Tartu Theological Seminary (hereinafter the Seminary) is a private institution of higher education belonging to the Union of Evangelical Christian and Baptist Churches of Estonia. It is the successor to the Theological Seminary for Preachers of Estonian Baptist Congregations opened in Keila in 1922. The studies were discontinued due to the Communist coup in 1940. On 1989 the Seminary was reopened as a institution of higher education. Seminary offers applied higher education in curricula of theology.
Based on the strategic aims of Seminary the school is implementing the major action lines of the Bologna Declaration: promotion of European collaboration in quality assurance, adoption of a system of easily readable and comparable degrees, promotion of the European dimension in higher education and promotion of mobility.
The internationalisation strategy of Seminary is based on the mission statement and on the developement plan of the school and on strategic documents and agreements of European and Estonian field of higher education - Estonian Higher Education Strategy (2006-2015), Estonian Higher Education Internationalization Strategy (2005- 2015) and Lisbon Strategy.
Seminary has cooperation contracts with the Consortium of European Baptist Theological Schools (2004, CEBTS), International Baptist Theological Seminary (2004, IBTS) and TCM International Institute (2004, TCM). Same contracts stipulating to increase the international mobility of the Seminary’s students and staff.
There have been number of student and staff exchange with schools of CEBTS (Örebro Missionskola, Elstal Theological Seminary, IBTS) and TCM during the years of 1989-2009.
On a regular basis, the Seminary has held joint conferences under the SALT (Society for Applied Learning Technology) programme uniting the theological institutions of the Nordic countries (Sweden, Denmark, Norway).
Seminary`s internationalisation plan focuses on regular mobility of students and staff. There are other various aspects we are focusing on: developing curricula in cooperation with international partners; increasing the interest of students and staff to study foreign languages; developing the understanding between different cultures; we support the exchange of visiting professors in order to assure the quality of study programme; we highly value multicultural lifelong learning which will shape society toward more tolerance.
Information related with international partners (staff and students) and new and ongoing EU projects is shared between administration, body of students and academic staff, which is ensured through Seminary`s communication strategy. Administration, students and academic staff is always represented within discussion about different project ideas and mobility opportunities. All the information regarding EU projects is published in printed form and on Seminary`s website.
We higly value freedom of conscience and human rights. All students regardless of their gender, nationality, race and religion (!) have access to education on the same conditions in Seminary. We offer support to all disabled students. For integrating the disabled students and teachers we use the help of individual tutors and different auxiliaries.
Quality of academic mobility
Quality of academic mobility activities is based on Seminary`s System of Quality Assurance. There are accented next points: mobility of students, faculty, staff, practical work placements and cooperation with educational institutions all over the Europe within the framework of Lifelong Learning.
Seminary ensures the full recognition of studies abroad as a part of studies at Seminary which is based on the EU regulations and documents. There are some more aspects: international studies are displayed in Diploma Supplement, Seminary uses ECTS, there are counselling and tutor(s) for outgoing and incoming students, also there is offered a free intensive Estonian language courses and cultural preparation courses if needed.
After the mobility period students and staff are required for feedback: meetings and questionnaires are demanded in order to improve mobility actions. This is required to assess successfulness of Erasmus programme.
The administration of student and staff mobility is handled by the Seminary`s Erasmus coordinator who provides basic documents, statistics and information about studies for incoming and outgoing students and staff members. All information which is needed is available in printed forms and on the website. The coordinator provides outgoing students with information, goes through the learning agreements and regulations and is responsible for collecting the students reports and feedback.
The language preparation course is available for outgoing students and staff members if needed.
Student placement application procedure is organized in Seminary according to the EU regulations. Both outgoing and incoming placement students are offered full assistance in preparing the placement period. To assure high quality of placement activities there are cooperation agreements between Seminary and different non-profit organisation and churches in Estonia and in abroad. It allows to ensure the possibilities for work placements for incoming and outgoing students.
Work placements covers 15% (30 ECTS) of the study programme in curricula. Placements are focused on the acquisition of professional skills and curriculum outcomes. To ensure the quality of student placement there are stated general guidelines for the placement and it provides a set of tasks for monitoring, quality assurance procedure and the role of a tutor.
Seminary concludes a trilateral agreement with the student and the church/non-profit organisation where placement takes place. In addition to the agreement, students receive also placement programs, which are prepared by the tutor according to the curriculum.
At the end of the placement students prepare placement reports. The supervisor of the practical training in the church/non-profit organisation gives feedback on students` activity during the entire placement period. The reports are submitted to the Seminary practical training tutor for assessment.