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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.”

 © 2000, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Novosibirsk, Russia