Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS) is a Christian Institution of higher Learning privately owned by five Rwandan Protestant Churches, opened in 2010 in Butare, Southern Province of Rwanda.In so called Great Lakes Region. It builds upon the Protestant Theological Faculty (FTPB) set up in1990 that took over from the School of Theology of Butare (ETB) established in 1970.
The arrival of first missionaries in Africa, precisely in Rwanda, not only contributed to the spread of Gospel but also it triggered development of educational, medical and socio-economic sectors. This inspired Rwandan Protestant churches so that they felt and still feel responsible for just development of the Rwandan society which inspired the creation of the School of Theology which was founded with the aim of bearing authentic Pastors and preachers with valuable knowledge and able to confront the new theological, economical, educational and social challenges.
FTPB and subsequently PIASS received official accreditation by the Rwandan Minister of Higher Education to operate on the Rwandan territory as a private Institution of Higher Education.
After 1994 Rwandan genocide against Tutsi, FTPB was also undermined and it had to resume its activities to meet the specific needs of a recovering society. Since 2010, it was decided to add two new faculties Education and Development Studies under a new umbrella named PIASS. Today it is comprising of 3 faculties and 7 departments with a number of students up to 1230 in 2013. Teaching staff amount to 82 , 29 being permanent that are supplemented by 10 administrative staff and 10 technical.
Programs are held on day time, evenings and week-ends. Instruction language changed from French to English to fit the national policy and better integrate regionally and worldwide.
Around 350 graduates from ETB and FTPB are now contributing in the development of the whole country. Future graduates from PIASS will continue on the same path in larger number.
Important dates for PIASS’s life are summarized below:
1970 : Foundation of School of Theology of Butare (Ecole de Theologie de Butare – ETB)
1990 : Creation of Faculty of Protestant Theology of Butare (FTPB).
1993 : Convention no 1552 of 09 december 1993, accrediting FTPB.
1995 – 2000: Thelogical Education Special Program launched after 1994 genocide
1999 : Reopenning FTPB
2009 : Education Ministerial Order no 09/11 licensing Institut Protestant des Sciences Humaines de Butare (IPSHB)
2010 : Creation of an Institute with 3 Faculties:
- Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies (FTRS)
- Faculty of Education (FED)
- Faculty of Development Studies (FDS)
2010: The Official Gazette n°29 of 19/07/2010 recognizing the Institute under the name of Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS)
- Presbyterian Church in Rwanda (E.P.R.)
- Union of Baptist Churches in Rwanda (UEBR)
- Free Methodist Church in Rwanda (EMLR)
- Anglican Church in Rwanda (EAR): Dioceses of Kigali, Butare, Kigeme, Byumba, Shyira and Shyogwe.
- Association of Pentecostal Churches in Rwanda (ADEPR).