From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ELCROS theological seminary inaugurated

Date 22 Oct 1998 06:51:51

Training of pastors already underway

ST PETERSBURG, Russia/GENEVA, 19 October 1998 (lwi) - Although teaching has
been taking place already for a year and a half, the theological seminary
of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and Other States (ELCROS) in
Novosaratovka near St. Petersburg was formally inaugurated and its
adjoining chapel of St. Catherine consecrated only on September 26. The
seminary can accommodate 30 theology students. Later, training facilities
for other church workers will be provided. The two-storey building, once
the neoclassic church of St. Catherine, includes two lecture halls, a
chapel, a kitchen, a dining hall and a library with a reading room. On the
top floor there are students' accommodations, a lounge and offices for

The history of Lutherans in Novosaratovka goes back to German immigrants
who settled in 1763 in the environs of St. Petersburg and began to engage
in agriculture. The original wooden church, built as early as 1766, was
replaced in 1833 by the stone church of St. Catherine. The Soviet
authorities closed down the church in 1935.

In 1994 the Lutheran church acquired the church building, which over the
years had undergone substantive changes. In the Second World War the spire
had been pulled down, and later the church was used as storage room then
rebuilt and extended to serve as a school. After lengthy reconstruction
work, the first training for pastors of the ELCROS began on May 1, 1997.
Today's theological seminary continues the tradition of the theological
college inaugurated in 1925 in what was then called Leningrad.

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Lutheran World Information
Editorial Assistant: Janet Bond-Nash

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