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Greek studies challenge seminary students in Ukraine

February 16, 2011 No Comment

by Oleg Schewtschenko  

Pastor Roger Kovaciny and seminary students

For more than six-and-a-half weeks Pastor Roger Kovaciny taught biblical Greek at Concordia Seminary in Odessa. The students were  challenged by the totally new language, hard and intensive work, and the short period of time to learn it. Pastor Kovaciny is from the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) and has lived more than 15 years in Ukraine serving as a professor and president of the Ukrainian Lutheran Church’s seminary in Ternopol. 

This is first time our seminary has taught Greek to the students. Thanks to this class, students could see the New Testament in the new light. They enjoyed reading John´s writings, learning the Greek grammar and they worked on their own translation of the Gospel of St. John.  

We hope this will be a great gift to the church and the pastors making them able to look up some difficult passages in the original Greek Bible and giving them new tools to work with the original language for the benefit of themselves and of their congregations.  

New teacher arrives

The cold February session began with the arrival of a new instructor, Pastor Albert Schmidt from Edmonton, an old friend of our seminary. He has instructed most, if not all of the ordained pastors in the Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Ukraine. The first time he came to teach was in August 1998.  

Pastor Schmidt is teaching two classes:  Christ in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) and Pastoral Theology. Our students are enjoying very much his pastoral experience. “I just really love to listen to the stories from his ministry” one of the students shared with me about the stories he heard that day.  

“There is so much we can learn from his teaching and examples,” commented another student.  

Please continuing to pray for the students and their teachers that God would give them unity and a good working atmosphere.  

Rev. Oleg Schewtschenko is pastor of LCC’s partner Lutheran congregation in Odessa, Ukraine, and also assists the seminary program with translating and other arrangements. Support for the educational program comes from Concordia Lutheran Mission Society and Lutheran Church–Canada.