Educating Believers - Nurturing Leaders - Building the Church
ELIAS RIGGS CENTER FOR BIBLICAL STUDIES
When MTW began working in Bulgaria in 1996, church planting was the heart of this new effort. The Lord provided a relationship with the Union of Evangelical Congregational Churches of Bulgaria (UECCB) – a historic protestant church founded with the help of American missionaries in the latter 1800s, after the fall of the Ottoman Turk Empire. This Union of believers remained faithful through the rise and fall of the Soviet era and continues its commitment to be a light for the Gospel to “New Bulgaria.”
The Elias Riggs Center for Biblical Studies bears the name of an American Presbyterian missionary (1810 - 1901) who was used by God to profoundly impact not only the national revival of Bulgaria, but was highly influential in establishing Protestantism in Greece and Turkey. The legacy of Elias Riggs fuels our desire to continue a dynamic commitment to the training of Bulgaria’s church leaders. The Elias Riggs Center for Biblical Studies was started initially by MTW Bulgaria in partnership with the UECCB to train pastors and leaders of ethnically Roma/gypsy congregations. Since 2010, in partnership with Miami International Seminary, the Center has evolved strategically by expanding beyond training only Roma students to include pastors and church leaders throughout Bulgaria. Also expanding was the depth of training offered to students. Initially only offering a certificate, today ‘Elias Riggs’ offers students bachelors, masters and doctoral courses of study.
MTW Bulgaria’s specific roles in this new endeavor are to translate courses and publish them online for broader access throughout Bulgaria to provide theological materials to train students and to stimulate discussion more broadly among pastors, church leaders and those interested in understanding more fully biblical Christianity as expressed in the Reformed Faith.
- Give to help train pastors and leaders for Bulgaria: Elias Riggs Center for Biblical Studies
- Pastors/professors/teaching elders with masters or doctoral degrees who will live long term in Bulgaria to advance the theological and pastoral training of Bulgarians assisting them in the development of existing churches and the planting of new churches
- Pastors/professors with master’s/doctoral degrees who can teach selective courses for Elias Riggs during the scheduled intensives
- One to Two-week teaching teams of pastors/teachers/teaching elders who participate in training events