History of CBS
Until 1994, there was not a single higher educational institution in the Brotherhood of Christians of the Evangelical Faith in the Chernivtsi region.
The spiritual revival that began in Ukraine after the fall of the atheist regime put the evangelical churches in front of the urgent need for educated workers in God’s field. So, in the beginning of the 90s the church of HVE in Chernivtsi (whose pastor was then Ilya Manoliovich Globak) decided to start construction of the House of Prayer. In October 1990, the Chernivtsi City Council decided to produce project documentation for the construction of a house of worship, and on March 29, 1991, a plot of land was provided for construction on the street. 246. On April 15, 1991, permission was given to begin construction work. This day was the beginning of many years of hard work, to which many church members voluntarily joined. In the same year, a module (a temporary facility for worship services) was built, which began construction in the late fall of 1991 and finished construction in the spring of 1992. In June 1992, its inauguration and relocation of the church from ul. Orekhovskaya. Also, Vitaly Mirchovich Lung was elected pastor and ordained to the presbyter’s ministry (June 20, 1992).
Church leaders recognized the importance of theological education for the future development of the church. Therefore, in the design documentation of the complex, the construction of the premises for the educational institution was laid.
In the fall of 1993, Vasily Sarafinchan, Vasily Cherny and Vitaly Lungu met with their brother Jack Gunko. They got acquainted with the seminary program. Then the brothers Vasily Sarafinchan and Vasily Cherny asked Brother Jack to establish a seminary in Chernivtsi. He agreed and in January 1994 came to Ukraine. Jack Gunko founded the Chernivtsi Bible Seminary as the sister school of Edmonton Northwest Bible College.
In January 1994, 76 students began full-time study under the program “Bachelor of Theology”. The primary staff of the seminary consisted of the following employees: Jack Gunko – President (Rector), James Thomas – Academic Dean. V.M. Sarafinchan is a secretary who on October 27, 1997 received the honorary title of Doctor of Theology. Translators: S.M. Zankovska, A.V. Zhivaga, I.A. Voitolovsky, S.V. Vishnyakova.
Seminary classes were held quarterly in the temporary premises of the church until 1997. Since 1997, they began to be held in the room of the still not finished House of Prayer of the Bethel church. For 3 years, for each session, Dr. Jack Gunko came to Chernivtsi with teachers who taught theological disciplines. Among them: Biblical hermeneutics, Overview of the Bible, four Gospels, Inductive method of studying the Bible, Books of small prophets, Jude, Peter, Acts of the Holy Apostles. As well as the books of the prophet Isaiah, Jeremiah, Poetic books, Epistle to the Corinthians, Hebrews, James, Galatians, Romans, Thessalonians, Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Also studied: Eschatology, Christology, Soteriology, Homiletics, Christian apologetics and others. During the existence of the seminary, about 50 teachers taught here.
Seminar teachers are qualified teachers in Ukraine and from abroad, who have doctorates and masters degrees. Among them are Jack Gunko, Ron Steinbrener, Albert Verbitsky, Paul Sheppard, Katrina Gumenyuk, Anatoly Klinovsky and others.
For a successful and more effective training at the Seminary, the Jack Gunky mission from Canada provided material assistance to complete the construction of the seminar part of the prayer house. The mission’s board of directors decided to provide financial assistance to the church so that the seminary would be completed.
Significant preparatory work for the opening of the seminary was carried out by a committee consisting of regional presbyter Babiy P.V., Sarafincan V.M., who was the administrator of the church XBE “Bethel” from 1991 to 1999, Black V.V. and Kozhokaru A.V.
In 1998, the official registration of the BSES as an educational institution in the structure of the Chernivtsi Regional Association of XBE Churches took place. The regional association of XBE (led by Bishop P.I. Karpov) became a strong support for the young institution.
Due to the completion of construction work at the Bethel church house of worship in 1999, the seminary was provided with everything necessary for the educational process.
An important event was the first organizational meeting of the BSES, which took place on September 8, 2001. At this meeting, the Board of Trustees of the seminary was elected, which included 7 people (mainly church pastors), headed by Senior Presbyter P.I. Karpov. The founder and first president (rector) of the Seminary was Jack Gunko, who remained in this position in the future. A.V. Kozhokaru remained the academic dean. The seminary administrator was its co-founder – Honorary Doctor of Theology V.M. Sarafinchan.
In 2002, Jack Gunko handed over the administrative authority to lead the seminary of V.G. Malik as rector (executive director). At the same time, Dr. Jack Gunko officially remained the president of the Bible Seminars he founded in Ukraine – Ternopol, Chernivtsi and Yalta, as well as the chairman of the Board of Trustees (Union Council). P.I. became the co-chairman of the Board of Trustees Karpov – Bishop CHOOTS KhVEP. Academic Dean after A.V. Kozhokaru, became P.V. Sabashevsky.
In academic terms, the Seminary began its work with the support of Canada’s Northwest Bible College (Edmonton, Canada). At the stage of the establishment of the BS, support and coordination of cooperation with Canadian partners was carried out by the Canadian mission, whose president was Jack Gunko.
Since 1994, a part-time department of the Seminary has been functioning. The first group of full-time students consisted mainly of ministers of Pentecostal churches and studied under the Bachelor of Theology program. Other part-time groups have already studied under the Bachelor of Christian Ministry and Bachelor of Christian Education programs.
In June 2006, the Chernivtsi Bible Seminary became a member of the Eurasian Accreditation Association.