As the school year began in Bulgaria on September 15, we have just received word from the newly accredited Bulgarian Theological University, formerly known as the Bulgarian Evangelical Theological Institute, that its United Church of God departments will offer a degree in chaplaincy ministry in the 2008 fall semester. This is a long awaited news since due to the new government regulations, both the accreditation of the university and the future the of the chaplaincy program have been on hold for some time now.
The program is an answer for all of us here in Bulgaria, as one of the goals of the Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association was offering chaplaincy education in an accredited evangelical educational institution. We submitted a proposal for the program in 2006 and now two years later the Bulgarian Theological University is recognizing and responding to the need. This goal has been reached through the sacrifice of many godly and gifted men and women and we would like to recognize and thank everyone who has invested in this great work for His Kingdom. The further development of the chaplaincy ministry in Bulgaria and the educational program which accompanies will be a subject of discussion on the upcoming annual meeting of the Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association.
In April 2004, Bulgaria was officially accepted into the global structure of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The event followed a long series of historic developments that were accomplished despite the existence of highly antagonistic forces that opposed the very idea of Bulgaria’s membership in any Western alliance. Among these were internal and external political, economical and social factors that historically have forced the country to remain under the influence of the forces opposing the West.
Territorially, this tendency could be traced to the dramatic split of the Roman Empire even before the establishment of the first Bulgarian Kingdom on the Balkan Peninsula in 681AD. The consecutive military, cultural and economical influence of Byzantium over the Bulgarian nation claimed the newly established country to the side of the East from its birth. This propensity was sustained through the two Bulgarian Kingdoms (established respectfully in 681AD and 1188AD). It was renewed with even greater strength when the Ottoman Empire overtook the weakened country of Bulgaria in 1139AD and for the next five centuries, the Orient claimed control of European Bulgaria.
In 1878, Bulgaria was liberated from the Ottoman Yoke by Russia, but only to remain under its political and economical umbrella for the next 111 years until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. This event reaffirmed Bulgaria’s belongingness to the East as the country joined the Central Powers throughout World War I and deliberately remained with the Axis Powers in World War II. Продължете да четете The Case of a NATO Chaplaincy Model within the Bulgarian Army→