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The mission of Donetsk Christian University is "to work on behalf of the evangelical community of the former Soviet Union, to engage in theological as well as other scientific research and reflection, and to prepare people to fulfill the mission of the Church in both the spiritual and social spheres."
In 1989 the indigenous Russian/ Ukrainian mission, Svet Evanglia (Light of the Gospel), was organized, with Sergei Tupchik elected president and Alexei Melnichuk vice president. The mission began mobilizing and sending missionaries throughout the Soviet Union with concentrations in Ukraine and the Far East.
In 1991, a pastor of a Svet Evanglia church in Makeevka, Ukraine, purchased an unused children's summer camp to be used as the location of a bible college. Alexei Melnichuk moved to Donetsk to work as director of the newly formed Donetsk Christian University. The university was organized under the Fund for Theological Education, a non-denominational, nonprofit entity. Classes began with 56 students in the fall. A three-year Bachelor of Theology program began in 1993, when Alexei Melnichuk left for Denver Seminary to begin three years of study. Work also began on a new building to house staff and faculty. In 1994, an agreement was signed between the seminary, Conservative Baptists International, and International Teams to provide training and support for long-term professors.
In 1996, Melnichuk returned to Donetsk, and the first group of students graduated with Bachelor of Theology degrees. Since then, a computer lab has been installed, and work was completed on faculty housing and a student dorm.
The university has re-registered as a religious institution under the auspices of both the Union of Evangelical Baptists and the Autonomous Baptist Churches. This is the first time in Ukraine that a religious entity has been supported by two different denominations or organizations. The university is one of the founding members of the EurAsian Accrediting Association. Its main partners overseas are Denver Theological Seminary and International Teams.
Last updated: February 1999
A print version of much of the information contained in this NIS Third Sector Organizations section can be found in the The Post-Soviet Handbook (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1999).