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Lutheran Theological Seminary in Novosibirsk is very new and is still in the process of formation and active development. Its history is closely associated with the Russian Project, which was initiated by Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, upon receiving a generous contribution from an unnamed donor for the purpose of Lutheran theological education of people from the territory of the former Soviet Union.

Rev. Vsevolod Lytkin, pastor of Bible Lutheran Church in Novosibirsk, requested the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod to open the Lutheran Study Center in Novosibirsk. This happened at the end of 1995. The response was immediate. In 1996 some young people from the Lutheran congregation in Novosibirsk got an opportunity to study in the MA program at the Fort Wayne seminary. At the same time, it was felt that education in America could be only a transitory stage in the grand work of providing Lutheran pastors for Russia and neighboring countries. The Russian Project in Fort Wayne prepared pastors and teachers with the goal of producing the kind of environment in CIS countries that would enable high-level theological education to proceed there. Plans to open the seminary in Novosibirsk took firm shape in 1996. Rev. Timothy Quill, director of the Russian Project, was instrumental throughout in aiding this process.

Another factor accompanying the establishment of the seminary in Novosibirsk was the commencement of the Summer Theological Seminars, which from July of 1996 began to be held in Novosibirsk, and then also in other cities and even other countries (Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrghizia).

In the summer of 1997 the seminary building was consecrated. Rev. Dr. Dean Wenthe, President of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, conducted the dedication service. This was a momentous event, marking the first time that a genuine Lutheran seminary was established with the initiative of local Lutherans in this huge territory located in the Asian part of Russia.

February 1998 The first group at the seminary consisted of six students. All of these men came from the congregations and missions of Bible Lutheran Church (West Siberian Christian Mission) in Novosibirsk, Buryatiya, and Tomsk. The first academic year began in October of 1997. Many excellent teachers have visited the seminary since then, but by far the best achievement was acquisition of a regular professor, Rev. Alan Ludwig, for the purpose of teaching Hebrew, Greek, and various exegetical and dogmatic courses.

A very important transition for us was the recruitment of a new group of seminarians in 1999. For the first time we have students from an incredible variety of places from Eastern Siberia (Chita and Irkutsk) all the way to the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgiziya. There are fourteen new students in all.

The main purpose of the seminary is to provide confessional and traditional Lutheran education at the highest possible level, and to nurture the spiritual and liturgical life of the students so that they may be fully equipped for the task of the holy ministry. Our solid intention is to make sure that the church receives qualified pastors.

Right now, life at the seminary is intensive, just as it has been from the beginning. We grow and move forward. We pray to God that He by His mercy would preserve our Seminary and allow us to preach Christ and Him crucified in Russia, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrghizia, and wherever our future graduates are sent by the church.
October 1999

Soli Deo Gloria.

  2000, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Novosibirsk, Russia