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Ukraine seminary students enter final year of studies

September 7, 2012 No Comment

The 2012 opening worship service for Ukraine's Concordia Seminary.

by Oleg Schewteschenko

UKRAINE – After “a very short summer,” as one student described it, students have slowly made their way back to Concordia Seminary in Odessa, Ukraine. For all the students, summer was a busy time. Some worked to help their parents and earn money for their families. One had the opportunity to serve in a church, trying out the things he was learning in class. A number of students came back a few days early in order to prepare the seminary for the beginning of classes.

The year’s first instructor—Rev. Colin Liske of St. Paul’s Lutheran (Nanaimo, B.C.)—arrived in Odessa September 2 with his wife Judith. They will be staying in Odessa for nearly twelve weeks, during which time Rev. Liske will teach a course on dogmatics and a few courses on books of the Bible.

The new academic year of Concordia Seminary was opened September 4 with a small service. Rev. Oleg Schewtschenko opened the service—and with it the final school year for the six students—with a reading from the first chapter of the book of Daniel. That chapter focuses on Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s experience as “believing students” in the education system of Babylon. During the opening service, the seminarians looked at this early group of “believing students,” applying the biblical story to their own experience in Odessa today—how they too can grow in faith and knowledge together when they trust God’s Word and its power, follow His holy will, and receive the gifts He gracefully gives His beloved children.

The service included much singing and many prayers for God’s blessing on the new academic year. While this is the third and final year for the students, there is still much to learn, many questions to be asked and answered.

The seminary requests continued prayers for students and teachers, as well as the churches where students will serve vicarages and, ultimately, be called to serve as pastors and missionaries. Students also express thanks to the support received from Lutheran Church–Canada, its President Rev. Dr. Robert Bugbee, the Concordia Lutheran  Mission Society, and the Rector of Concordia Seminary in Odessa, Rev. Dr. Norm Threinen.

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Rev. Oleg Schewteschenko pastors the Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches of Ukraine (SELCU) congregation in Odessa, Ukraine. SELCU is LCC’s partner church in Ukraine. Concordia Seminary is operated by LCC.