Taras Melnik (branch administrator, Lviv)

A branch of the Vision International University has been in operation in Lviv for the last two years. I thank God that I have this opportunity not only to study but also to serve as administrator of our branch.

I have attended church virtually my entire adult life. I was an active member, serving in different positions. I have long had the opportunity to study at a theological institution, but for some reason I have not made that decision at the time. Long ago, Ecclesiastes said, "There is a time for everything." Probably it was not yet time for that. When plans were made to open a branch of the Vision International University in Lviv with our church and I was asked to be its administrator, I felt inner peace and a desire to take up this work.

As the Lviv branch began its work, I began getting my theological education. During my Christian life I have gained a lot of knowledge and partial education (Sunday school teachers’ courses and night school at the Lviv Theological Seminary), but I can confidently say that studying at the Vision University has brought forth results in my life and continues to do so. Although I already had a lot of knowledge, studying at the Vision now helps me organize this knowledge and also complements it; it disciplines me and stimulates me to study specific subjects; it helps developing the ability to express my thoughts on paper through writing course papers. I understand that I can’t learn and remember everything, but at least I know where to find information or answers to specific questions. It is also nice that the subjects we study have practical perspective, not just academic information. I believe that my further studies will help me to be more effective in my service to God.

Since I'm not just a student but also an administrator of the Lviv branch of VIU, I can see how education affects other students. As I communicate with them I hear their feedback and impressions regarding studying. There are virtually no students who would be unhappy with the program or teachers. All students enrolled in our branch say that studying helps them to grow spiritually and they get to know God more and more. Some students became more involved in the ministry of the church. People from different churches and even denominations study at our branch. It is nice to see how this thirst for God and desire to know His Word brings Christians together so we may have good fellowship despite the nuances in which we differ. I believe that the activities of our branch will provide many local churches with more mature and zealous ministers of God who will be prepared to work in His field.

I congratulate all the teachers, administration and the President of the Vision International University on its 20th anniversary! May God bless and direct your work and every area of ​​your life!