Friday, September 05, 2008

Bible Colleges Begin their Academic Year

Denmark has two major charismatic denominations, the Pinse Kirke (Pentecostal Church) Church and the Apostolsk Kirke (Apostolic Church). Each of these denominations maintains a two-year Bible college: Mariager Højskole (Danish Pentecostal Bible College) and International Apostolsk Højskole (International Apostolic Bible College). Qualified graduates of both schools are eligible to continue their studies toward the Bachelor in Ministry degree from Australia’s Harvest Bible College in a schedule of class taught in Denmark.

International Apostolic Bible College
(top image) is located in Kolding (pronounced CALL-ding), a city in southeast Jutland. The school’s campus, less than a mile from Kolding’s city center, is situated next to a small lake surrounded by a large and beautiful park, nor far from open countryside and forested areas. The school opens its academic year on September 21 with 80 new students. Principal Brent Christiansen heads the faculty that includes, Birthe Christiansen, Moise Olivier, Dominique Lachat, Birgit Tind, Ole Drejer, Steffen Bay, Linda Flament, Cecile Favre, Johnny Hansen, Thomas Christiansen, Manu Marcotto, and Dorte Viftrup.

The Danish Pentecostal Bible College (bottom image)
, already in session for its 2008-2009 academic year, is located farther north in a charming town in Mariager (pronounced MY –air) in east central Jutland, 36 miles (58 kilometers) north of Aarhus. The town is connected to the Baltic Sea via a deep saltwater inlet called Mariager Fjord. The Bible College is attractively situated on a large campus in perfect surroundings, close to Mariager Fjord. This year the school has enrolled 64 new students, its largest incoming class since 2000. Kent Jacobsen is the school’s principal. He heads a faculty composed of Peter Hove Sørensen, Bjarne Knudsen, Leif Petterson, Jakob Vagner, Rikke Lauritsen, Simon Linde, David Jakobsen, Peder Poulsen, and Solfried Bracher.

Bible Colleges such as these are important for the growth and development of charismatically-oriented free churches in Denmark. Unfortunately, because of lack of time during my trip to Denmark two years ago I did not had the privilege of spending time at the International Apostolic Bible College, other than to pass by its location in Kolding. As it turned out, I did manage to spend a bit of time and walk the campus at Mariager. As I have mentioned previously, I attended a Tuesday evening student-led worship service at Mariager which was an inspiring experience. Both schools nurture their students’ spiritual lives carefully in the Word and in dynamic worship experiences. Much emphasis is placed on the importance of prayer and on providing seasons of all-school prayer (see the Pray for Denmark posting for April 3, 2008 for further details about the prayer emphases at Mariager).

It is noteworthy that the campuses of both schools again this year were utilized by other free church denominations for their summer camps. Both Bible Colleges deserve our prayer support, especially that they may provide a continuing flow of pastors for the charismatic free churches and contribute hugely to revival, renewal, evangelism and church planting in Denmark and other countries.

PRAY for Principal Brent Christiansen at Kolding and Principal Kent Jacobsen at Mariager that the Lord will give them wise, Spirit-led leadership for their heavy responsibilities in overseeing the work of their respective schools.

PRAY for the faculty and staff at Kolding’s International Apostolic Bible College that they will handle the Word of God skillfully, with intellectual integrity, and with spiritual maturity in all their classes and in all of their contacts with students.

PRAY that the faculty and staff at Mariager’s Danish Pentecostal Bible College will be recipients of outstanding Spirit-endowed ability to satisfy the intellectual and spiritual needs of students both in the classroom and in one-on-one contacts.

PRAY that the hearts and minds of students will be open and receptive to the teaching they receive and that they will be obedient to what the Spirit of God lays on their hearts for the effective use of their spiritual gifts wherever the Lord may lead them.

PRAY for a spirit of unity and prayerfulness among administration, faculty and students to pervade both schools throughout the entire academic year and that the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be high and lifted up by these two learning and worshiping communities.

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