THE HISTORY OF DIVITIA GRATIAE UNIVERSITY
Successor of the College of Theology and Education
The College of Theology and education started its activity in the fall of 1993 as a school for preparing leaders of small groups for Bible study. These courses took place on Saturdays. The program was initiated by the leadership of “Bethel” church from Chisinau. The project was realized with the help of Fiodor Mocan, a graduate of the Christian University from St.-Petersburg. The program included 10 disciplines and in addition to the Saturday meetings, the students attended 3 one-week seminars. These seminars were taught by professors and graduates from other Christian institutions. The first students were members of churches who responded to the invitation of Bethel church.
In 1994, the Moldovan Baptist Union launched Holy Trinity institute in which all courses were taught in Romanian. The first director of this institute was Valeriu Ghilețchi, a graduate of Emanuel University in Oradea, Romania. In the first year, 11 students were accepted through recommendations from churches across Moldova. Among the first teachers were graduates of the Theological Seminary of Bucharest, Romania: Serghei Namesnic, Mihail Malancea and Ion Miron. The institute developed a bachelor of theology program taught in Romanian and Russian.
In the summer of 1995, an event took place which had a significant impact upon the future development of the institute. An agreement between the Baptist Union and the leadership of Bethel church united the two institutions “Grace” and “Holy Trinity”. This decision was the result of a need in the evangelical-Baptist community for a Christian institution staffed by competent people.
The director of this newly-formed institution was Fiodor Mocan. The academic dean was Valeriu Ghilețchi and the dean of students was Simion Placinta, a graduate of Emanuel University, Oradea.
At the first administrative council in September 1995, a decision was taken to register the institution as: “College of Theology and Education”. The unification of the two entities required a high degree of effort in the early stages, but the eventual eventually outcome was remarkable. Since 1996, with the help of the Southern Baptist Convention from the United States and the Baptist Union from Moldova, the College was established on its present campus in the center of Chisinau with all its facilities: dormitories, offices, library, classrooms and cafeteria.
The first graduation of CTE students took place in the spring of 1997, with 21 students receiving diplomas in theology, 16 in Christian pedagogy, 2 in music and 16 in extramural studies. That summer it was decided to start a new program in Social Work, to be taught in Romanian. 1998 was a year of significant events. Under God’s guidance and backed by the prayers of brothers and sisters, a section was established specializing in the training of missionaries to Turkic-speaking people living in the Gagauzia region of Moldova and also for students from Central Asia.
In the same year the college initiated the process to receive accreditation from the Euro-Asian Accreditation Association (EAAA) for the theological program. In the spring of 2001 the first graduates received certificates authorized by EAAA which confirmed international recognition of the studies.
In the spring of 2013 the College of Theology and Education completed a process of reorganization resulting in a new status as a university and a new name. The Latin name “Divitia Gratiae University” translates as “the riches of His Grace”. In the same year the faculty of Management and Foreign Languages was launched.