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In the very beginning of LTS’ activity, it was felt that the seminary should not limit itself to the preparation of students for the ministry. Quick development of congregations and missionary stations of the West Siberian Christian Mission meant that there were some deacons on the mission field who had had no opportunity to acquire valid theological training. They were self-taught, having read theological books. But there are many books, and so many of them do not teach orthodox doctrine. Surely we had to do something for those deacons. Besides, there were many active laymen in the congregations who were doing practical work in the church. They needed to learn something too. In addition, some of these people were potential candidates for the seminary.

The idea of organizing seminars on a monthly basis came from Fr. Vsevolod Lytkin. We followed the format of the monthly Moscow seminars used by the Board for Mission Services of the LCMS. We tried to fill these seminars with content that would be suitable for the church workers in Siberia. Also, these seminars were never meant to be a substitute of any kind for the LTS regular program, nor were they an alternate road leading to ordination. On the contrary, this program was designed for both ordained pastors and deacons who need to get a better theological education, and for those laymen who do not plan to enter the Holy Ministry, but who nevertheless might need some theological competence for their work in the church. The hope was also that some of these latter people would become more interested in theology and eventually would consider entering the seminary.

The seminars are called monthly seminars, but in fact they are usually not offered this often. The seminary tries to approximate such regularity, but when different practical side issues interfere, this goal becomes very difficult to realize. Realistically, such seminars are held 5-6 times per year. Usually they are held in the middle of the month.

The very first seminar of this kind took place in January of 1998. It was not possible to have a seminar before, as the seminary’s permanent place was still under construction. In the 1997-1998 and 1998-1999 academic years, monthly seminars were held at the main LTS building. Usually the professors who were currently teaching classes to the regular students organized something special for the seminar participants (as Fr. Alan Ludwig did in his first year). Another option was simply to have seminar participants sit in on a regular class if the lecture topic allowed for that (Fr. Eric Lange did that with his topics Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of Mark, which were the part of his new Testament Isagogics class).

The 1999-2000 academic year witnessed a major change in the style and focus of the seminars. First of all, because of the lack of space, the seminars were transferred to the church office of WSCM. Second, the Russian instructors, namely, Fr. Vsevolod Lytkin and Fr. Alexei Streltsov, began to participate at every seminar. Instead of just one topic for all 3 days of the seminar, now from 3 to 5 different topics from various areas of theology were offered. Third, the increased enrollment at LTS with many students from afar accounts for the fact that many new people began to visit the seminars.

This academic year we have had visitors from Khakasia, Buryatia, Tomsk, Ekaterinburg, Irkutsk, and even the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Moldova.

Here is a schedule of the monthly seminars - instructors and presentation topics - for the 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 academic years.

October 1999.
Fr. Horrace Hummel Christian Interpretation of the Old Testament
Fr. Alan Ludwig Church Fellowship
Fr. Vsevolod Lytkin Baptism of Infants
Fr. Alexei Streltsov History of the Lutheran Church in Russia
December 1999.
Fr. Alan Ludwig Doctrine of Good Works
Fr. Vsevolod Lytkin Baptism of Infants (continuation)
Fr. Aledei Streltsov St. Cyprian of Carthage
February 2000.
Fr. Brent Kuhlman Eschatology
Fr. Daniel Johnson Gospel of Mark
Fr. Alan Lugwig Doctrine of Justification
Fr. Vsevolod Lytkin Brief History of Protestant Movements
Fr. Alexei Streltsov 1 Peter and Baptism
March 2000.
Fr. Alan Ludwig Doctrine of the Church
Fr. Vsevolod Lytkin Law and Gospel
Fr. Alexei Streltsov The Book of Chronicles
April 2000.
Fr. Alan Ludwig Sacraments in the Gospel of John
Fr. Vsevolod Lytkin The Lord's Supper
Fr. Alexei Streltsov Montanism and the Church
October 2000.
Fr. Charles Hogg Doctrine of God
Fr. Vsevolod Lytkin Hebrews
Fr. Alexei Streltsov Baptism in Romans
November 2000.
Fr. James Winsor Christology
Fr. Vsevolod Lytkin Hebrews (continuation)
Fr. Alexei Streltsov Lutheran Confessions and the Ecumenical Councils
February 2001.
Fr. Alan Ludwig Romans 9-11 and the Millennium
Fr. Vsevolod Lytkin Hebrews (continuation)
Fr. Alexei Streltsov History of the Early Church. Gnosticism.
March 2001.
Fr. Richard Stuckwisch Early Church: Its History and Theology
Fr. Alan Ludwig Baptism
Fr. Vsevolod Lytkin Liturgics
Fr. Alexei Streltsov Life and Theology of Martin Luther
April 2001.
Fr. Alan Ludwig Confession and Absolution
Fr. Vsevolod Lytkin Liturgics (continuation)
Fr. Alexei Streltsov Martyrdom in the Early Church


 © 2000, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Novosibirsk, Russia