining the operation of non-residential and distance learning programmes in higher education institutions, published in the Official Bulletin of Romania No. 678, Part I, on 26 October 2001. Following this, beginning with 2001, ITPB discontinued the non-residential form of education.
– Resolution No. 635 from 24 June 2008, which specifies that a specialization in “Pastoral Theology” requires the completion of 240 ECTS, thus necessarily making such a programme a 4 years programme. ITPB’s study programme is structured to reflect this resolution.
– Law No. 194 from 21 October 2008, published in the OFFICIAL BULLETIN OF ROMANIA PART I Year 176 (XX) – No. 724, on Friday, 24 October 2008. This law establishes ITPB as an accredited institution of higher education. (here)
This Law specifies:
Article 2. – The Theological Pentecostal Institute from the city of Bucharest is established with the following faculty and study programme: the Faculty of Pentecostal Theology with a study programme in Pentecostal pastoral theology, delivered in the Romanian language.
Article 3. – Within the Theological Pentecostal Institute from the city of Bucharest there can operate faculties and study programmes, other than those listed under Article 2, if accredited or authorized to operate provisionally through Government decree, as specified by the Law.
Article 4. – The teaching and administrative staff that worked in the institution that was authorized to operate provisionally is employed, as regulated by the law, in the newly established institution, beginning on the date the present Law becomes valid.
Article 5. The patrimony of the Theological Pentecostal Institute from the city of Bucharest, detailed in the annex that accompanies, and is an integral part of, this law, is the patrimony initially bequeathed by its founders, as well as the patrimony acquired subsequently.
On the basis of Resolution 749 of 24 June 2009 (stipulating the nomenclature for study domains and structures of institutions of higher education and the study programmes these offer) and addendum to this Resolution from 12 October 2009, the Theological Pentecostal Institute has organised and also offered a non-residential study programme, beginning with the academic year 2010-2011.
Beginning with the academic year 2015–2016 the non-residential study programme has been discontinued (Resolution 575/2015 of 15 July 2015, published in MO no. 554 bis, on 27 July).
In the academic year 2015-2016 ITPB also launched the Masters Programme “Bible and Society” (Resolution 582 of 16 July 2014, published in MO no. 538 of 21 July 2014 and Resolution 595 of 22 July 2015, published in MO no. 595 bis of 6 August 2015).
Currently ITPB offers two study programmes: First cycle – a bachelor degree (Resolution 376 of 18 May 2016, published in MO no. 413 of 1 June 2016); and Second cycle – a master degree (Resolution 402 of 2 June 2016, published in MO no. 453 of 16 June 2016).