At its September 28 meeting, the Wisconsin Board of Global Ministries approved Baltic Methodist Theological School (ADVANCE #15021B) as a Wisconsin Advance Project. Several churches in our conference are in an IN MISSION TOGETHER relationship with Estonia, where the Seminary is located. Donations to Advance Funds can be made through your local church offering, by mail, or online. Learn more about Advance Funds.
The Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary (BMTS) began as a dream of the United Methodist Church, in what was then Soviet occupied Estonia, to provide evangelical theological training for church leaders. During the fifty years after World War II during which Estonia was forcibly occupied by the Soviet Union, formal theological or pastoral training was prohibited by the communist regime. It was only with the fall of communism in Europe that Estonia regained its independence and dreams could become reality.
In 1991 Estonia became free from the 50-year Soviet occupation, the Estonian Methodist church was again allowed to educate its ministers and leaders. Methodists decided that a formal seminary was the best way. With the help of many missional partners in the United States, the Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary was founded in 1994. At the time, there was almost no faculty, no textbooks, no building. In 2000 the seminary moved to the newly built Baltic Mission Center which was designed with offices, library, classrooms and dormitory. In 25 years BMTS has grown into a regionally important missional training center for United Methodist Church.
From the very beginning, the BMTS has been open to students from all Christian denominations including Lutheran, Baptist, Pentecostal and others. While Methodist students have always remained the largest group within the student body, one of the strengths of the BMTS has been the ecumenical atmosphere as students from different churches interact with each other. Classes are offered in English, Estonian and Russian. Students come from the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, Finland, Romania and Brazil.
In 1998, the BMTS received state accreditation by the Estonian government as a private institution of applied higher education. In 2019, they received another 3 years certificate of accreditation.
The leadership and faculty of the BMTS, together with friends and supporters are truly humbled by what God as done and is continuing to do through the students. To date, 208 students (18 graduating classes) have graduated. 60% of graduates are in full time ministry across Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia and other countries and an additional 30% are actively involved in part time or volunteer work for the cause of Christ. BMTS serve as pastors, teachers of religion, church planters, evangelists, youth workers, social workers, prison chaplains, military chaplains, Bible translators, etc.
“God is doing great things. Lives are being changed. This part of the world will never be the same because of the Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary”.