I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 1. The Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary (henceforth: The Seminary) is a private school which gives applied post-secondary higher education. § 2. The holder of the Seminary is the Estonian Methodist Church (EMC), a non-profit organization (registration code 80196661). The Estonian Methodist Church is the legal successor of the Eesti Metodisti Kiriku Teoloogiline Seminar (registration code 01800659). The name of the Seminary in English is Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary.
§ 3. The Seminary is a structural subunit of the Estonian Methodist Church with all the rights and obligations ensuing from it. The Seminary has its own bank account, seal and other attributes. § 4. The address of the Seminary is Narva St. 51, 10120 Tallinn. §5. In its operation the Seminary will observe the legislation and other decrees of the Republic of Estonia, the constitution of the EMC and the present constitution. § 6. The sphere of authority of the holder is: 1) to create legal, economic, organizational and other guarantees for the operation of the Seminary; 2) to open and close the Seminary; 3) to ratify the Constitution of the Seminary as well as any changes and amendments to it; 4) to ratify the budget as well as the report of the fiscal year; 5) to approve and dismiss the Rector of the Seminary; 6) to approve the Board of Trustees of the Seminary; 7) to inspect the activities of the Seminary and to solve problems in the work of the Board of Trustees and Rector’s Cabinet.
II. GOALS OF OPERATION
§ 7. The goal of the Seminary is to prepare clergy and lay leaders for ministry in the church as well as in Christian and charitable organizations, offering theological higher education in the Wesleyan/Methodist tradition based on needs of the church and society, and to support spiritual formation in the course of the study; as well as to organize continuing education and various study courses for the EMC. § 8. The Seminary provides study in 1) a one-year program in Basic Christian Studies, the completion of which earns a certificate; 2) a three-year program, by the completing of which the student receives an applied higher education diploma. § 9. In order to fulfil its constitutional tasks, the Seminary may establish necessary departments, branches and other units whose constitutions are to be ratified by the owner at the proposal of the Board of Trustees of the Seminary.
III. ACADEMIC AND EDUCATIONAL REGULATIONS
§10. Languages used for study and business management are Estonian, Russian and English. §11. The basis for the academic and educational regulations is the curriculum and the requirements presented in the Seminary’s Academic Regulations, and in Estonian law.
§12. Working relations of the Board of Trustees, Faculty, Administrative and support staff will be regulated by the valid Estonian Labor Contract Law.
IV. ORDER OF ADMISSION TO THE SEMINARY, DISMISSAL AND GRADUATION FROM THE SEMINARY
§13. The Seminary admits students into applied higher theological education who have finished secondary school or its international equivalent. §14. Students will be admitted according to the procedure established by the Rector’s Cabinet. The admission process is published on the Seminary’s homepage. §15. Academic dismissal from the Seminary may take place: 1) at the student’s request; 2) by the decision of the Rector’s Cabinet; 3) in connection with the student transferring to another post-secondary institution or upon graduation from the Seminary. §16. The academic dismissal of the student at his/her request will take place based on a written application to the Rector.
§17. Academic dismissal by decision of the Rector’s Cabinet will take place due to: 1) academic failure of the student; 2) student not registering for the next semester; 3) student failing to fulfill terms of the contract 4) inappropriate behavior of the student.
§18. A student has the right to complete the three-year curriculum in a shorter or longer period, but not longer than six years. §19. 1) In order to graduate from the Seminary, the student must fulfil the requirements of the curriculum as well as all financial obligations towards the Seminary. 2) With the diploma, the student will be given a transcript, reflecting the subjects taken, their credit points and grades.
V. THE RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF THE STUDENTS.
§20. All Seminary students pay tuition. A contract is signed between a student and the Seminary which declares that the Seminary is required to give a student education according to the curriculum and a student commits to following the rules of the Seminary and to paying the tuition. The contract is signed not later than 10 days before the due date of the first tuition bill. The curriculum is a mandatory appendix to the contract. §21. Students have the right 1) to use for study the literature, inventory and rooms, which belong to the Seminary or are given to the Seminary by the owner and are meant for student use; 2) to elect a representative to the boards of student organizations; 3) to an elected representative who presents to the Academic Committee the students' proposals and complaints and be involved in the discussion of the presented proposals; 4) to apply to the Rector's Cabinet for scholarship; 5) to apply for academic leave according to Estonian law; 6) to apply for scholarships, subsidies and study loan according to the Estonian law. §22. Students are obliged: 1) to fulfill the requirements presented in the Academic Regulations, and the decrees and orders of the
Board of Trustees, the Rector and the Academic Dean; 2) take part in the lectures which they have registered for and submit the exams and assignments on time; 3) to pay the tuition on time.
VI. SEMINARY STAFF AND FACULTY
§ 23. Qualification requirements for staff and faculty are stated in their job descriptions.
§ 24. Seminary faculty consist of persons with pedagogical skills and Christian ministry experience, having master or doctoral degrees, as well as experts having higher education and practical knowledge in their specific field.
§ 25. The employment contracts with Seminary faculty and staff are signed, renewed and ended by the Seminary rector. The duties, rights and responsibilities of Seminary faculty and staff are based on job description, employment contract, internal guidelines, and teaching regulations.
VII. LEADERSHIP BODIES: THEIR JURISDICTION AND ORDER OF FORMATION
§26. The Seminary is headed by the Board of Trustees and the Rector. Board of Trustees §27. The Board of Trustees is the highest collegiate body of the Seminary. §28. Nominees to the members of the Board are presented to the Annual Conference Council of the EMC for approval. The Annual Conference Council reports changes to the Annual Conference. §29. The Board of Trustees: 1) draws up a plan of development for the Seminary and presents it to the holder; 2) annually approves the proposed budget drawn up by the Rector’s Cabinet, and presents it to the holder for approval; 3) determines the range of stipends; 4) institutes special scholarships from the resources of the Seminary; 5) decides upon the creation of paid positions, determines salaries and presents these to the holder for approval; 6) approves the permanent faculty; 7) approves the qualification requirements and job descriptions for faculty and regulations for their certification; 8) approves any joint curriculum and contract for joint curriculum before they come into force; 9) selects the candidate for the Rector’s position and presents him to the holder for approval; 10) approves the heads of structural units; 11) presents proposals to the holder about changes or additions to the Seminary Constitution. §30. 1) The members of the Board with a right to vote are: the Bishop of the EMC; the Superintendent of the EMC; two representatives of the EMC; and other members elected by the holder. No less than 1/5 of the total board membership should be representatives of the faculty, and no less than 1/5 of the total board membership should be representatives of the student body. The Board can decide to add advisory members without a vote. 2) The meetings are convened by the Bishop of the EMC, or, in his/her absence by a member of the Board, to whom this task has been entrusted by the bishop. The members of the Board are elected for three years, they can be re-elected. With the exception of the student representatives, members of the Board are elected from churches in the Methodist tradition.
3) The meetings of the Board of Trustees are held at least quarterly.
§31. 1) The resolutions of the Board are valid if more than half of its voting members are present, including the chairperson.
2) The Board passes resolutions within the range of its authority. The decisions are made by simple majority. In the case of equal pro and con votes, the vote of the chairperson is decisive. 3) The minutes are signed by the chairperson and the recording secretary. 4) The resolutions of the Board are compulsory for all the employees and students at the Seminary. They are made public according to the regulations of the Board. Rector's Cabinet §32. 1) Rector's cabinet is the executive body of the Board of Trustees. 2) The Rector, Academic Dean, Director of Research and Development, and a member of the Annual Conference Council selected by the council belong to the Rector's Cabinet. §33. Rector’s Cabinet: 1) draws up the proposed Seminary budget and presents it to the Board for approval; 2) determines the conditions and order of payment of allowances and stipends; 3) formulates regulations about accreditation of prior and experiential learning; 4) appoints the Seminary's Registrar; 5) approves the reports of the structural units; 6) forms subunits of the Seminary, reviews their constitutions and presents them to the Board of Trustees; 7) reviews and solves complaints; 8) performs other activities, entrusted to them by the present constitution and the resolutions of the Board of Trustees; 9) decides upon all the issues not falling under the sole authority of the Board of Trustees, or any other leadership body of the Seminary. §34. 1) The meetings of the Rector’s Cabinet are held according to the need, but not less than once a month during the school year. 2) The meetings of the Rector’s Cabinet are assembled and presided over by the Rector or a person appointed by the Rector. 3) Minutes of the Rector’s Cabinet meeting are taken. 4) The resolutions of the Rector’s Cabinet are valid if at least three members are present. 5) The decisions are made by simple majority of votes; in case of equal votes the vote of the presider is decisive. 6) The decisions of the Rector’s Cabinet are formulated as Rector’s directives. Rector of the Seminary §35. 1) The Rector is elected for three years from among the persons with a minimum of a graduate degree. The order of election is decided by the Board of Trustees. The Rector’s work is evaluated by the Annual Conference Council of the EMC and the Board of Trustees. 2) The Rector is elected and dismissed by the Annual Conference of the EMC on the proposal of the Board of Trustees. 3) In the case of the Rector's resignation or death, until the election of a new Rector, his/her duties will be performed by the Academic Dean.
§36. The Rector: 1) heads the Seminary as the highest official, delegating certain authority to the Academic Dean and to the accountant following the directives of the EMC, the Rector’s Cabinet, and the Board of Trustees; 2) represents the Seminary and acts on the Seminary’s behalf without special commission; 3) makes contracts and opens Seminary bank accounts; is responsible for the general state and development of the Seminary, the purposeful and expedient use of the financial resources. 4) enrolls and dismisses students; 5) if needed, appoints his/her temporary substitute in consultation with the owner. §37. 1) The Rector issues directives and gives orders within his/her authority.
2) The Rector's directives and orders are superior and obligatory for all the employees and students at the Seminary. §38. The Rector reports on the educational activities and the financial situation to the Board of Trustees every three months. The Rector informs the holder about the current state of the Seminary upon request.
VIII. STRUCTURAL UNITS AND THEIR MANAGEMENT
§39. The structural units of the Seminary are the Theological Department and the Department of Continuing Education. Theological Department §40. The task of the Theological Department is 1) to give applied theological higher education; 2) to initiate the publication of necessary theological literature. §41. 1) Theological department is headed by the Academic Dean. 2) The leadership body of the Theological Department is the Academic Committee. The Dean of the Theological Department §42. The Dean is elected and approved by the Board of Trustees for three years from among the persons having at least a graduate degree. §43. The Dean: 1) heads the academic activity in congruence with the resolutions of the higher bodies of the Seminary; 2) reports of his/her activity to the Board of Trustees at least once a year and to the Rector's Cabinet upon request. §44. If needed, the Rector will, at the suggestion of the Dean, appoint an Interim Dean who will act within the range of authority prescribed by the Dean. Academic Committee §45. The Academic Dean, Rector, Academic Assistant, Seminary faculty, translators’ and students’ representatives belong to the Academic Committee with a vote. §46. Academic Committee: 1) organizes the academic activity of the department; 2) approves curricula and Academic Regulations; 3) may make a proposal to the Rector about academic dismissal of the students; 4) institutes working groups to fulfil the tasks of the Seminary. §47. 1) The Academic Committee meetings are held according to need 2) The Academic Committee meetings are convened and presided over by the Dean or a member of the Academic Committee to whom the task has been entrusted by the Dean. 3) Minutes of the meeting are taken. §48. 1) The resolutions of the Academic Committee are valid if at least five members have assembled. 2) The resolutions are passed by simple majority of votes; in the case of equal pros and cons the vote of the chairperson is decisive. §49. The resolutions of the Academic Committee and the directives and orders of the Dean are
compulsory for all employees of the department and students. Department of Continuing Education §50. 1) The Department of Continuing Education organizes continuing education courses for clergy and laity in EMC. 2) The working group leading the department is put together in cooperation with the holder, and consists of Rector of the Seminary, Academic Dean, Superintendent, representatives of Estonian speaking and Russian speaking clergy and other invited members.
IX. ECONOMIC ACTIVITY
§51. The Seminary functions in a building that is designed for the needs of educational activities, and is owned by the EMC. §52. The Seminary draws its financial resources from tuition, special foundations, financial support from the EMC, donations of private persons and corporate bodies and other income. §53. The Seminary's bookkeeping and accounts are audited by the audit committee of the EMC.
X. REORGANIZING AND CLOSING THE SEMINARY AND ITS PROTOCOL
§54. The Seminary is closed or reorganized at the resolution of the Annual Conference of the EMC. §55. In the case of reorganizing the Seminary the owner will appoint to whom the rights and obligations will be transferred. §56. In the case of closing the Seminary its property and assets will be transferred to the EMC. The students, staff and the Ministry of Education are notified at least four months before the closing down. §57. The EMC is obliged to launch the closing of the Seminary in accordance with the law if the Annual Conference of the EMC and the Board of Trustees have passed a resolution that the further activity of the Seminary has become inexpedient.