President of Emanuel University of Oradea, Paul Negrut Ph.D. shares the vision
Five hundred years after the Protestant Reformation and several great revivals, Europe is collapsing under the weight of secularism and paganism and to day is one of the spiritually darkest continents. In spite of its great spiritual heritage, Europe has failed to keep the light of the gospel shining in those places where the minds and the hearts of future leaders are shaped, and especially in universities.
It seems that most evangelical Christians in Europe have lost the vision for the strategic role of conservative evangelical schools in fulfilling the Great Commission. Emanuel University in Oradea, Romania is the only accredited, conservative, evangelical university in Europe and its founding 25 years ago demonstrates one of the great miracles of God.
The birth of the vision, 1974-1985
In 1974, at the darkest hour of persecution under Communism, revival came to the beleagured Emanuel Baptist Church of Oradea during the ministry of pastor Liviu Olah. There were many months of fervent prayer and fasting and the Holy Spirit planted the vision for an ‘underground’ School of the Prophets in Oradea to equip a new generation of men and women for evangelism, church planting and discipleship.
The underground years, 1986-1989
Fifty students enrolled for the first school and met in hiding – away from the eyes of the Communist secret police – up in the mountains, in the woods, or in homes at night. Two years later, another 50 joined the school. They too experienced first hand God’s protection from the secret police and caught the vision. God also provided additional teachers and Bible study resources through the Slavic Gospel Association. Young evangelicals were on fire for Christ and His Kingdom. Soon, the flood gates were wide open for a new day in Eastern Europe and beyond. Finally, in December 1989 Communism lost the battle and the Iron Curtain fell.
From nothing to silver 1990-2015
With the demise of Communism the underground school emerged from secrecy as an evangelical theological seminary with the faith, fire and passion of the persecuted church to fulfill the Great Commission. In 1990, Emanuel University was founded with nothing – no campus, budget, library or faculty. In 25 years, by the grace of God, the university moved from nothing to silver. Under divine guidance and with government blessing, the school developed into a fully accredited evangelical university with an expanded vision to train the next generation of pastors, missionaries, school teachers, social workers, musicians and business leaders for Romania and beyond.
Over 2,500 graduates now serve Christ in 39 countries of the world, Emanuel University has become one of the most effective centres in Europe for equipping and sending missionaries into the harvest. Facilities at Emanuel University are now cramped and ready for change. There are male and female dormitories for up to 250 students, a library, audio-video studio, cafeteria, sports facilities and offices.
From Silver to Gold 2016-2040
Experiencing first hand what God can do out of nothing when visionary people trust Him, the University is getting ready for the next 25 years with its vision of silver to gold.
This initiative aims to:
- Provide a new classrooms, library and offices
- Build 40 small apartments for married students
- Develop on-line capability for those who cannot attend the school in person
- Introduce degrees in IT, Agrobusiness, Communications/Media and Nursing
- Develop the Research/PhD programme in Biblical and Systematic Theology
- Increase enrollment from 500 to 1,200 students and up to 3,000 online students
- Commission 1,000 graduates every year
Thank you for your prayers and support.