Dr. Zygmunt Karel and Dr. Mark Young worked together in Poland to design and develop an interdenominational school of theology. It was the first of its kind in Poland – a school that would minister among Poles in the Polish language to serve and strengthen the evangelical movement in Poland.
Biblical Theological Seminary. The first group of 18 students began their studies in Wroclaw in space rented from a local church. Since then several hundred students have studied at the school and participated in various programs and projects.
Graduates from the first group of students at the school became involved in church planting, pursuit of advanced education, and foreign missions.
The school moved into a newly renovated historical building near the center of Wroclaw.
April 2005—August 2005
EST submitted its application for national accreditation with the Polish Ministry of Education. The name of the school was changed from Biblical Theological Seminary to Evangelical School of Theology.
Final documents were signed by the Polish Minister of Education allowing EST to be officially recognized as an accredited school of higher education. EST is the first private, non-denominational school in Poland to receive national accreditation from the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.
EST began its first semester as an accredited school.
October 2007 – June 2008
EST continued with the accredited B.A. program and added new programs and courses: E-learning, Academy of Third Age (for men and women 50+), School of Biblical Languages, Spirituality and Art, Christian Counseling, and Events for Pastors.
EST organized the first week-long Festival of Protestant Culture, sponsored by the city government, and involving many churches, fellowships, schools and organizations. The program included lectures, presentations, concerts, and tours of Wroclaw.
September 2009 to 2014
Establishment and development of the EST Educational Center to become a multi-faceted school that provides programs and courses designed to equip people who are already in ministry, to attract people for broader theological studies, to train Christian leaders, to be involved in theological research and to create evangelical culture/ethos within Polish society.
Official recognition of the EST Educational Center, which currently offers an accredited B.A. program as well as the following: Open Academy of Theology (for churches) that includes the School of Apologetics and School of Biblical Languages, Academy of Third Age (for seniors), and special conferences, lectures, debates, workshops, training courses and concerts. Such new forms, contextualized for the 21st century, are needed in Poland and throughout Europe.
There was a transition from Open Academy of Theology (OAT) to the Institute of Church Development (ICD), which offers training to pastors, current or potential church leaders, and church planters. Some of the church leaders include EST graduates. The vision of ICD is the preparation of another Polish generation that is energized and equipped to fulfill their potential through ministry in local churches. The growth and development of the Polish evangelical church is an important priority for the EST Educational Center.