Seminary studies in Ukraine going strong
UKRAINE – The Winter semester of classes is well underway at Concordia Seminary in Odessa, Ukraine. Professor Jonathan Kramer of Concordia Lutheran Seminary (CLS – Edmonton) is currently in Ukraine teaching a course on Biblical Hermeneutics, following which CLS’ Rev. Dr. Stephen Chambers will teach a course on the Gospel of John.
Four students are currently studying for the pastoral ministry through the Odessa seminary in preparation for service in the the Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Ukraine (SELCU), Lutheran Church–Canada’s (LCC) partner church in the region. They are the first new class at the Ukraine seminary since the graduating class of 2013. Plans to welcome a new class in 2014 were suspended due to political instability in the region.
Classes resumed in September 2015, with Rev. Dr. Wilhelm Torgerson teaching three courses in the Fall semester. The first course served as an Introduction to the New Testament and focused on the Synoptic Gospels. The second was an Introduction to the Lutheran Reformation. And the third was an introduction to the Lutheran Confessions, focusing on the Augsburg Confession and its Apology. Rev. Torgerson was named Rector (President) of the seminary earlier in 2015.
Rev. Oleg Schewtschenko, SELCU pastor in Odessa, also taught a course in late 2015. Entitled “God’s Plan of Salvation,” it provided a large-picture overview the Bible and was based on a program published by the Lutheran Church of Australia.
Dr. Torgerson is currently organizing a Theological Education Experience for the students in the summer of 2016. Students will travel to Germany along with their rector to take an intensive course through the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Oberursel, a which is affiliated with the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK) in Germany. Students will also visit Wittenberg and other sites tied to the Reformation, providing students a better grasp of Lutheran history and theology in the lead-up to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
“It is my deep conviction that the seminary in Odessa is of immense benefit to the Ukrainian church, both theologically and personally” Dr. Torgerson writes. “Every investment LCC has made in this project has shown a high return in terms of confessional Lutheranism and this will surely continue.”
“I can only encourage LCC and all its members to continue their assistance and support for this worthwhile Ukrainian ministry,” he continues. “And here, finances—as important as they are—taken second place to persistent prayer and intercession for the ministry in southern Ukraine.”
For more information on LCC’s ministry in Ukraine and how you can support it, contact LCC’s Missions and Social Ministry executive Rev. Dr. Leonardo Neitzel at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-800-588-4226 (ext. 2215). You can support LCC’s Missions and Social Ministry services through online giving at www.lutheranchurch.ca, or by sending donations by mail to LCC’s office in Winnipeg:
3074 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3K 0Y2