Modern life of the Seminary
Our seminary is an institution of theological education focused on the intense study of missionary service. The main task of the seminary is to educate clergy, teachers of Divine Law, lecturers at religious educational institutions, orthodox missionaries, chaplains and other clergy of the institutions of the Moscow Patriarchate.
It is noteworthy that the student body of the seminary is ‘missionary’. There are representatives of more than 36 Dioceses of the Moscow Patriarchate at the seminary: from Abakan and Baku, Barnaul and Elista, Yakutia, Brest and other eparchies of the Russian Orthodox Church, and from the dioceses of the Ukrainian Church as well.
The educational process at the seminary is carried out in pastoral-training classes in the full-time programme and in four classes in the distance learning and foundational programmes. Some additional subjects are included in the usual seminary curriculum approved by the Educational Committee. The courses are as follows: “Introduction to Missionary Work”, “The History of Mission”, “Principles and Methods of Missionary Activity”, sectology, ethnography, natural sciences, philosophy of religion, “Screen Arts in Missionary Service» and «Basics of Information Technology».
During four years at the seminary, students learn foreign languages, because we understand that language skills are extremely important for modern-day missionary activity. Additional courses include: “The Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church” together with the Charter of the Russian Orthodox Church and basics of Russian legislation.
Beginning in the fourth year, students take courses in “General, Developmental and Social Psychology”, the psychology of conflict and orthodox pedagogy. From the second year on, the curriculum includes missionary activity which helps develop skills of independent work.
In order to have the constant opportunity to communicate with the outside world, students of the Belgorod seminary take part in a missionary social pedagogical practicum, also included in the curriculum. Students in their third year gain experience in social ministry in the intensive care unit, trauma unit and in other departments of the Belgorod Regional Hospital.
Once a week students in the fourth year assist the medical personnel of the 1st City hospital, the narcological clinic and the mental hospital . The work of the students consists of physical assistance to the seriously ill and cleaning patients’ rooms. Besides this, they give catechetical talks to attendants and patients and read Holy Scripture and Orthodox literature to bed ridden and frail patients.
For students in their 5th year one day a week is reserved for teaching in the educational institutions of Belgorod. Teaching takes place at the Belgorod Orthodox grammar school, the Police Academy, Belgorod Medical College, Belgorod Institute of Culture, at the police sub-unit. Belgorod.
The seminary’s students participate in the educational work of the schools.
During the course of the academic year students take part in missionary trips organised by the Missionary Department of the Moscow Patriarchate. On these trips they gain invaluable experience in missionary service.
Student choristers sing at the Divine Liturgies and perform concerts; all others participate in carrying out missionary and catechetical meetings, talks and lectures.
Students take an active part in helping the publishing department. The seminary publishes a student periodical, «The Seminary Bulletin». Students express great interest in research work concerning the history of the seminary and in gathering materials devoted to its prominent teachers.
The structure of our theological school provides a combination of theory and practice in missionary service to modern society. Today it is possible to be a missionary everywhere.
Archpriest Alexy Kurenkov