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Liberty News

Liberty professors minister to church leaders in Russia

November 5, 2015 : Liberty University News Service

Liberty faculty in Russia.
Dr. Matt Wilmington (left), an adjunct professor in the Liberty University School of Divinity; Dr. Vernon Whaley, dean of the School of Music; Dr. Gary Mathena, adjunct professor and director of practica for the School of Music; and Dr. John C. Thomas, professor of counseling in the School of Behavioral Sciences, are teaching intensives in Russia from Nov. 1-7.

Four Liberty University faculty members are currently serving in Russia, training more than 60 pastors and worship leaders from 35 churches on various aspects of ministry. The trip is in partnership with the Russian Commonwealth of Evangelical Churches, St. Petersburg Christian University, and Zelenograd Baptist Church.

Dr. Matt Wilmington, an adjunct professor in the School of Divinity and executive pastor at Thomas Road Baptist Church; Dr. Vernon Whaley, dean of the School of Music; Dr. Gary Mathena, adjunct professor and director of practica for the School of Music; and Dr. John C. Thomas, professor of counseling in the School of Behavioral Sciences, were able to utilize their expertise to teach sessions covering biblical leadership, worship studies, pastoral relationships, and biblical counseling. They arrived in Russia on Oct. 30 and will remain through Nov. 7.

Whaley said this trip was an opportunity to strengthen relationships between Liberty and Russian churches.

“This is part of an on-going relationship to teach and train Russian pastors and worship leaders,” Whaley said. “It has been exciting, enriching, and rewarding to see the pastors and worship leaders respond to our teaching.”

Zelenograd Baptist Church in Russia.
Zelenograd Baptist Church (near Moscow) is hosting the intensives led by Liberty University faculty.

Liberty plans to offer four more intensives in Russia to help equip vocational ministers in their areas of service. Plans are being made to allow Liberty students to take part in future trips.

Pavel Kolenikov, one of the sponsors of the initiative and pastor of Zelenograd Baptist Church, said that he and the other pastors found the courses very useful.

“The teaching has been clear and deep on a professional level,” he said. “These intensives have helped us develop discipline, knowledge, and a sense of practical experience. They have helped us reach a higher level of excellence in ministry and as professionals.”

Liberty’s faculty also joined area pastors and more than 1,800 worshipers to celebrate the unity of the church and pray for the spreading of the Gospel in Russia.

Russian pastors and worship leaders with Liberty faculty.

This week, Russian pastors and worship leaders are learning about ministry from Liberty faculty.

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