In October 1991, the Evangelical Pentecostal Fellowship (EPK) started a college with the aim of educating and training young people for the Lord’s service. The first year of the EPK Bible College started in Kadarkút, a village in southwestern Hungary. The following year, the College moved to Budapest. Between 1992 and 1997, it had its classes in the headquarters of the Evangelical Pentecostal Fellowship. In the beginning, the ICI Education Foundation (the International Correspondence Institute) allowed the free use of its course materials, which was of great help.
A new building
In December 1997, the Bible College moved to an aesthetically refurbished building in District 18 of Budapest, which is the current site of the College. This building complex accommodates offices, classrooms, a library, a kitchen, a dining hall, a prayer room, as well as the male and female dormitory.
Between 1997 and 1999, we made efforts to modernize the curriculum of the College and to raise the scholarly standard of the education. In 1999, the institute was renamed Pentecostal Theological College..
Development in the new millennium
With the advent of the new millennium, the development of the College took a somewhat new direction. Although it strove to keep and carry on the scholarly results attained, which manifested themselves mainly in the training of instructors and the development of the curriculum, the main emphasis was placed on involving the students in the ministry. Mission groups formed one after the other, which on the one hand, were aimed at real needs around us, such as the homeless, the imprisoned, the blind, hospitals and others, and on the other hand, they provided excellent practical opportunities for the students to integrate the theoretical knowledge acquired at the classes into their personalities. Thus, we managed to achieve that 70% of our graduated students work in various ministries nationwide.
- Since 2002, the need for part-time programmes of PTF has skyrocketed. Although the increased burden was a considerable challenge for the College, we managed to meet it.
- In the autumn of 2003, PTF introduced credit-based education, which, on the one hand, makes studies more flexible, and on the other hand, it provides an easier interoperability between various education institutes.
- In 2006, following the adaptation of the higher education strategy of the European Union, considerable changes took place in the Hungarian higher education law as well. Consequently, PTF has also undergone profound changes, which increase the efficiency of its education and ministries. At the BA level, students receive the academic part of their training within three years. The training itself has become much more practical: the students’ ministry already counts in the training and the mandatory number of credits. After a three-year classroom education, students participate in a 2+5-month delegation, which means a full-time ministry in a congregation or a mission organization. With this, they complement their theologian degree acquired within three years with a pastor’s qualification. As a result of hard work, courses have also become more efficient in preparing 21st century Christian workers.
- A considerable development of 2007 was the starting of the Student Information System, which allows the full electronic administration of students.
- In 2008, PTF was awarded government accreditation for an additional 8-year period.
- In 2009, we increased the educational spectrum of our College with postgraduate specialist training courses, and we started the Online Bible School, a professional remote education programme helping the education of people interested in Christianity and the pastoral workers of the congregations. Since this same year, PTF edits the Pünkösd.ma magazine as its own theological periodical, as well as it has started an e-learning programme to help college programmes.
In 2012, the plenum of the Hungarian Accreditation Committee supported our request for starting a Theology MA programme; thus, the first MA year started in 2012. To create the appropriate academic conditions, the teaching staff was increased with several new instructors.
In 2012, the Educational Authority registered the one-year postgraduate specialist training course of PTF, which provides an “Evangelical Pastor” degree.
- In 2012, we founded our Research Institute to harmonize, streamline and integrate the research activities taking place at PTF.
- In 2014, the Hungarian Accreditation Committee, as a result of its proceedings, prolonged the accreditation of our College until 31 December 2019.
- In 2015, we started the “Coaching and Leadership with a Christian Approach” postgraduate specialist training course. In the summer of 2015, the Registry moved from its usual location to a neighbouring larger room, where the administrative staff can work, and students can arrange their administrative cases in a beautifully renovated environment. The size of the new office allowed the Chief Financial Officer to work undisturbedly in a separate room.
- In 2016, PTF accepted a research and publication plan for the study of the history of Hungarian Pentecostals and publish a book. As a result, the first work in Hungary to present Hungarian Pentecostal history . Modular religious programmes with a low entry requirement were launched. The entire classroom wing became air-conditioned and the building received a new street fence.
- In 2017, PTF made ICF certification available for its coaching programme. The entire building received new doors and windows with 3-layer glass.
- In 2018, PTF launched its vocational programme for Child and Youth Protection. PTF translated and published the volume on Pentecostals in Hungary in English as well, with the title, Pentecostals in Hungary. It edited and published a volume of papers with the title Faith and Power. This year, the entire heating system was replaced with the most state-of-the-art one available.
- In 2019, the institution considered its top priority to introduce a hybrid system (on-line + classroom) for its education from September. The system was installed, its methodology was developed, and its policies were established. All classrooms were fitted with equipment capable of total on-line education, and the necessary applications were configured and tested successfully. Hybrid education started in this academic year.