The Ukrainian Adventist Center of Higher Education (UACHE) is located in the town of Bucha, Kiev Region, Ukraine. The UACHE incorporates the Ukrainian Institute of Humanities and the Ukrainian Adventist Theological Institute and offers a wide range of academic programs.1 By 2022, about 2,000 students have received their education in both UACHE institutions, where c. 300 teachers are employed.
Its Mission and Values
Mission: The mission of the Ukrainian Adventist Center of Higher Education is to provide affordable and high-quality higher education for anyone interested and to contribute to the formation of holistic personality, on the basis of Christian values and responsibility before God and society.
Vision: UACHE is a place where students can gain professional and spiritual knowledge to shape their future with faith.
Spiritual Goal: UACHE is committed to high moral values. Its spiritual goal is to reveal the advantages of the Christian worldview to students and help them find their purpose in life in union with God.
Intellectual development: UACHE endeavors to help students find their place in the world while gaining an understanding of a wide variety of spiritual and material values accumulated by world cultures for centuries. The academic programs are aimed at broadening and expanding the horizons of students. Special emphasis is placed on the direct connection between intellectual development and practical piety.
Professionalism: UACHE strives to train well-rounded specialists and contribute to their formation as worthy citizens of their country who can be employed in all walks of life and serve the Church and the public trust.
Social Responsibility: UACHE works so that students can achieve social maturity and develop their creativity. With this end in view, UACHE conducts seminars and events to develop harmonious interpersonal relations and fosters a responsible, mature approach to the issues of the relationship between the individual and present-day society.
Healthy lifestyle: UACHE offers the possibility for students to acquire knowledge and skills of a healthy lifestyle. The academic regulations and the dormitory rules categorically prohibit smoking, alcohol, and drugs. The student cafeteria and the dining hall offer nutritious and healthy meals. Particular attention is paid to regular physical work and health promotion measures.
From 1990 to 1994, the Adventist Church in Ukraine grew to 45,000 members. The growing membership and the needs of the vast mission field were the main reasons for the decision to open an educational institution in the Ukrainian Union Conference (UUC) territory. On March 27, 1995, the UUC Executive Committee preliminarily approved the state-recognized charter of the Church’s educational institution. That was the first step in organizing theological education for pastors in independent Ukraine. The Theological Seminary was opened on September 17, 1995, in the town of Bucha, not far from Kiev. Its premises were located on a plot of land previously occupied by a children’s pioneer camp and then purchased by UUC. Anatoly Stepanovich Zhalovaga was elected as the head of this institution. In a very short time the Theological Seminary in Bucha was registered with the state authorities.
Under the guidance of Zaoksky Theological Seminary (ZAU) the first theological program that was accredited by the Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools (AAA) was opened in Bucha in order to train pastors who served in Ukraine.
In 1996 extensive work started on the reconstruction of the educational complex and the preparation of the documents required for certification of the Bucha Theological Seminary by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.
On February 25, 1999, the Ukrainian Institute of Humanities (UHI) was registered as the first Christian higher educational institution in Ukraine accredited by the state. The same year the Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools (AAA) approved the international accreditation for UHI.
Since October 1999, enrolment in the first licensed programs (“Finance,” “Management,” and “English and German Philology”) has been announced, and in 2000 a new program, “Marketing,” was opened.
In 2003, for the first time in Ukraine, a full-time Department of Theology was opened under the auspices of ZAU. The students of this department had to study the first two years in Bucha, and then two years to complete their education at Zaoksky.
The same year the representatives of the administration of the University of Montemorelos (Mexico) paid an official visit to UHI. This marked the beginning of a long-term cooperation between the two educational institutions.
The Ministry of Education and Science granted the licenses to UHI to provide training in the specialties of “Management,” “Finance,” and “Philology: English Language and Literature.”
In 2005, a new program called “Philosophy (Religious Studies” was opened.
In January 2006, a new girls dormitory, which could accommodate 240 residents, was completed and put into service.
In 2010, the educational institution in Bucha was reorganized: the Theological Seminary and the Ukrainian Institute of Humanities merged into one entity known as the Ukrainian Adventist Center of Higher Education (UACHE). For the first time intensive music courses for choir directors, vocalists, and accompanists were opened.
In 2011, the Theological Seminary received accreditation from the General Conference for a four-year Bachelor of Theology Program. In the spring of the same year the construction of a multifunctional complex admitting 2,000 persons was completed.
In 2011-2015, an M.B.A./M.S.A. program was started by the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (Silang, Cavite, the Philippines) at the premises of UACHE.
In 2012, UHI ranked 6th on the list of private educational institutions in Ukraine. The same year a new program, “Journalism,” was opened.
In 2013, “Physical Education” and “Economic Cybernetics” programs were opened.
In 2015, Andrea Luxton, president of Andrews University (Berrien Springs, Michigan, U.S.A.), paid an official visit to UACHE. As a result, the partnership agreement was signed, and the parties agreed to start a joint M.A. program in Religion Program.
In 2016, the Theological Seminary was renamed the Ukrainian Adventist Theological Institute (UATI).
In 2017, a memorandum was signed with Andrews University on conducting an M.A. program in International Development Program.
In 2018, the “Design” and “Psychology” programs were launched, and in 2019 enrolment was opened for a new “Primary Education” program.
Today the Ukrainian Institute of Humanities is registered in Ukraine as a private institution of higher learning that issues state-recognized diplomas.
The Institute offers training in the following specialties: Finance, Banking, and Insurance; Management; Philology. Philosophy (Religious Studies); Journalism; Economic Cybernetics; Physical Education; Design; Psychology; Primary Education.
A system of discounts gives an opportunity for admission to students who have financial problems.
UACHE students have varied extra curriculum activities at hand, such as choir singing, glass painting, sign language, and Spanish. There are also fitness and other sports classes and an outdoor gym.
The UACHE has a Student Council, which is elected by students. The council membership consists of the UACHE president, the heads of the UHI and the UATI, and elected students, who are responsible for information, sports, social issues, and culture on the campus. The council helps organize various events and addresses problems that may occur in the life of students.
The UACHE students take an active part in community projects, which in 2021 included:
Face Masks: Students interviewed people in the city of Bucha and asked them to describe their fears and things they would like to change in life. The students also collected the people’s prayer requests. The respondents were given face masks as a gift for their courage, and church members started praying for the received requests.
Trip to Animal Shelter: Students volunteered in the animal shelter and helped the shelter by providing physical labor and helping financially. The necessary medicines and other materials were purchased.
Puppet Theatre: A puppet theatre was organized for children in a kindergarten. The family of Svetlana Shevchenko arrived with equipment and a program and helped the students organize the performance.
Helping People with Special Needs: Students had the opportunity to help the family of a boy with special needs. They personally visited the family and gave the boy the necessary training device.
Children to Children: The UACHE and the local church collected 40 boxes of humanitarian supplies for children from low-income families. The students personally delivered the gifts to children’s homes.
A Kindly Heart: Students feed the homeless and disadvantaged in the city. They communicate with such people and listen to their needs in order to help them to the extent possible.
List of Presidents
A.S. Zhalovaga, 1999-2010; V. I. Tkachuk, 2010-2012; V. V. Kostyuk, 2012-2017; A.V. Shevchuk, 2017- present.
“Ukrainian Adventist Center of Higher Education.” Seventh-day Adventist Church Directory. https://www.adventistdirectory.org/viewEntity.aspx?EntityID=10061.
“Ukrainian Adventist Center of Higher Education.” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. https://www.adventistyearbook.org/entity?EntityID=10061.
Ukrainian Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists website. https://adventist.ua/.
This article was translated from Russian by Marina Stanovkina.↩