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Osijek Doctoral Colloquium

OSIMS / Osijek Doctoral Colloquium

About ODC

The ODC was launched in January 2016, when Dr. Peter Penner shared a request from the Eurasian Accrediting Association (EAAA), that comprises 56 theological schools in the Former Soviet Union, to create an opportunity for intensive, independent study for PhD students, away from everyday worries, under the leadership of qualified mentors in the research library of the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Osijek. ~Since then, we have organised ODC twice, in the Summers of 2016 and 2017. And we plan to continue! Interested? Do contact the ODC program coordinator, Julijana Tesija (julijana.tesija@evtos.hr)

This is what the participants valued highly in ODC:

Personal testimonies: “from Iran, Soviet Mennonites, Vukovar which helped me understand God`s glory and His care of us.”

Church service: “Being part of the service in the local Pentecostal church for the first time in my life… Now I know how religion is complex and important phenomenon for every human being.”

Time with the ODC mentors: “When I met the mentors who were paying attention to my research and my troubles.”

Time in prayer: “The moment when one Ukrainian was praying for his Russian fellow. That was so special and powerful….”

Discussions: “Stimulating academic discussions between colleagues and with the mentors that were so open”

Community building: “I really loved time we spend together, talking, crying and laughing…”

ODC Goals
  • To develop and sustain a network of scholars conducting high quality and relevant research in the areas of theological disciplines with a missiological dimension
  • To support missiological researchers by addressing issues relevant to church and society in Central and Eastern Europe
  • To give participants a forum to discuss and obtain feedback on their research with leading specialists, scholars and peers in an international, interdenominational and intercultural setting
  • To make available to ODC participants the ETS Lena and George Hendrickson library with 80.000 books, with a strong focus on mission in Central and Eastern Europe
Participant Requirements
  • Each doctoral participant is expected to spend 6-8 hours per day in the study of their selected topic. In addition to your directed study with a mentor, there will be daily group meetings each morning. You should be prepared to present a 30-minute personal testimony and outline of your ministry at home. These brief presentations will encourage us to pray for each other
  • We plan to have different events together too, such as an opening and/or closing dinner which may be a wonderful opportunity for you to present music, dance, poetry, or stories from your home culture as part of the entertainment
  • If you are admitted, you will receive an official invitation to be used in obtaining your visa. Do start in time with this procedure, as obtaining a double Schengen visa – when you travel through Budapest – does take time
  • Medical insurance is mandatory for obtaining a Schengen visa and it will offer you an extended coverage wherever you travel in the Schengen area or in Europe. Applicants are required to buy travel health insurance with an insurance company in the country of their residence that is acceptable for the embassy where they apply for the Schengen visa

"ODC 2017 was academically challenging: through discussion we received good feedback and suggestions to the researches me did. It was also spiritually encouraging. A wonderful place in which one can work hard, focus and make progress in the research."

"Visiting the Orthodox Church in Osijek with our Orthodox brothers, listening to their chanting in the classroom, praying for each other, singing with Pamela and Tereza, laughing in the afternoons with Doru, Peter, Ivan, Radik, Alexey about the elephant that got lost in theology ... All of that encouraged me to go on. Inasmuch I felt lost before the ODC, being in this surrounding I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. I thank prof. Parush and Anne-Marie for their support and trust in me."

"I could study more than 20 books on exegesis of key texts for my thesis! The professors showed me in practice how to do hermeneutic research and write it in a proper way. ... I could devote the time at ODC to my research. I was not distracted either by the members of my church or by those who work in the regional association of churches (because in my city, I am constantly engaged in the ministry in the local church and in the regional ministry). At ETS I had an opportunity to be in communication with the professors; they listened attentively to me and examined what I had written. Afterwards they directed me to investigate further those parts that were poorly covered. That was really great! I am so thankful to them!"

"The program has different parts, and yet they are all connected. Myself, I started with friendships, because to me the most important is to get to know the people with whom I am going to meet and discuss every day. ... I really enjoyed all the time spent at ETS. Coming from different Church traditions, we had lots to discuss during our presentations but also during coffee breaks, at the table and so on. Even when we went from hotel to the school, we did not stop discussing our difference and similarities, being constantly curious about each other."

"To me, the most important were professionalism of teachers/mentors, open discussions and friendly atmosphere. For example, I felt confident after my first brief presentation in the class and full of hope after sharing my life story! I learned not only by being in touch with the mentors, but also being in constructive dialogue with students from other countries, mentalities, cultures, political views. But the most helpful was time spent in the library..."

"I am very grateful to the Lord and thankful to all that made ODC 2017 possible. I had an opportunity to work in a good library; I spent quality time with mentors; I enjoyed the meals and morning devotions. It was great to build fellowships with other participants and to hear their stories. Very encouraging and inspiring!"