A Future and a Hope

A Future and a Hope

A Future and a Hope
Mission, Theological Education, and the Transformation of Post-Soviet Society
BY Joshua T. Searle, Mykhailo N. Cherenkov
FOREWORD BY Michael A. Bourdeaux
AFTERWORD BY Sergey Rakhuba
Imprint: Wipf and Stock


After more than twenty years since the fall of the USSR, the evangelical movement in post-Soviet society has entered a crucial phase in its historical development. Setting out a transformative vision of mission and theological education, this book makes an important contribution towards the renewal of the church in this fascinating—but deeply troubled—part of the world. After the violent and disruptive events that followed the Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity and Freedom in 2013/14, the evangelical movement in post-Soviet society now has an unprecedented opportunity to become a shining example of a «church without walls.» Searle and Cherenkov reflect on the political, social, cultural, and intellectual legacy of the Soviet Union and offer bold and innovative proposals on how the church can rediscover its prophetic voice by relinquishing its debilitating dependence on the state and, instead, expressing solidarity with the people in their legitimate aspirations for freedom and democracy. Notwithstanding the pessimism and lament expressed on many pages, the authors conclude on a positive note, predicting that the coming years will witness a flowering of evangelical ecumenism in action as Christian solidarity flourishes and overflows denominational boundaries and parochial interests.

Endorsements & Reviews

«Politically alert and deeply learned, this book displays an impressive scholarly erudition, extensive personal experience, and perceptive engagement with post-Soviet context on a number of levels: an essential and timely study. It explores critical issues of identity, mission purpose, and of theological learning as a means of transformation of post-communist realities. I commend this richly textured work to academics and scholars-practitioners seeking to understand the mission of theological education in times of momentous transition.»
—Parush R. Parushev, International Baptist Theological Study Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

«With the eyes of the world refocused on the Ukraine and Russia, it is a moment of prophetic opportunity into which Searle and Cherenkov speak. Arguing for the church to have renewed focus on the mission of Jesus, a sophisticated understanding of the relationship of the gospel to culture, and an informed understanding of the context presented by post-Soviet society, they demonstrate why this is vitally important for social transformation from Kyiv to Moscow. A most timely word.»
—Roger Standing, Spurgeon’s College, London, UK

«Searle and Cherenkov have provided an exceptional analysis of the challenges of and hope for Christian higher education in Eastern Europe. Recommending an increasingly ecumenical and practical approach, they offer a Christ-centered hope for the church in society that rises above politics, economics, and denominational turf.»
—Marlene Wall, LCC International University, Klaipeda, Lithuania