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Ukrainian seminarians celebrate graduation

August 7, 2013 2 Comments

Rev. Shevchenko, Rev. Navrotskyy, and Dr. Threinen pose with graduating seminary graduates. From left to right: Rev. Shevchenko, Yuri Popel, Alexander Kostiuk, Valari Verba, Dr. Threinen, Alexander Arabadzhey, Sergy Bevz, and Rev. Navrotskyy.

UKRAINE – On July 21, Concordia Lutheran Seminary (Odessa) held its graduation ceremony. Six students graduated from their three-year education program. They will now begin their two years vicarage in Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Ukraine (SELCU) congregations under the supervision of Ukrainian pastors.

At the graduation ceremony, Rev. Oleg Shevchenko expressed gratitude to Seminary rector Rev. Dr. Norm Threinen for his faithful long-term ministry. It was a very special moment when all seminary graduates, past and present, stood up—among them five SELCU pastors who are presently serving in Ukrainian churches.

Odessa Seminary was founded in 1998 through the support of Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC). This was the seminary’s third graduation. In total, more than 20 students have graduated from the seminary. Many of these graduates now serve as pastors in Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

“We would like to express our gratitude to seminary rector Dr. Norman Threinen,” said LCC’s missionary in the Ukraine, Rev. Alexey Navrotskyy. “Dr. Threinen has supervised our seminary since its founding.”

“It has been an exciting adventure to see the emergence and growth of SELCU as we have engaged in preparing home-grown pastors for this church,” said Dr. Threinen. “Looking back to the humble beginnings of the seminary in Kamenka, we can clearly see that it was not our doing but God’s. To Him be all glory and praise.”

Rev. Navrotskyy also expressed thanks to the professors and pastors, many of them LCC members, who have served the seminary as educators during the students’ studies. He also thanked Lutheran Church–Canada, Concordia Lutheran Mission Society, and the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League—Canada for their partnership.

“We extend our thanks to all our Canadian brothers and sisters who supported this project through the years,” Rev. Navrotskyy concluded. “Only now are we beginning to see the results of the seminary’s long and difficult ministry. We believe that the best is to come and the labor of seminary teachers, students and pastors will bear abundant fruits for God’s Kingdom and God’s glory.”



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