IBTS-Rector Keith Jones Obtains Doctorate with a Dissertation on the EBF
P r a g u e – The Rector of Prague’s International Baptist Theological Seminary (IBTS), the Englishman Keith Jones, has received a doctorate for his dissertation entitled: “The European Baptist Federation - A Case Study in European Baptist Interdependency 1950-2006”. The academic examiners from the University of Wales accepted the paper in an oral defense on 19 July. Jones now holds a Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D). In his dissertation, Jones seeks to prove that the EBF represents a “churchly reality”. It is more than a loose fellowship of special interests, which Baptists have formed in other parts of the world. Jones examines in particular the relatationship of EBF to other Christian world communions, the role of external mission agencies, the development of the work of the General-Secretary, as well as EBF involvement in theological education and cross-cultural mission.
Jones would like to publish the dissertation as soon as possible in book form. Jones reports to EBPS that he wrote the paper simultaneously with his work as IBTS-Rector. This was possible because of a disciplined working style and getting to his desk prior to others in the morning. He also utilised a number of weeks of sabbatical leave during 2003 and 2007.
Previously, the Estonian Toivo Pilli (Tartu), one-time Course Leader in Baptist and Anabaptist Studies at IBTS and now Rector of the Baptist seminary in Estonia, had been the first person to receive a doctorate from IBTS. His thesis was on the shaping of the identity of the Evangelical-Christians Baptists of Estonia in the period 1945 to 1991. More than 114 IBTS-students are presently working on Masters or Doctorate degrees.
EBF General-Secretary Tony Peck (Prague) congratulated Dr. Pilli and Dr. Jones on their achievements and added: “We look forward to the fruits of their scholarship being shared with the seminaries in Tartu and Prague and the life of the EBF.” He also called it “a significant moment” for IBTS, as they are the first two doctorates ever awarded there. Peck continued: “This in itself is a pointer to the increasingly high standard of study and scholarship at IBTS. The Seminary has established itself as a significant centre of academic excellence in the Baptist world. I am delighted that our European Baptist family is so well served by ‘our’ seminary in Prague.”