Amazing! That’s the word UBTS supporters are using to describe the progress that’s been made in recent months on the new academic building. Improvements to date include:
• Addition of two floors and a full basement to the original two-story building
• Restored and expanded interior rooms
• Utility upgrades
• Replacement of all windows and doors
• Refacing the exterior for a clean, modern look

The first two floors of the building will be available for use in September for student instruction. With these improvements complete, the excavation and foundation work for Phase Two of the building project has begun.

This incredible progress in the face of the pandemic would not have been possible without God’s protection and His provision through significant gifts from many UPF supporters who made generous and timely investment in the move of God in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian government has instituted a Color-Code Program for cities and regions to indicate specific protocols for Covid-19 prevention. Codes vary from Red (most restrictive), to Orange, Yellow, and Green (least restrictive). The government monitors infection rates and implements more restrictive measures if the infection rate rises in a specific city or region.

Approximately 70% of UBTS students live within 4-5 hours drive time from L’viv, with about 30% traveling to the Seminary by train or bus. While the government is now allowing public transportation throughout the country, busses or trains cannot stop to take on or drop off passengers in a Code Red area.

Color codes are either left as-is or reassigned each Monday. L’viv is currently listed as Code Orange, which will enable UBTS to operate as described here, with specified precautions (i.e. wearing masks, sanitizing, etc.). If the Color Code for L’viv changed to Red, in-person classes at UBTS would not be allowed and all classes would be offered online.

UBTS has developed protocols that both meet and exceed government requirements. Returning students are assigned to one of four cohort groups; each stable group will meet, dine, and sleep in separate locations.

  • There will be no interactions between students in different stable groups.
  • Faculty members will undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.
  • Students will be monitored daily for temperature and other flu-like symptoms.
  • Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be asked to return home.
  • If an ill student cannot return home, care will be provided at a hospital in L’viv.

In this video, UBTS President Slavik Pyzh shares a message of hope and encouragement as he reflects on how the new school year will begin.

ubts-august-2019

UPF Board President Joe Privott recently returned from a trip to Ukraine where he visited the Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary (UBTS) and conferred with educators and leaders there.

“I am truly in awe of what God is doing at UBTS,” noted Joe. “Growth and opportunity abound everywhere you look.”

ubts--august-2019In particular, Joe noted the record number of students enrolling at UBTS from throughout Ukraine. Many are drawn by the mentoring program and technology that helps them maximize every teaching and learning opportunity. He also observed the renovation and construction activity at the seminary’s new academic building. UPF spearheaded a capital campaign to support this expansion of facilities, raising over $2.5 million during the first 18 months.

“UBTS is no longer a struggling start-up. It has become an established, innovative Baptist seminary that is fulfilling a critical need to equip church leaders with the skills and spiritual values that will guide Ukraine’s future,” observes Joe.  “What a blessing that God allows people like us – from nearly 6,000 miles away – to support the learning and growth of UBTS students and, through them, to impact hundreds of churches and communities throughout Ukraine and beyond.”

Adds Joe, “The outstanding financial and spiritual support of UPF donors and friends has helped to make all of these achievements possible. May God continue to guide and bless this tremendous work and may we always give Him the glory!”

 

Ukraine Skyline

As UPF expands its efforts to reach and cultivate broader support for UBTS, we are pleased to welcome two new board members.

Scott E. Reed is the former Senior Executive Vice President and CFO of BB&T Corporation, one of nation’s premier commercial lending banks. Scott has more than 40 years of front-line and leadership experience in the banking and financial sectors. He has offered his expertise to advance the mission and work of a number of nonprofit organizations including the North Carolina Zoological Council, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Young Life of Forsyth County, The Salvation Army, and The Nature Conservancy of North Carolina.

Scott holds degrees from Wake Forest University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University. We are honored to add Scott’s experience and wisdom to the UPF Board.

Tony Vermillion currently serves as Vice President for Global Security at Emerson, a decentralized $25 billion global manufacturing and technology company with 65 divisions, 235 manufacturing locations, and 135,000 employees. His career includes prior service in the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and as director of global security operations for Proctor and Gamble’s North American and Asian sectors.

Tony earned a Master of Science degree from Indiana University – Purdue University in Fort Wayne, and a Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in Bloomington. Since 1995, he has been designated as a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) through the American Society for Industry Security International. Tony’s global perspective and expertise add a new and important dimension of insight to the UPF Board.