A report on the Protestant theological section of the 26th Scientific Conference of Transylvanian Students

At the talent management event organised by the PTI, students presented their research results in eight presentations. The awards were presented on Sunday at the joint event of the various sections of the conference.

At the Protestant Theological Institute of Cluj-Napoca, there is a growing interest among talented students to present their research results to a wider audience, or to take on the challenge of being critically evaluated by a professional jury. Some of the papers presented on this occasion will be presented on the biannual scientific student conference in Hungary, or be published in various professional journals.

Eight student presentations were given at the talent show organised on 17 May 2023. Seven of the participants were students from PTI and one student arrived from the Faculty of Reformed Theology of the Babeș-Bolyai University. The detailed program is available here.

At the opening event of the section on Protestant theology, Csaba Balogh, vice rector of PTI and responsible for talent management within the institute, highlighted that schools and learning centres have been considered since antiquity as "places of (re)search", where students can discover the meaning of mysterious cuneiform texts or unravel the secrets of various sciences. This search-oriented idea is reflected in the earlier school names. In Mesopotamia schools were named "House of the (clay)tablet" (bīt ṭuppi), in ancient Israel they were the "House of the search (for meaning of texts)" (bêt hammidraš).

Although it is a quite common experience in the academic world that young students present in the classroom expect ready answers, these names for schools emphasise that (higher) education is not a place where we are simply given final answers, but rather confronted with problems and questions that can be answered through individual research.

"What is the most important quality that makes a person the right person to be a researcher?" - he asked. "Intellectual ability is undoubtedly important, as is good infrastructure, a good library, a well-equipped laboratory and good mentoring. But the most important and fundamental need and personality trait is curiosity, not being content to live with questions and not being satisfied with ready answers".

The opening was followed by a brief presentation of the research results. The event was moderated by Henrietta Beatrix Tóth, a fourth-year BA student. The 15-minute presentations were followed by 5-minute discussions, during which the speakers had to answer the questions of the jury.

Members of the jury:

  • Dr. Szabolcs Ferencz Kató (chair)
  • Dr. Zsolt Geréb
  • Dr. Szabolcs Kovács
  • Dr. Sándor Lakatos
  • Dr. Sándor Előd Ősz
  • Dr. Sarolta Püsök

The jury did not have an easy task, as the papers presented were all of a high quality, and the final decision had to be made on the basis of minimal differences between the scores. Ferencz Szabolcs Kató, chairing the jury, therefore encouraged students who took part in the competition not to be discouraged if they were not on the shortlist of "winners". The very fact of carrying out the research and present it before the Conference and a professional jury, is a major achievement in itself.

At the end of the event, the speakers, the jury and the participants of the event were invited to a reception at the Mensa of the PTI.

The awards ceremony took place on Sunday, 21 May 2023, at the joint closing event of the 26th ETDK. Based on the jury's assessment, the Protestant theological section was ranked as follows:

  • 1st prize(s): Beatrix Bíró (MA 1st year) and Norbert Jónás (MA 1st year) (two individual research projects)
  • 2nd prize: Eszter Nagy (MA 1st year)
  • 3rd prize: Ágnes Demeter (BA 4th year)
  • Special prize of PTI: Norbert Nagy (MA 1st year) and Orsolya László (BA 3rd year)

We congratulate our students who participated in the event, and congratulate for the good results achieved. The PTI thanks the mentoring teachers for their support and dedication, and thanks the students for their help in organising and running the event.

Financial support for the event was provided by the Hungarian National Talent Programme. We thank our supporters for their contribution!