The academic year 2021-2022 has begun

The Protestant Theological Institute of Cluj-Napoca started a new academic year on Sunday, September 19. The new year starts with 15 new undergraduate students and a total of 139 students. Programme is planned with regular physical attendance.

The new academic year started on Sunday, September 19. The opening service of the academic year took place in the central Reformed Church, with Tamás László Szegedi, general director of the Reformed Church District of Transylvania, leading the service. The sermon was based on Matthew 5:41: "If anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile." The sermon emphasized the transformative nature of Christian theology and spirituality. The Christian way of life begins beyond the first mile, where voluntarism rather than compulsion characterizes you. Only with this second mercy can one claim to have acquired the Christian spirit. Life ceases to be a bondage when voluntarism overflows and transcends compulsion. Christians can decide for themselves whether they aim to be mercenaries of compulsion or heroes of voluntarism.

To go along for a second mile - this may become the motto of the new academic year, which, along with spiritual enrichment and growth, will also shape the lives of the community of the Theological Institute.

In his traditional speech at the opening ceremony of the academic year the Rector, Vilmos József Kolumbán, emphasised that the year 2021-2022 will be an exceptional one. In 2022, the Institute will celebrate 400 years since the establishment of the College in Alba Iulia (1622), transferred later to Aiud (1662). The Theological Institute considers the old Reformed Academy as its predecessor, which played a key role not only in the history of Transylvanian education in general, but also in the education of church ministers. In 1895, when the theological-pastoral training moved from Aiud to Cluj-Napoca, the Faculty of Theology of the Reformed Church of Transylvania was established. "The greatest merit of the educational system of the time was that it offered a possibility of integration into the educational system not only for children from wealthy families, but through various scholarship systems it also allowed the poorest to benefit from the blessings of acquiring knowledge" - noted the rector. Education and training have always been essential for the Church, and this past is an obligation for the future.

The new academic year will not only be one of reflection, but also one of rerouting. The Protestant Theological Institute plans to reconfigure its curriculum in 2021-2022. In the spirit of its heritage, it will follow a new approach even closer to contemporary challenges.

Also on the agenda for the near future is the relaunch of the doctoral school, aimed at demonstrating the social utility of the university at the highest levels.

Fewer students were enrolled in the new academic year than during previous years. Following the summer and autumn admissions, a total of 15 new students (13 Reformed, 2 Lutheran and 1 Unitarian) were enrolled. Thus the total number of students of pastoral theology is now 139.

At the end of the 2020-2021 academic year, Dr. Elek Rezi, professor of Unitarian systematic theology, retired. Following the competition to fill the vacancy, his successor will be Dr. Csaba Tódor, a Unitarian pastor from Cristuru Secuiesc.

At the end of the 2020-2021 academic year, Dr. Enikő Ferenczi, a lecturer at PTI for 20 years, also announced that from the next academic year she would no longer be able to hold this position. The Rector expressed his gratitude for her two decades of teaching work. Dr. Béla Botond Jakabházi and Dr. Csilla Lakatos will continue their teaching work in the Department of Practical Unitarian Theology.

The Rector's address was followed by the choir service. The newly admitted students of the PTI have taken their traditional theology student's oath. The new yeargroup will be mentored by professor Béla Sándor Visky.

(The full text of the opening speech can be downloaded in the appendix).