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At present our faculty is in the beginning stage of its development. Mostly we have to rely on guest professors. Yet we have been blessed indeed by many wonderful teachers for the past three years.

In 1997-1998, the very first year of the seminary’s existence, there were no regular professors. Our teachers came and left. The good thing about the first year was that, with few exceptions, instructors were able to come for the normal time needed for a course, that is, for 10 weeks. Hebrew, Greek, and Old and New Testament Isagogics were covered in this fashion. Nevertheless, it soon became clear that we needed a constant presence of at least one or two professors to provide continuity in education.

That is why in July of 1998 Deacon Alexei Streltsov, Rector of the seminary, requested Rev. Timothy Quill, Director of the Russian Project at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to call Fr. Alan Ludwig as permanent instructor for Novosibirsk. This was not an arbitrary decision, but rather much thought was given to it. Rev. Ludwig had already taught for 10 weeks during the first year of the seminary’s existence.

We chose Pastor Ludwig for several reasons. The most important of them are: confessional Lutheran beliefs and practices; the highest theological competence and vast theoretical knowledge in most areas of theology; serious methodology in education and pastoral attitude toward the students’ studies; excellent knowledge of Hebrew and Greek, which allows his teaching of these disciplines (language courses demand the most amount of time and cannot be offered as intensives); he and his wife, Patricia, are easily adaptable to Russian culture, and have grown children, making it unnecessary for them to uproot their family.

Things moved fast. In September of 1998 CTS called Fr. Ludwig and deployed him to teach at the seminary in Novosibirsk, and in November of the same year he and his wife, Patricia, took up permanent residence in Novosibirsk as regular classes started.

Some things need to be said about Fr. Ludwig’s academic credentials and his past pastoral experience in the church. Fr. Ludwig graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 1989 and received the S.T.M. degree in 1992. He is presently working on his doctoral dissertation in Old Testament Exegesis. From 1992-1998 Fr. Ludwig served as pastor at Concordia Lutheran Church, Cresbard, South Dakota, and Immanuel Lutheran Church, Wecota, South Dakota (USA). For several years he has been part of the staff of the Lutheran theological journal LOGIA, for which he does editorial work and for which Patricia does the page layout. They continue to do this work while they are in Novosibirsk by means of the Internet.

Fr. Ludwig has taught or is in the process of teaching the following courses at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Novosibirsk:

  1. Biblical Hebrew II. January – March 1998; December – February 2000
  2. Old Testament Isagogics II. January – March 1998; December – February 2000.
  3. New Testament Greek. November 1998 - April 1999; March – May 2000
  4. Exodus. November 1998 – January 1999
  5. Gospel of John. February – April 1999
  6. Dogmatics IV. February – April 1999
  7. Psalms. September – December 1999
  8. New Testament Isagogics. March – May 2000.

Fr. Ludwig developed his own notes for most of these courses, and Lutheran Theological Seminary intends to publish them both in English and in Russian.

Pastor Ludwig remains the only regular professor at LTS. Seminary Rector Alexei Streltsov has made the STM degree the minimal requirement for teaching at the school (some exceptions are possible under special circumstances). Now we are waiting for some Russian Lutherans to finish their training at the advanced level and start teaching at the seminary. Fr. Alexei Streltsov is currently enrolled at the STM program at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne. As soon as he finishes the program, he will start teaching at LTS in the areas of Church History and New Testament. Possibly one other student may be called upon his graduation to teach in the field of dogmatics and to prepare a course on Religious Bodies in Russia.

Besides purely theological disciplines the seminary offers a course of English with the purpose that students may acquire an adequate knowledge of the language by their third year at the seminary. It is hoped that by this time they will be able to use books in English from the seminary library to assist them in writing their course papers and final diploma for graduation. Three instructors provide English instruction at the seminary: Patricia Ludwig, Elena Streltsova, and Alexei Streltsov. The class is offered at two levels: beginning and intermediate. We want to express our gratitude to Patricia Ludwig, who teaches English at both of these levels.

In the future the seminary will include a two-year pre-seminary program, which will equip prospective seminarians with adequate knowledge in such foundational disciplines as history, philosophy, and Russian. Already now we try to do what we can to increase the basic literacy of the students, and so Instructor Zemphira Sitnikova offers classes in Russian that will enable students to acquire better language skills for writing papers and preaching. Later on, this course will be included in the pre-seminary program.

The Pre-Seminary Biblical School in Khakasiya also relies for the most part on visiting instructors. One of the regular teachers there is Fr. Pavel Khramov, a deacon of Bible Lutheran Church in Novosibirsk.

Please pray that new teachers may be prepared for service at Lutheran Theological Seminary. At the present time, when all kinds of false teachings are spreading over Russia, we simply cannot ignore the necessity of profound theological instruction for the pastoral ministry. May our God and Lord Jesus Christ help us in this.


 © 2000, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Novosibirsk, Russia