Programme of study and the specialisation
The Pentecostal Faculty of Theology and the degree it offer in “Pentecostal Pastoral Theology” are accredited by government decree, Law No. 194 of 21 October 2008, as published in the official government records (MONITORUL OFFICIAL AL ROMÂNIEI), part I, Year 176 (XX) – No. 724, Friday, 24 October 2008.
Articles 2 and 3 of Law No. 194 of 21 October 2008 state:
Art. 2. – The Theological Pentecostal Institute from Bucharest is established, and within it are accredited the following faculty and specialization: Faculty of Pentecostal Theology, offering a specialisation in Pentecostal Pastoral Theology, delivered in Romanian language.
Art. 3. – The Theological Pentecostal Institute from Bucharest, may also include in its structure faculties and specialisations other than those mentioned in Art. 2, when accredited or having a provisory authorisation via government decree, as specified in the law of education.
According to Romanian Government Degree 749 of 24 June 2009 (regarding the nomenclature of study domains, the structure of higher education institutions and the specialisations / study programmes of bachelor level that are accredited or provisorily approved) and Romanian Government Degree 749 of 12 October 2009, which completes and modifies the previous decree, the Theological Pentecostal Institute has also organised beginning with academic year 2010–2011 non-residential delivery of the study programme. Beginning with the academic year 2015–2016 the non-residential programme has been cancelled (see Government Decree 575/2015 of 15 July 2015, published in Official Records nr. 554 bis at 27 July).
The academic year 2015–2016 is also the year in which the “Bible and Society” Master Programme was launched (accredited by Government Decree 582 of 16 July 2014, published in MO no. 538 of 21 July 2014 and Government Degree 595 of 22 July 2015, published in MO no. 595bis of 6 August 2015).
Currently, ITPB offers two study programmes: a first cycle programme ¬– the bachelor degree “Pentecostal Pastoral Theology” (H.G. 376 of 18 May 2016, published in MO no. 413 of 1 June 2016); and a second cycle programme – the master programme “Bible and Society” (H.G. 402 of 2 June 2016, published in MO no. 453 of 16 June 2016).
The mission of the bachelor degree “Pentecostal Pastoral Theology” seen in light of the specialisation and the profile of the study programme.
The Bachelor Programme “Pentecostal Pastoral theology” is built on the following premises:
– Pastoral theology is a complex study-domain that combines communication, spiritual counselling and organizational management.
– Pastoral theology is both an academic and a professional domain, the first consisting of academic work, aiming to set theoretical bases for pastoral ministry, and the second consisting of establishing the highest ethical standards for professional practice, in combination with the professionalism and competence resulting from professional development.
– Pastoral theology is an interdisciplinary field of study. Its locus is at the intersection between the literary study of biblical and ecclesial documents, communication and human relationships. As such, a theologian is someone who combines intellectual formation with good communication skills and is a pastor of souls by vocation. Pastoral theology also touches upon philosophy, psychology, ethics and sociology, aiming to develop an advanced knowledge of the society in one’s context through qualitative and quantitative analysis.
In light of these foundational premises, the bachelor programme “Pentecostal Pastoral Theology”, through its study programme, promises to:
– offer a wide range of courses in biblical studies, communication, spiritual counselling and institutional management, thus providing students with a qualitative educational opportunity for pastoral ministry;
– offer students opportunities to apply theory in various professional contexts and to reflect on the values that inspires their work;
– offer additional courses in areas such as sociology, psychology, philosophy and ethics, aiming to enhance their educational formation for pastoral ministry.
Given all the above, the mission of the Theological Pentecostal Institute from Bucharest is to prepare and further qualify ministers serving with the Romanian Pentecostal Denomination (pastors, administrative denominational personnel, teachers of religion, chaplains), having specifically in view the doctrine and the statutes of the Romanian Christian Pentecostal Denomination. Also we aim to formulate and affirm Christian Pentecostal doctrines within the Romanian cultural arena, to promote Christian moral values, to encourage a spirit of openness, tolerance and religious freedom in contemporary Romania and to contribute to the further development of Romanian national culture and spirituality.
In order to accomplish its mission, ITPB’s specialization in Pentecostal Pastoral Theology emphasizes the fast assimilation of informational and communicative methods and techniques, and the focus on the pragmatic dimension of the subject matter addressed; all these, without neglecting the importance of learning the theoretical fundamentals, the promotion of a motivating study climate, the making of connections outside of the academic environment, the instrumentalization of knowledge and the general growth of educational output.
The objectives of the bachelor programme “Pentecostal Pastoral Theology”
In light of the mission stated above, the study programme in Pentecostal Pastoral Theology has the following objectives:
– to educate specialists for pastoral ministry, people who, upon graduation, will be able to critically assess issues raised by pastoral ministry and to offer pertinent solutions to specific problems, and to conceive and implement good decisions in the specific pastoral work they will undertake;
– to address social changes and the subsequent requisites of modern pastoral ministry, therefore offering an adequate perspective on the education in the field;
– to develop abilities, competences, qualities and habits suitable for a professional pastor, correlating these with the issues pertaining to modern pastoral ministry;
– to develop the specific abilities and skills needed for good practice in preaching, counselling, spiritual counselling and management;
– to nurture the graduates’ intellectual capacities, their self-confidence and their motivation, in order to provide a support for the development of their career in pastoral service.
The specialisation in Pentecostal Pastoral Theology balances theoretical modules, designed to establish for students a conceptual base, with applied modules, designed to develop in them theological-pastoral aptitudes. This ensures that besides good theoretical knowledge graduates will also develop their ministry capability. As such they will serve their communities efficiently as pastors who can answer to, and fulfil the needs of, the community, both generally and particularly, by providing spiritual and moral support to any and every member of the Pentecostal community, from Romania or the Romanian diaspora.
Here are a few specific cognitive components we are aiming to fulfil: deep knowledge of the Holy Scripture; knowledge and application of correct exegetical and hermeneutical methodology leading to pertinent interpretation of the text of the Bible; knowledge of the doctrine and history of the Romanian Pentecostal Church; development of mature theological thinking built on the foundation of the evangelical confession of faith; knowledge and the refining of all skills pertaining to pastoral service: preaching, liturgy, counselling, religious education, church administration; development of sensitivity in regard with social problems and the capacity to involve in the society on the basis of Christian values; development and strengthening of the spiritual and moral stance of the student, on the basis of the teaching, values and life principles found in the Bible; adoption of a Christian moral base for assessing the various patterns of behaviour people live out; and knowledge of the Romanian laws pertaining to the Christian phenomenon, especially those laws pertaining to the operation of the Pentecostal Church in Romania.
Besides the theological-pastoral aspect, we also have in view the formation of skills necessary for cultural mediation, superior interpersonal and public communication, correct and efficient Romanian language use (written and oral), the capacity to correlate different cultures on similar issues, the ability to resolve problems of social and inter-human nature, and the capacity to organise efficiently in pastoral and/or didactic work. Given these, the study plan includes courses with a clear practical focus, non-theological, designed to enlarge students’ skills so that these cover as large as possible an area of community (social) life.
The Pentecostal Theological Faculty of the Theological Pentecostal Institute from Bucharest is aiming to fulfil the functions stated earlier by: elaborating, adopting and applying modernised study plans, following the example of known universities from Romania and abroad, fitted to suit the specifics of the Romanian Christian Pentecostal Denomination and the requirements of the law of higher education in Romania and Europe: the formation of specialised personnel, highly trained in theology, education and culture; adapting the study programmes to meet set academic standards; continuous adapting of study programmes to fit modern methods of study and research; selecting future students on the basis of competitive examinations that give equal opportunities to all high-school graduates and students from other universities; assuming the mission of being a religious centre that contributes to the formation, development, transmission and propagation of Christian moral and cultural-religious values; affirming the role of the academic community to be a centre for defending fundamental rights and religious liberties of persons; taking into account the experience of other institutes and universities of similar profile from Romania and abroad, while giving due consideration to the advantages of enlarged academic autonomy and greater capacity for adaptation ITPB has, which are consequences of its status as a private denominational university; providing the adequate material base (educational space, labs, library, study places, dorm, cafeteria, etc.) in order to carry out satisfactorily educational and research processes, as established by national standards of education.