Rev. Matthew Heise teaching in Koltushi, Russia.
The Theological Institute of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR) has been a partner of long-standing with The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Revitalized and reopened in the mid 1990s after being closed in 1935 by the communists, the theological institute trains pastors and church workers.
Currently the accredited institute has 23 students enrolled in its Bachelor of Divinity course. There is also a Beginner’s course for interested believers who want to learn more about their faith in an intensive one-year program (20 students). This program includes doing class work at home as well as attending classes four times during the year.
Other courses throughout the year include a Cantor’s course (16 students), a course for Sunday School Teachers (10 students), a Deaconess course (13 students), a Youth Workers’ course (10 students), and recently a Master’s Degree in Divinity course was added (3 students). Likewise, seminars are offered to upgrade pastoral credentials (10 students), as well as seminars for congregational workers and volunteers (11 students). And in keeping with a Scandinavian Lutheran tradition, a summer Confirmation camp is offered on campus. The number of students attending this intensive two-week course and becoming confirmands is normally 35.
This past year, Dasha Shkurlyateva, a mission worker with the LCMS Moscow office and trained Moscow Conservatory musician, taught a course, Liturgical Music, for 4th year students in the Bachelor’s of Divinity program. She also taught a Hymnology class for the Cantor’s course. Rev. Matthew Heise, an LCMS missionary, also teaches a course each semester on campus, having just completed Introduction to the New Testament for first year students in the Bachelor of Divinity course. In addition, Dr. Naomichi Masaki of Concordia Theological Seminary and Dr. Robert Rosin of Concordia Seminary are scheduled to lecture in February 2013. We are grateful to the Lord of the Harvest that the work of training servants in the church has been revived in the ELCIR. We thank God that there are approximately 150 students enrolled in course work throughout the year. Soli Deo Gloria!