Looking back into history, 1991 proved to be such a pivotal year in so many ways. It was the year that the Soviet Union was formally dissolved, ending communist rule after seven decades. That was just one of numerous entries into the history archives. But another momentous event took place in 1991—one that didn’t capture the world’s attention yet continues to have eternal impact in many lives.
The SGA-sponsored Irpen Biblical Seminary in Ukraine was founded in February 1991 with Pastor Alexei Brinza serving as the first president. Initially, the school was called the Kiev Spiritual Educational Seminary, but in 1997 it was renamed Irpen Biblical Seminary. According to leaders of the Ukrainian Baptist Union, the new name better highlighted the purpose of the school, which was not only to train theologians, but also to prepare students for practical ministry in local churches and other training centers.
SGA has been involved since the early days of the school, and under the leadership of my predecessor Dr. Bob Provost, our partners’ prayers and support helped build Irpen to become the most influential conservative Bible school in the former Soviet Union. Over the past 30 years, thousands of students have graduated and have devoted their lives to Christian service as pastors, Christian education workers, worship leaders, youth pastors, and much more. Just last year, Irpen set a record enrollment, and 2,234 students have graduated since 1991 to move on into lifetimes of ministry.
Today, Irpen Biblical Seminary is led by Dr. Igor Yaremchuk, son-in-law of Dr. Alexei Brinza, who went to be with the Lord in 2008. This vitally important seminary remains committed to biblical truth and entrusting it to . . . faithful men who will be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2). Please continue to pray for the faculty and students, with thanksgiving to God for all that He has done!
For our Savior,