OF DIVITIA GRATIAE
“History is who we are and why we are the way we are”
- David McCullough
25 years is not that much… but a lot has happened at UDG in this time. This is our journey …
College of Theology – “Grace”
Started its activity 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 lecturers and graduates from other Christian institutions. The first students were members of churches who responded to the invitation of Bethel church.
Holy Trinity Institute
The Baptist Union of Moldova started the Holy Trinity Institute, a school similar to the "Grace" college but for Romanian speaking students. One of the founders and the first director of this institute was Valeriu Ghilețchi, a graduate of Emanuel University in Oradea, Romania. In the first year, 11 students were enrolled based on the recommendations from churches across Moldova. Among the first teachers were graduates of the Theological Seminary of Bucharest, Romania: Serghei Namesnic, Mihai Malancea and Ion Miron. The institute developed a bachelor of theology program taught in Romanian and then in Russian as well.
The merger of Grace College and Holy Trinity Institute
The Baptist Union and the leadership of Bethel church united the two institutions “Grace” and “Holy Trinity” into a single entity. 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. This institution was registered as the College of Theology and Education (CTE).
Focus on Central Asia
Because of a Turkic speaking ethnic group located in the southern part of Moldova called the Gagauz, a new vision was developed by Mihai Malancea and the team for reaching the Turkic speaking nations of Central Asia. Through prayer and God's guidance, a missions program was developed for the Turkic-speaking students from Moldova and the Central Asian Republics. As former members of the Soviet Union the Central Asian Republics and Moldova had one thing in common: the Russian language. The mission's program was oriented towards Russian-speaking students.
CTE began the process of accrediting the Bachelor of Arts program in Pastoral Ministry in partnership with the Euro-Asian Accrediting Association (EAAA), a higher education accrediting organization of Christian institutions. In the spring of 2001, graduates received their first EAAA-accredited diplomas certifying the international level of their education.
From the College of Theology and Education to Divitia Gratiae University
In the summer of 2013, the College of Theology and Education underwent a process of reorganization and as a result, the institution was renamed as the University "DIVITIA GRATIAE" which in Latin means the Riches of God's Grace. In that same year, a new department of management and foreign languages was opened.
UDG Campus Extension
In the autumn began the extension of UDG's campus with the construction of two new buildings. In the picture you can see the initial plans for the building which were about to materialize in the next 3 years. Serghei Namesnic, the rector of UDG prayed for the start of the construction process together with the students.
Doctor Honoris Causa
The vision towards Central Asia and towards reaching Muslims for Christ was developed and supported by Ron George as early as 1999. After 15 years of partnership, UDG issued its highest distinction "Doctor Honoris Causa" to Ron George for his faithful service towards extending God's kingdom in the East.
Graduation of the first cohort of MA students in Counseling
This was the year when we had the first cohort of Graduates in the Spiritual Counseling Master's program. Omar Zook from Hershey Free Church was the main driving force behind this program in collaboration with the local team from UDG.
Graduation in front of the new building
This was the last graduation before the grand opening of Building E (E stands for Education). In that summer, many students and faculty members were involved in the finishing stages of the construction.
Accreditation of the Management and Counseling programs
After an evaluation of the Bachelor program in Management and the Master's program in Counseling, The Euro-Asian Accrediting Association accredited the two programs for a period of 5 years. In the picture you can see Igor Prisac (the dean of the Management Program) and Elena Nahaba (the Master's program Coordinator) together with the members of EAAA and the leadership of UDG.
Inauguration of Building E
The construction of Building E was completed by the beginning of June 2016. In this picture you can see the inauguration and dedication of the main Educational building of UDG. It is a three story building which contains a cafeteria, a library, classrooms, a conference hall and a research center. for students and graduates.
First cohort of BA students in the Management program
The Management program started taking in students in the summer of 2013. The first group of students which came from Moldova was labeled as B-1. In 2016 we had the first graduates from this program and the first graduation in the newly inaugurated building.
First students from Central Asia in the Management Program
After a long recruiting period, the first students from Central Asia joined the Management program which was taught in Russian. In this picture you can see the cohort labeled BM-1 which was comprised of 90% of students from Central Asia and 10% from Moldova.
With a student body where about 70% of the students are from Central Asia, UDG developed a rich and diverse culture. Starting from 2018 and on, our Central Asian Students are organizing the Nowruz Bayram holiday – which is known as the Persian New Year, celebrated worldwide by various ethno-linguistic groups as the beginning of the New Year. This holiday has been celebrated for over 3000 years in Central Asia.