Greetings from Siberia. I’m Alexey Streltsov, rector of the Theological Seminary of the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church. The seminary is located in the city of Novosibirsk in the midst of Siberia. My country once had a Lutheran Church of several million members, but the tragic events of 100 years ago, namely, the communist revolution, led to catastrophic results for Christians in general and Lutherans in particular. As they say in Russia, it is much easier to destroy than to build. Restoring the church through the process of pastoral training is what we are doing at our Seminary in Siberia.
Back in 1995 pastor Vsevolod Lytkin, now the bishop of the SELC, requested confessional Lutherans of the LCMS to provide help in the area of Lutheran education. In 24 years we have made some progress that is worth mentioning.
For years guest professors from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne and other places in the USA as well as Germany, Sweden, England, and Australia, came to us to share their expertise with us. And I dare say that we were good students. At this time a local, fully formed Faculty operates at the Seminary, taking care of all our Academic needs.
Our model is a classical Seminary model. We don’t believe in compromises. Our academic program takes 5 years. We teach the Biblical languages and all the disciplines necessary for pastoral formation. It would not be right for the Lutherans in Siberia to be consigned to a deficient Word and Sacrament ministry.
In the past, students have come to us from different parts of Russia and Russian-speaking places beyond Russia. Now, besides maintaining a full residential program, instructors of the seminary go out and teach at the schools and seminars of other Lutheran churches that rely on the high standards our seminary has come to be known for.
So it takes commitment. It takes energy. It takes time. And it takes money. Running the seminary isn’t cheap, but the impact it makes has full potential to last for generations to come – in Russia and hopefully in the world far beyond Russia.
I’m very busy concentrating on the duties of the holy ministry, teaching assignments, academic research, and administrative oversight. Speaking like this is not a regular activity for me. I would much rather just read another book and share some biblical and theological insights with the students. But to ensure the continuing operation of the Seminary, we need your help and your support with prayers and whatever resources you may wish to contribute, in order to provide for the process of restoration of the Lutheran Church in this part of the world.
Please mail donations to:
The Siberian Lutheran Mission Society
Bob Kiefer, Ascension Lutheran Church
8811 St. Joe Road
Fort Wayne, IN 46835
(Please designate for “Save a Seminary” on your check)
For more information concerning donations please contact:
Dr. Timothy Quill (Endowment Committee Chairman)
Mr. Bob Kiefer (SLMS Treasurer)