The European Baptist Federation (EBF) will relocate the International Baptist Theological Seminary (IBTS) from Prague, Czech Republic, to Amsterdam, Netherlands.
The decision was made at a meeting of the EBF Council held in Elstal, Germany, from September 25-29.
The seminary is to be transformed into an International Baptist Study and Research Center that will become an “embedded institution” within the Department of Theology of the VU University Amsterdam. The new site is in a Baptist church building in Amsterdam that will also house the Baptist Seminary of the Netherlands, the offices of the Baptist Union of the Netherlands, and the offices of the EBF.
When relocated, the new entity will give special, but not exclusive focus to PhD level studies in Baptist and Anabaptist studies and Mission and Practical Theology. IBTS currently has approximately 120 students pursuing higher degrees in Baptist and Anabaptist Studies and Applied Theology.
The move was considered after the global financial downturn of the past few years adversely affected the seminary’s income. The increasing financial burden of the upkeep of a large suite of buildings in Prague led to a severe financial crisis for IBTS from 2008 onwards. A resolution was passed at the council to sell the current property.
IBTS relocated to Prague in 1997 after almost 50 years in Rüschlikon, Switzerland, where it was begun in 1948. IBTS was re-focused in 1998 to concentrate on higher degrees for seminary teachers and union leaders, validated by the University of Wales and the Czech Ministry of Education. In 2000 it began a PhD program that to date has produced 18 doctoral graduates.
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© October 8, 2012