BULGARIA: Chaplaincy at Last

September 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, News

After five years of fervent preparation, hard work and constant opposition, the Masters’ Program in Chaplaincy Ministry in Bulgaria is a fact. We set our course back in 2001 to establish a constructive environment in which men and women who have a calling on their life to serve as chaplains can obtain graduate degrees with the necessary training. Several organizations have been instrumental in this process through the years. The Church of God Chaplaincy Commission gave the initial thrust with a basic chaplaincy course we organized along ways in Sofia right after 9/11.

The Bulgarian Church of God partnered in the process as a representing member of the Alliance of Bulgarian Evangelical Churches. The Military Ministry of Agape-Bulgaria worked alongside with our team to establish the Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association in 2006. We struggled through the legal problems of registering the new organization while filing in various courts across the country only to be denied our right of assembly. But it was not until interventional religious freedom watch dog, Forum 18 stepped into the picture and our case was registered in the U.S. Department of State, that we were able to receive our registration papers. Meanwhile the Bulgarian Evangelical Theological Institute in Sofia allowed us to teach our first Chaplaincy Course in October of 2006, and this event set the course for our chaplaincy educational strategy toward the (1) church (2) chaplain and (3) state.

The first ever Masters’ of Chaplaincy Ministry program in Bulgaria launched on September 13, 2010 held by the Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association in partnership with the Bulgarian Evangelical Theological Institute in Sofia with guest lecturers from the International Association of Evangelical Chaplaincy. We pray that the Lord give us the same grace and provision as we prepare for the following two modules in Counseling and Theology in order to complete the Masters requirements. To all that honor is due: Thank you.