Institute of Theology and Philosophy was founded in 1992 for the realisation of educational and research programmes in the field of theology and philosophy.
The concept of the Institute was that its students would receive a degree in theology as well as a substantial training in philosophy. In the 25 years of its existence, over 300 students have graduated in theology and about 30 graduate students have received a master’s degree. Although in general the Institute is designed to train the laity, 35 of its former students have become Orthodox priests.
Institute of Theology and Philosophy is a secular educational establishment. Nevertheless, its teaching staff includes a number of priests, the majority of whom are lecturers from the Saint Petersburg Theological Academy. Since its foundation, the Institute has continued to hold regular (monthly) research seminars on a variety of topical theological, philosophical and cultural issues.
In the past the Institute has had fruitful cooperation with Western colleagues. In particular, among its visiting lecturers were Father Miguel Arranz (Russicum, Rome), Professor Olivier-Maurice Clément (St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute, Paris), H.D. Depmann (Faculty of Theology at the University of Berlin), Martin Knehtgess (The Catholic Academy, Berlin); Anna Pashkevich (The University of Wrocław) and Andrzej Mordel (The Wrocław division of Poland-East organization).
A small video about the Institute with English subtitles
At the moment, however, due to the temporary loss of independence in adopting its educational and academic policy, the Institute’s cooperation with foreign partners is not as intense. In fact, prior to 2009, Institute of Theology and Philosophy had existed as an autonomous non-governmental higher educational establishment. Starting from 2009 and up to the beginning of 2017, the Institute was a part of a private educational establishment – the Russian Christian Humanitarian Academy (RCHA) – and as its educational division continued training of bachelors and masters in theology.
Upon its re-registration in 2017, the Institute of Theology and Philosophy resumed as an autonomous academic and educational establishment. The decision to withdraw from RCHA’s structure was triggered, in particular, by the policy of the RCHA to strengthen their commercial orientation. This meant that the RCHA were shifting away from the Christian focus within the curriculum, launching, for instance, an educational programme in esoterics.
Having resumed its autonomous status, the Institute is planning to continue implementing its academic and educational programmes, in particular, through its publishing activities. For 20 years, the Institute has been publishing its own periodical The Beginning (in Russian — “Nachalo”), where mainly articles of its lecturers, students, alumni and friends of the Institute have been published. The Institute’s own small publishing house brought out over 20 monographs and teaching guides written by lecturers of the Institute. At the moment there are three more monographs in preparation for publishing by the teaching staff of the Institute.
While establishing the educational process, enrolling new students, renewing its educational programmes and taking other necessary steps for its independence, the Institute will not be able to earn any funds on its own, not to mention the remuneration for the lecturers. Not having its own premises, it will also have to rent a place for its purposes. All of these activities: the resumption of the educational process, as well as the publishing of the journal Beginning and the books authored by lecturers of the Institute, impel us to ask for financial assistance. We kindly ask everyone who has the opportunity to make a contribution towards the re-establishment of the Institute as an autonomous unit to participate in this process.
For the residents in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and some other countries. Please make you donations to the following account, putting “IBIF donation” as the purpose of your payment:
Lloyds Bank, Name: Gleb Vasilyev;
Sort code: 30-96-35;
Account number: 53262160;