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07-14-2014


UC’s Dr. Keith Goforth teaches in the Ukraine

 


Williamsburg, KY- University of the Cumberlands’ (UC) Dr. Keith Goforth, Associate Professor in the Department of Missions and Ministry, recently returned from his third year of teaching at Kiev Theological Seminary (KTS) in Kiev, Ukraine. Goforth taught Marriage and Family Counseling to church ministry leaders in the Church Planting Program.

Goforth first met with International Missions Board (IMB) missionaries (Joel Ragains, Founder of the Church Planting Program; Dan Upchurch, Co-Director of the Church Planting Program) four years ago on a mission trip to Ukraine and Russia. During that adventure, Ragains asked him if he would be interested in returning the next year to teach. He happily accepted the offer and has taught the people of Ukraine for the past three years, usually spending a week with them teaching Marriage and Family Counseling to students at Kiev Theological Seminary.

“My passion and calling is teaching,” said Goforth. “I love being in the classroom and the relationships that are formed with students. I always feel I learn more than the students.”

Goforth enjoys teaching Marriage and Family because of the influence it has on an individual’s life. He and the other missionaries are influenced by their family of origin and they create families that impact future generations. He feels that the most important legacy an individual can leave is their impact on their immediate family, which is true for any culture.

“I always enjoy learning from the students about the different cultures represented in the classroom,” said Goforth. “I love how our unified faith in Christ promotes a special community. All of the students have an impact on me. When I hear their personal narratives I realize God's great design and that we all share the same challenges and joys no matter where you go.”

Ragains began the program eight years ago, which requires every student to either be a church planter or a member of a church-planting team. Twenty-five students, who have come from all across the former Soviet republics including Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, are currently enrolled in the seminary’s four-year program. Upon graduation, they will go out to continue their ministries across the former Soviet Union, including countries that are considered “closed” to Western missionaries.

Since the Church Planting Program was established, six classes have graduated with 50% of students continuing today as church planters. Students have been responsible for 20 new churches having either formed or are in the process of forming. In the past 15 years, the students of KTS have started more than 200 churches in Ukraine.

“It is an honor to teach and encourage church leaders during such difficult times in Ukraine,” said Goforth. “I will definitely continue my relationship teaching at Kiev Theological Seminary.”

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; 10 pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information visit www.ucumberlands.edu.