The Institute for Pastoral Studies provides a forum for cooperation and dialogue within existing church and denominational movements, and continuing theological and practical ministry education in support of practicing pastors and church leaders in post-communist Europe.  The Institute functions in affiliation with and under the auspices of the board of directors and academic officers of the Evangelical Theological Seminary, Osijek, Croatia.  The Institute works in cooperation with and in service to national evangelical church movements and the local churches and ministries they represent.


One of the greatest needs of pastors and churches today is for continuing leadership training that can be applied in a practical way to the ministry context.  It must be training that addresses the specific practical needs of pastoral leaders in the local church setting.  Ongoing training should feature three components: 1) developing practical skills for solving ministry problems, 2) team building, and 3) mentoring. The training should allow pastoral leaders to remain in their local settings and not require them to leave their geographical settings for extended periods of time. 

With that in mind, we are committed to the goal of strengthening local churches, and establishing a tradition of seminary/church cooperation.  We are here to serve the needs and facilitate the success of pastors and churches.  If pastors and churches grow and succeed, the Institute succeeds.

Regular components

The institute emphasizes continuing education for pastors and other servants of the church.  Presentations are offered in seminars composed of smaller groups (24 has been the maximum size until now).  This facilitates a format which emphasizes dialogue and a case study format.

Practical Skills to resolve practical problems

Each seminar focuses on specific issues of concern for pastors and churches, especially in the local church format.  When forming the topic and presentations for each seminar, pastoral leaders are polled to discern current issues in local church ministry.   Experienced pastors are solicited as presenters.  Each participant is invited to provide case studies from their own context as a format for discussion. 

The institute submits to and partners with the leadership of evangelical church movements in the region where the seminar is offered.

Team Building

The use of the seminar format creates a culture of camaraderie and consultation.  An ethos of trust is built which helps establish understanding and ongoing cooperation beyond the context of the seminar.  The method creates an opportunity to vet and share best practices with other churches.


One outcome of this dynamic is the informal establishment of mentoring relationships within and across evangelical church movements.  Over time we want to see a host of equipping leaders established who will help mentor a new generation of pastoral leaders and servants of the church.

Latest News

  • Save the date: Theological Integration Conference, July 1–3, 2021

    ETS is organizing the theological integration conference on Christian conversion - “Christian Conversion: Multi-disciplinary, International and Ecumenical Perspectives” The conference on Christian conversion aims to be a scholarly and reflective inquiry into the Christian practice and experience of conversion from a variety of relevant academic disciplines, national-cultural contexts, and ecclesial traditions, with special care to address the topic within the context of Central and Eastern Europe. The conference will include presentations of academic papers from keynote speakers and accepted submissions from an open call for papers, as well as planned interactive sessions on designated topics. Publication of an anthology of some or all presented papers will be sought with the goal of publication by October, 2022 in celebration of VETU-ETS’s 50th anniversary. More about the conference...
  • New deadline for Merit-Based Scholarship for Early applicants - May 31st!

    All first-year, degree-seeking applicants, are eligible to be considered for merit scholarship!
  • Merit-Based Scholarship for Early applicants (until May 15th!)

    All first-year, degree-seeking applicants, are eligible to be considered for merit scholarship!
  • Suspension of classroom-based instruction

    All schools of higher education in Croatia, including our own, received instructions from the Government to suspend our regular classes for two weeks. Our professional board has decided, due to a number of its students coming from distant regions and the possibility of a further extension of this period, that VETU will suspend regular classroom-based instruction for one month and that we will continue with our regular classroom instruction from April 20th. All of our courses will continue with online-based instruction according to our normal schedule - our lecturers will upload their materials on the course pages within (Moodle), students are to be in contact with their lecturers and continue to do assignments as set by their lecturer. Each student has the user information and is enrolled within the system in the courses he / she is attending this semester. The lecturer communicates with students through the aforementioned pages, sends messages, uploads materials, records content, and in the event of problems with the system, will use e-mail to inform the support group.
  • Merit-Based Scholarship for Early applicants (until April 30th!)

    All first-year, degree-seeking applicants, are eligible to be considered for merit scholarship!