In 1990 a group of Romanian Baptist pastors approached Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis requesting assistance in providing advanced theological training. Until December 1989, under the repressive dictatorship of communist Nicolae Ceauşescu, these Baptists had been denied the opportunity to start schools or to receive training in the one school that already existed in the country. At this time, about 100 poorly-trained Baptist pastors were shepherding nearly 1100 churches.
Central Seminary responded to the request in 1993, by offering in Zalău, Romania a single class from the stateside Master of Arts in Theological Studies program. The institution stipulated two conditions: first that each student understand spoken and written English, and second, that each be able to write papers in English.
Due to the overwhelming and enthusiastic interest in that single class, the institution decided to offer both the Master of Arts and full-blown Master of Divinity degrees in Romania. Emanuel Baptist Church, pastored by Beniamin Costea—a student from that very first class—gladly offered the use of its facilities. In 1994, professors from the Plymouth campus began regularly traveling to Romania. Thus, Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Arad, Romania was born.
As of 2010, Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Arad, Romania has held seven commencement ceremonies, graduating about 150 students. This figure represents nearly one-fifth of the Baptist pastors and church planters presently ministering in Romania. Additionally, many of these pastors, along with other graduates, conduct vigorous church planting and educational efforts in other European countries, such as Hungary, Ukraine, and Austria.