||The seminary provides room, board, and a stipend for its students. The housing policy
at the seminary is to provide a separate room for each student.
Sometimes, though, this
may be not possible, because the growth of the student body may surpass the seminary
housing capacities. Then normally the first-year students will live two to a room, while
each of the senior students will have a room to himself. Thus, at the beginning of the
1999/2000 academic year, some first-year students had to share rooms, but this is no
longer the case.
The seminary offers regular meals to the students on weekdays. Breakfast and lunch are
served, while dinner consists of the leftovers from lunch. On weekends students prepare
their food themselves.
Our understanding of seminary training is in no way limited to the sphere of academic
matters. The seminary, rather, trains and forms a man as a person, teaches him the life of
the Church, of the liturgy, of prayer, and of charity. At the seminary, students obtain
basic liturgical skills by participating in services in the seminary chapel and at Bible
Lutheran Church, where they assist ordained ministers. They also participate, as much as
possible, in practical work in our local parishes and missionary congregations of Siberia.
Luther’s oratio, meditatio, tentatio (prayer, meditation, testing) is an
inherent part of the seminary training.
|A student’s life at the seminary is mostly occupied with studying, but there are
also other things he is expected to do. The students have a schedule of duties, which
includes cleaning certain parts of the seminary building, doing work in the kitchen, and
– not the least important in Siberia – shoveling snow in the winter! Of course, there
may be problems resulting from conflicting schedules of studies and practical duties, but
we try to do whatever we can to minimize it.
Besides various forms of work, there are also various opportunities to spend leisure
time (in those rare instances when there is such). There is a nice, large-screen TV set
with a VCR available in the “TV room.” A collection of videos, both documentary and
good fiction, is currently being organized. (The seminary and West Siberian Christian
Mission also have their own movie, “The Beginning,” which we hope will be joined by
another one this year).
The surrounding landscape provides wonderful opportunities for walking or skiing in
winter, and jogging or cycling in the summer. Novosibirsk is a large city with no lack of
artistic events, so the students may attend art exhibitions, movies, the theater, the
opera, or the ballet. Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theater is one of the most renowned in
Russia, famous especially for its ballet.
Seminary life also provides a good opportunity for those studying there to find friends
– colleagues in the future pastoral ministry. Our prayer is always that the students may
be at peace with God and with one another, their sinful nature being constrained by
God’s commandments while God molds their lives, so that they may become true “stewards
of the mysteries of God.”