The History of ETS

How did it all start?

The forerunner of ETS was the Bible Institute in Kutná Hora, founded in 1947. It provided interested students with theological education and prepared them practically for the vocation of a pastor. The institute was there for all interested Christians, regardless of their affiliation with any particular church, and also accepted students from Slovakia, Poland and other Slavic countries. The Communists closed this unique school in 1950, when the state usurped the exclusive right to educate future ministers with a new law about churches.

What happened after November 1989?

Shortly after the revolution (September 1, 1990), the Theological Seminary of Církev Bratrská (TSCB) was founded. This was to train pastors and other workers in churches in a five-year distance learning course. However, less than a year later (August 1, 1991) the Ministry of Education included the seminary in the network of schools in the Czech Republic, and thus a state-recognized four-year full-time study was established.

How was it taught then?

A big problem after the revolution was the lack of textbooks. There was a lack of Czech theological literature and suitable educational aids on the market. The school also struggled with a lack of suitable teaching space. It was not until three years later that the first full-time teacher was able to start.

The first basis for distance learning became the Bible Education by Extension (BEE) courses, taken from the mission organization Entrust. This had been active in education in the Czech Republic since the totalitarian era. The main collaborator and leader of the distance learning was Marshall Brown, PhD.

Open the CB school to other churches?

From the beginning, the seminary accepted applicants from all evangelical denominations. Therefore, the founder decided to rename it the Evangelical Theological Seminary (ETS) as of September 1, 1993.

What is the status of the seminary today?

In 1996, the seminary became the Evangelical Theological Seminary – Higher Vocational School of Theology and Social Work (ETS-VOŠT). In September 2006, the school was entered into the school register as the Evangelical Theological Seminary – Higher Vocational School of Theology and Social Work (ETS-VOŠTS). The school is also a member of the Association of Educators in Social Work, which brings together schools providing high quality education in this field.

Who was the head of the school?

  • 1990 – 1996: Miloslav Jech
  • 1996 – 1998: Mgr. David Javornický, Th.D.
  • 1998 – 2000: Karel Taschner, Th.D.
  • 2000 – 2001: ThDr. Pavel Černý, Th.D. (during K. Taschner’s study stay in the USA)
  • 2001 – 2007: Karel Taschner, Th.D.
  • 2007 – 2017: Jan Valeš, Th.D.
  • Since 2017: Ing. Miloš Poborský

Where was the teaching done?

In the beginning, the classes were taught in the rented premises of the Církev Bratrská congregation in Prague 1. As the seminary developed, it encountered a limited number of classrooms for students, and there was a lack of space for teachers and administrative staff. It was not possible to accommodate the library, so important for study, and last but not least, it was necessary to begin providing accommodation for some students. The management of the seminary therefore decided to build its own four-storey building, which has been in use since September 1999, with a total of 954 square metres of space. The building is part of the Chvaly Community Centre in Prague 9 – Horní Počernice.