Each year, Olivet University develops a more significant and vibrant presence outside of the United States as the number of international scholars choosing to learn and teach at Olivet University expands. This growth can largely be credited to the efforts of University President Dr. David Jang, in consultation with the faculty leadership of Olivet University, who have established Olivet's global network of partnerships with theological institutions and mission organizations.
To this end, a special faculty taskforce was convened this year by the University President to accompany him on a tour of five evangelical institutions of higher learning located throughout Europe.
The members of this year's taskforce included Dr. David Jang, University President; Dr. William L. Wagner, Dean of Olivet Theological College & Seminary; and Dr. Joseph R. Tallman, Director of Middle East Missions. Executive staff members from the headquarters offices of Olivet University ministry affiliates in Europe also accompanied the team as they toured the continent.
The taskforce was charged with expanding the number of opportunities for Olivet to work cooperatively with European seminaries and theological colleges in evangelical-focused ways. Olivet's successes in the field of digital technology provided a springboard for many of these discussions, which illuminated ways for evangelicals to penetrate the world of instance communication using Olivet University-developed courseware and Internet capabilities.
"We hope to facilitate an appropriate increase in the level of global engagement experienced by European theological colleges and seminaries, as well as Olivet's" said Jang of this year's round of conferences.
In general, Christian education and mission organizations in Europe have had fewer opportunities to reap the benefits of electronic networking and information sharing via Internet technology. In response, Olivet University has made its technological resources available without cost to several mission-driven organizations, with hopes of advancing the world Christian movement into the 21st century.
Also on the taskforce's agenda was recruiting more faculty of the highest caliber, in order to add to Olivet's strong team of professors.
This year's tour officially began in Belgium at the prestigious Evangelical Theological Seminary in Leuven, Belgium on January 13th. The team was also hosted by Bonn Bible Seminary, in Bonn, Germany; the University in Glasgow, Scotland; Oredeia Christian University in Oredeia, Romania; and the Hungarian Baptist Seminary in Budapest, Hungary.
Midway through their tour, Olivet University representatives met with top leaders from the International Center for World Mission (ICW), an evangelical organization that has been instrumental in establishing a large number of churches in the regions of Eastern Europe and Russia.
The weeklong tour ended on Thursday, January 19th in Budapest, Hungary. A report from the taskforce based on its activities is expected for release Spring 2006.
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