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On 6 April 2019, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, rector of the Ss. Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute of Postgraduate Studies, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Moscow Church of Beheading of St. John the Baptist in-the-Woods. This church is a part of the Patriarchal Metochion of Chernigov Wonder-Workers, where the Theological Institute of Postgraduate Studies, celebrating the 10th anniversary of its foundation these days, is located.

Concelebrating with the archpastor were Hegumen Serapion (Mitko), vice-chairman of the Synodal Department for Mission; Archpriest Lev Semenov, head of the Centre for Religious Education of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University of the Humanities; Hieromonk Ioann (Kopeykin), vice-rector for development of the Theological Institute of Postgraduate Studies; Archpriest Mikhail Nemnonov, vice-rector for education and social work of the Theological Institute of Postgraduate Studies; ordained staff members and students of the Theological Institute.

Among those present were rectors and professors of the Moscow universities, as well as faculty and students of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute of Postgraduate Studies.

After the Litany of Fervent Supplication Metropolitan Hilarion said a prayer for peace in Ukraine.

At the conclusion of the divine service Hieromonk Ioann (Kopeykin) cordially greeted the archpastor with the 10th anniversary of the foundation of the Theological Institute of Postgraduate Studies. As the vice-rector for development noted, over these ten years more than 2,000 people, including 100 newly-elected bishops, studied at this educational institution. The Theological Institute of Postgraduate Studies organized at least twenty notable international research conferences and established a publishing house that has already issued over 500 thousand publications.

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk warmly congratulated all those present on the 10th anniversary of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute of Postgraduate Studies, saying in particular:

“Our task is to not only graduate educated people, but also give to all our students an opportunity to be introduced to the treasury of the Holy Tradition of the Church. It refers not only to those who will dedicate their life to serving the Church, but also to those who come to us from secular institutions of higher education and may after graduating from our institute continue working in a secular field.

“We should not only provide our students with the bulk of knowledge, but also help them make the life of the Church their own life. Among those enrolling in the Theological Institute of Postgraduate Studies are bishops, clergymen and devout laypeople, as well as those who are only making their first steps in church life. At the same time they are making the first steps in the field of theological education.

“Among our tasks is to increase educational attainment of our students and graduates. To do that, we should pay attention to such matters as lecture attendance and teaching theology and other disciplines to a high standard.

“We have attained a certain level, but should constantly raise it. It requires efforts from all the faculty and, of course, the administration of the Theological Institute. Our task is to be an exemplary educational institution, in some sense a leader in theological science, since it so happened that for over these ten years the Theological Institute of Postgraduate Studies has been a driving force helping promote theological education at various levels, including secular institutions.

“It is important to offer high quality theological education. That is why, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, we have been working to upgrade the whole corpus of study materials for theological schools. It refers not so much to postgraduate and master’s programmes, as to bachelor’s programmes, that is, to the first level of higher education. The task given us by His Holiness the Patriarch and the Supreme Church Council is to upgrade, as quickly as possible, the whole corpus of course books for theological schools. According to my estimate, we have to write and publish at least sixty new course books. About ten books have already been written; some twenty books are being compiled; and we still have some thirty more to write. The books will be written by individual and collective authors. I hope very much that this work will bear its fruit and we will be able to provide our theological schools with good quality study materials.”

To mark the 10th anniversary of the Ss. Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute of Postgraduate Studies, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk presented this educational institution with an icon of Ss. Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa and Gregory the Theologian – the great theologians who contributed greatly to the formation of dogmatic teaching of the Church, in particular, the teaching on the Holy Trinity. “May the prayer of these great Cappadocian Fathers help us in our ministry,” the archpastor said.

DECR Communication Service