Printer Friendly

Protestant theological education in the former Soviet Union.

Little can be said on the subject of formal Protestant theological education for most of the Soviet era because, for almost the entire history of the USSR, it did not exist. Between 1917 and 1928 Soviet authorities closed all fifty-nine Russian Orthodox seminaries and the four Orthodox academies. Between 1944 and 1947 eight Orthodox seminaries and two academies reopened, but only three seminaries and the two academies survived the Khrushchev antireligious campaign of 1959-64. Following the wartime Soviet annexation of the Baltic States, western Ukraine, and western Belorussia, the Kremlin closed almost all Catholic seminaries, allowing only one in Lithuania and one in Latvia to remain open.(1) As for Protestants, the Evangelical Christians and the Baptists jointly operated two Bible schools in Leningrad and Moscow from 1924 to 1928, while Adventists maintained two Bible schools in Kiev (1921-29) and Rostov-on-Don (1925-29). Also, in the 1970s and 1980s Lutherans had use of a small theological institute in Tallinn, Estonia. Prior to glasnost, that was the sum of the story.(2) For many decades the only training available to would-be evangelical pastors was trial-and-error pulpit practice and pastoral apprenticeship under a senior presbyter. Even tutorial reading programs were extremely difficult to manage because of the scarcity of Christian literature.

In 1945 newly united Evangelical Christians-Baptists (ECB) gained permission to publish Bratskii vestnik (Fraternal herald), the first Protestant periodical since the 1920s. General Secretary Alexander Karev and Assistant General Secretary A. I. Mitskevich saw to it that this sole publication for the ECB faithful included a maximum of didactic articles for the instruction of pastors. The initial monthly print run of 3,000 increased to 6,000 in 1974, and to 10,000 in 1978. Since for decades the circulation was too small even to provide every pastor with a subscription, each copy circulated widely. Also, it was not uncommon for Bratskii vestnik to be read from the pulpit prior to services.(3) A number of ECB pastors from the Baltic States who had received Bible school or seminary training prior to Soviet annexation of their countries made significant contributions to Bratskii vestnik and hence to informal theological education. Estonian Oswald Tiark, with a master's of theology degree from New York's Columbia University, not only contributed to Bratskii vestnik but organized seminars and correspondence courses and wrote commentaries on Mark, Romans, and Ephesians, which circulated in Russian as well as Estonian.(4) Four pastors studied at a Baptist college in England, 1957-59, and twenty-three others studied abroad in England, Germany, Sweden, and Canada from the late 1960s to 1976. But these few allowed to study abroad could in no way satisfy the huge need overall for evangelical theological education.(5) In the 1950s the All Union Council of Evangelical Christians-Baptists (AUCECB) quietly prepared eight mimeographed courses, which circulated secretly among selected pastors.(6) Later, in the 1960s, General Secretary Karev commissioned Alexei Bychkov, a construction engineer and future AUCECB general secretary, to translate into Russian additional materials for correspondence courses.(7) Finally, the Kremlin gave permission in 1968 for the AUCECB to launch a correspondence program. This new possibility, clearly a carrot thrown to registered churches even as dissident Baptists were feeling the stick, proved to be a major step forward however modest it might appear from a Western perspective. Texts for the new program came from the 1950s courses, from Bychkov's translations, from mimeographed Bratskii vestnik articles, and from Moody Bible Institute (MBI) courses.(8)

Materials from this Chicago-based institution made their way to evangelical Christians in the Soviet Union in 1961 via, of all places, Argentina. The first Russian Bible Institute in the West, which began in Benito, Manitoba, in 1942, and transferred to Toronto, Ontario, in 1943, helped launch a sister school in Rosario, Argentina, in 1944 because of the presence of three to five million Slavic immigrants in the La Plata republics (Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay). Konstantin Lewshenia and Mary Beechik Fewchuk, graduates of Moody Bible Institute who were teaching at the Latin American Russian Bible Institute, and Slavic Gospel Association missionaries Andrew and Pauline Semenchuk, translated MBI correspondence texts for use with their students. Here is the explanation for how essentially Arminian Evangelical Christians-Baptists came to rely heavily on works of a dispensational school for their theological education.(9) Authorities limited correspondence enrollment to 100 per year until 1976, when the number increased to 150. By 1979, a total of 272 pastors had completed the correspondence program in dogmatics, exegetics, the Bible, pastoral theology, homiletics, church and ECB history, and the USSR constitution.(10) Nevertheless, modest state concessions to registered churches in the 1960s and 1970s could not begin to satisfy pastors' needs for a better understanding of the Bible and evangelical faith. Only in 1987 did Adventists, through arduous negotiations, secure state permission to establish a residential theological studies program.(11) Evangelicals' pent-up frustrations over seven decades of varying combinations of persecution, repression, and discrimination exploded between 1990 and 1992 in a frenzy of activity leading to the founding of some forty-four additional programs of theological education.(12) With few exceptions these Protestant Bible schools and seminaries still lack texts, libraries, permanent faculties, and permanent facilities. Nevertheless, they possess staff with exceptional dedication, infectious enthusiasm, and high hopes, and their students are extraordinarily eager to learn. Many Western seminaries, with incomparably greater material assets, would be justified in being envious.

Profile of the Present Situation

Nineteen Protestant residential Bible schools and seminaries report 1,667 students currently enrolled in programs of at least one year in length. The eight largest institutions have 100 to 220 students each, while the next eleven in size enroll 18 to 75 students each. These figures do not account for scores of institutions for which enrollment data are not yet available. Nor do they include well over 1,000 students receiving instruction in three-week to six-month courses (Victory Bible Institute and Korean Methodist Bible School).(13) And they do not include over three thousand pastors studying by correspondence in at least five programs.

The level of instruction in the new residential schools, in the majority of cases, approximates that received in Western, freshman-level college or university courses, simply because few believers under Communism had a chance to receive a university-level education. An increasing number of new believers with higher education may change this if, as seems likely, they enter seminaries in increasing numbers.

Protestant theological programs, not surprisingly, tend to be concentrated in larger cities, with the capitals of Moscow, Kiev, and Riga having especially strong enrollments. Several programs have moved, or are moving, to St. Petersburg and Kiev from smaller cities: Logos from Belorechensk to St. Petersburg; St. James from Koresten to Kiev; and Donetsk Bible College from Donetsk to Kiev.

Ukrainian institutions command attention because of their disproportionately large number and size. Ukrainians in the former Soviet Union number 52 million, whereas Russians number 147 million, yet Ukraine has slightly more Protestant seminary students than Russia (606 versus 595). Also, Kiev, which is a fraction of Moscow's size, has a third more Protestant seminary students (381 compared to 281, if the Donetsk school, which is moving to Kiev, is counted in the totals). And Moscow's largest Protestant institution is only the eighth largest in the former Soviet Union.

Before the breakup of the USSR, the strength of Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant churches in Ukraine led William Fletcher to label it the Bible Belt of the Soviet Union.(14) For example, nearly 50 percent of Adventists in the former USSR reside in Ukraine, versus 21 percent in Russia; 50 percent of Evangelical Christians-Baptists reside in Ukraine, versus 33 percent in Russia; and 67 percent of Pentecostals reside in Ukraine, versus 3 percent in Russia.(15) Yet the striking concentration of believers in Ukraine is not matched with available Christian literature, either in terms of quantities published in-country or in terms of materials imported from the West. In 1987-88, for example, only 8 percent of the copies of Scripture published in, or imported into, the USSR were in the Ukrainian language. And in 1992 the United Bible Societies imported two and a half times as many Scriptures and Scripture portions into Russia as they did into Ukraine (1,999,581 versus 777,202).(16) Assuming that Christian literature in general is being supplied in the same proportions, it is easy to see the added burden Ukrainian institutions face in procuring texts and in developing libraries.

As for denominational affiliation, the new schools include some 535 Pentecostal and 530 Baptist students. Lutherans, with over a half million members, would appear to have the least favorable ratio of seminarians to membership. Conversely, Adventists, with approximately 80,000 members, have the most favorable ratio of seminarians to membership.

Even though this investigation focuses on residential centers, it should be noted that a majority of pastors presently are receiving their training through correspondence courses, which will probably be true for several years to come.
Correspondence Program No. Enrolled

Biblical Education by Extension (BEE), 2,000
including 700 ECB pastors in the Russian

International Correspondence Institute 714

Moscow Correspondence Bible Institute 200

Lutheran Theological Institute 100

Apocalypse (Logos-related interdenominational 90
program in Krasnodar)

Adventist 80

Total 3,184

Higher costs for residential programs, the size of the country, transportation problems, and the difficulty pastors with church and family responsibilities face in leaving home for extended periods necessitate the continuation of strong correspondence programs, at least in the near term.(17) Still, residential programs are in great demand. Many schools can accommodate only a small portion of their applicants.

Priorities of National Seminaries

On February 11, 1993, the Overseas Council for Theological Education and Missions, Peter Deyneka Russian Ministries, and Wheaton College's Institute for East-West Christian Studies sponsored a conference in Moscow attended by thirty-eight Russians and Ukrainians representing twenty-two new Protestant Bible schools and seminaries. In that meeting seminary delegates expressed more concern for quality, affordable course texts than they did for any other need.(18) For example, Anatolii Glukhovskii of the New Life Theological School in Kiev reported that his students currently had texts for only seven of fifteen courses.(19)

A number of challenges face those who would seek to remedy this shortage:

1. As yet, no single master list exists for Christian titles available in the various languages of the former Soviet Union.

2. Nor does a clearinghouse exist to provide bibliographic control for translations in progress. The potential for waste (and for confusion over copyright issues) was illustrated at the February theological education conference as two schools (Zaoksky and Odessa) reported that each recently had completed translations of William Sanford LaSor's Old Testament Survey.(20)

3. Most titles available in translation are not presently in print, or available copies cannot begin to service present seminary needs.

4. Fewer than 400 Protestant works have been in print in Russian in recent years, and fewer than 100 Protestant titles in Ukrainian.(21) Historians often note that the Reformation had little or no impact in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Russia, with ramifications to the present day. For example, only in 1992-93 were such Protestant classics as John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion and John Wesley's Standard Sermons being translated into Russian.(22)

5. Available titles would be suitable for only a limited number of classes, since most are devotional or evangelistic in nature.

6. A number of delegates at the February 1993 conference noted that the quality of translations too often is poor.

7. Many schools as yet lack a sufficiently broad exposure to the range of evangelical literature to ensure the choice of the best texts for varying purposes and levels of instruction.

If texts are in short supply, libraries must be but a dream. Compared with the St. Petersburg Orthodox Seminary and Academy Library, with 300,000 volumes, the largest Protestant collection is the Zoaksky Adventist Seminary, with 12,000 volumes.(23) Other collections presently exist only as projections, or number in the hundreds, or have hefty percentages of less accessible English-language works or less relevant nontheological titles.

If few pastors as yet have had the benefit of a seminary education, it is to be expected that individuals qualified to teach in Protestant seminaries would be especially rare. Consequently, for the time being, every Protestant seminary in the former Soviet Union is relying heavily upon instructors from the West. The vast majority of the guest lecturers teach through interpreters. According to seminary representatives at the February conference, in addition to this handicap, many Western instructors lack sufficient appreciation for Russian, Ukrainian, and Baltic history and culture, a problem that better orientation could help to correct.(24)

For years to come a serious obstacle to contextualized Protestant theological education in the former Soviet Union will be the lack of indigenous believers qualified for seminary teaching positions. Consequently, the question of how best to prepare Russian, Ukrainian, and Baltic seminary faculty deserves careful study. In recent decades a lack of judicious screening of students for seminary study in Europe and North America has precipitated a crippling Third World theological brain drain. The percentage of seminarians not returning from study abroad is estimated to be as high as 75 percent from Colombia, 85 percent from the Caribbean, and 90 percent from India.(25) It is hoped that Western seminaries will keep this danger in mind as they accept students from Soviet successor states.(26)

Principles for Moving Forward

Many church leaders in the former Soviet Union already have concluded that lengthy study abroad may prove counterproductive, even assuming students return home. For example, in a recent survey of Protestant theological educators in the former Eastern bloc, World Vision Germany director Manfred Kohl discovered overwhelming support for training in-country and great wariness concerning the consequences of study abroad. (Of forty-eight respondents, twenty-three favored in-country residence programs, twenty-four favored correspondence courses, and only one favored study abroad.) In his 1992 interviews Kohl noted consistent opposition to theological training in the West, which was expressed "very politely, but very strongly."(27) It thus behooves educators and church leaders, East and West, to proceed with caution. The following six suggestions seem best to take account of present needs and also risks:

1. Encourage study abroad only for especially talented, mature, and dedicated pastors targeted for teaching positions, preferably those who would not bring their families with them to the West. The costs entailed in more trips home would be preferable to the financial and cultural costs of family residence in the West.

2. Utilize extension programs and competency tests to shorten the length of Western instruction.

3. Encourage completion of M. A. programs, rather than longer M.Div. programs or doctoral programs. Doctorates probably will be desired more than they will be needed for at least the first decade of residential seminary education in the former Soviet Union.

4. Encourage Western church and parachurch groups and seminaries and the churches of the former Soviet Union to join forces in establishing perhaps a single Russian and a single Ukrainian graduate-level Protestant theological program in order to foster the contextualization of seminary education and to minimize the theological brain drain.

5. Encourage Western institutions to work together in strengthening a few graduate-level programs in the former Soviet Union by means of coordinated faculty postings in the East and cooperative credit from Western degree programs.

6. Invest more resources in Western faculty teaching in the East, especially those with relevant language skills, and less in student scholarships for study in the West.

At the February theological education conference, seminary representatives emphasized their concerns for (1) an organization to facilitate ongoing sharing of information and coordination, (2) permanent facilities, (3) financial support, and (4) the establishment of seminary accreditation standards. Delegates hoped for help from abroad through a process of East-West interaction, rather than Western dictation. Indeed, the issue of outside assistance, and how best to effect it, is bound to loom large. Comments to this effect in Kohl's theological education survey make this clear:

* We want to know what is going on ... what is available.

* How can we become part of the loop?

* We are hungry and thirsty for information and fellowship.

* We do not want everything to be given to us, but we must know what is available.

* We do not want ready-made Western Christianity to be dumped on us. We would love to have the tools, and then we will work it out for ourselves.(28)

Prudent assistance from abroad will focus on aid that will minimize long-term dependency. To date, unfortunately, only Adventists seem to have taken this concern to heart. Their Zaoksky Seminary includes a fifty-five-acre farm, greenhouses, a canning plant, and a printing press, which not only supply the needs of their community but produce revenue for the support of the institution. Most theological education programs not only lack income-producing auxiliary services but also feel obligated to abide by the long-standing, even pre-Revolution, custom of awarding student stipends above and beyond the Western practice of tuition scholarships. The lack of part-time or summer employment for students, compounded by growing unemployment and inflation, does not help the problem.(29)

Information sharing and greater coordination will be vital if evangelical Christians are to avoid working at cross-purposes, as in the case of indigenous versus Western study, and to avoid needless duplication, as in the case of the two translations of the same Old Testament textbook. Yet meaningful cooperation will be a daunting task, even assuming that both parties, East and West, see the benefit. To start with, the numbers alone compound the challenge of working together. Twenty-five indigenous Protestant denominations(30) and close to a thousand indigenous parachurch missions and charities now function in the former Soviet Union.(31) Also, approximately 700 Western church and parachurch ministries currently work in East Central Europe and the former Soviet Union.(32) No less than fifty Western organizations are assisting new Protestant schools. At the Moscow theological education conference alone forty-six representatives of twenty-seven different Western church and parachurch bodies gathered for the day.

The February meeting provided a helpful illustration of evangelical, but otherwise doctrinally diverse, groups working together. Evangelical Christian-Baptist, Pentecostal, Mennonite, Adventist, and Presbyterian delegates chose to stress their common concerns for training and equipping leaders rather than their theological differences. And Western participants chose to listen at length to the priorities of Russian and Ukrainian representatives rather than recite what the West thought best.

Indigenous and Western leaders working together took the following concrete steps:

1. National delegates formed four committees to continue discussions on literature development (for course texts and libraries), faculty development, a future theological education conference, and information sharing and coordination.

2. Delegates appointed a small group of Russians and Ukrainians to work with Dr. Peter Kuzmic of the Evangelical Theological Institute, Osijek, Croatia, to help organize a 1994 conference on theological education in East Central Europe and Soviet successor states.

3. Peter Deyneka Russian Ministries volunteered to organize a representative committee to select twenty texts already available in Russian that would be reprinted for 1993-94 classes. (The Overseas Council will administer a grant awarded in June 1993 for the purpose of launching the reprint project. Full funding would involve the reprinting of twenty texts per year for five years.)

4. Peter Deyneka Russian Ministries agreed to coordinate a comprehensive Christian literature survey project, including evaluations, with the assistance of David C. Cook Foundation, Mission Forum's Literature Information Service, and Wheaton College's Institute for East-West Christian Studies.(33) 5. The Christian Resource Center, Moscow, agreed to provide administrative oversight for a projected theological library that would not be associated with any one denomination but would be open to all seminary students, including Orthodox and Catholic, as a means of bridge-building. Copies of works collected in the Russian Ministries survey project would be deposited in the new Moscow library, at an as yet undetermined institution in Kiev, and in the Billy Graham Center Library at Wheaton College. (A grant proposal is pending for development of the Moscow and Kiev theological collections.)


Finally, a number of projections would seem reasonably safe to make, notwithstanding the fluid and volatile politics and economics of Soviet successor states.

1. In all probability, correspondence programs, as noted, will continue to service many students, especially if economic conditions continue to deteriorate.

2. Continuing political decentralization and fragmentation and growing nationalism will make it increasingly problematic for individual seminaries to draw students from many republics. Simply put, crossing borders may grow ever more difficult. The Russian Orthodox Seminary and Academy in St. Petersburg and the Zaoksky Adventist Seminary already see this as a significant problem.

3. The need for more Christian literature in Ukrainian will increase. Even if 21 percent of Ukraine's population is Russian, and even if a majority of students in Ukraine can study in Russian, will they want to? Should they have to? Over time, will it be politic for schools there to depend on Russian-language instruction?(34)

4. For better or worse, assistance from abroad will prove vital in the development of residential programs (which require literature, libraries, faculty, and buildings), just as it was vital in the development of correspondence programs earlier.

5. Generational tensions in church leadership likely will be heightened with better-educated younger pastors and laypeople seeing church life differently from older leaders and laity, who outlived the state assault without benefit of education.

6. Finally, nondenominational schools (with an enrollment of 366 at present) are likely to grow in importance as Western and indigenous parachurch groups plant more and more churches that are neither Baptist nor Pentecostal, per se.(35) Protestant theological education is emerging in the former Soviet Union in a manner unique in the history of Reformation churches. Never before, and nowhere else, have Protestants launched as many formal theological training programs as rapidly as they have in Soviet successor states--and what is doubly unprecedented, they started from a base of zero. Much that is positive can be said for the vision, enthusiasm, and energy of the new theological educators in the East, and for the willingness of an array of Western evangelical church and parachurch agencies to assist. As the same time, sober reflection would suggest that too many institutions have been founded without sufficient consideration (1) for the advisability of collaborative efforts in the expensive and labor-intensive areas of faculty, text, and library development; and (2) for the need to ponder the pitfalls and lessons to be gleaned from the history of Protestant theological education. Seminaries in Soviet successor states should consider carefully Western models and Western money and what both entail. Western involvement could sap vitality, foster dependency, and replicate the debilitating Third World-First World theological brain drain, if assistance is not measured, culturally nuanced, and carefully coordinated. The February 1993 Moscow Conference on Theological Education offered encouraging evidence of a spirit of cooperation, both among indigenous churches and seminaries, and between them and Western participants. That spirit will need to be translated into many concrete, collaborative efforts if evangelical Christians in the former Soviet Union are to see lasting growth fostered by its first generation of theologically trained leaders.


The author's notes from meetings and interviews held in February and March 1993 proved helpful at a number of points. Sources include Peter Deyneka, Jr., Anatolii Glukhovskii, Ludmilla Gorbuzova, Jack Graves, Terry Henshaw, Manfred Kohl, Mikhail Kulakov, Jr., Anne Kull, Peter Penner, Heigo Ritsbek (November 14, 1991), Terry Schnake, Andrew Semenchuk, Igor Tsiupak, and Charles Warner. 1. Dimitry Pospielovsky, The Russian Church Under the Soviet Regime, 1917-1982, vol. 2 (Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1984), p. 302; A. Johansen, Theological Study in the Russian and Bulgarian Orthodox Churches Under Communist Rule (London: Faith Press, 1963), p. 4.

2. Mark Elliott, "Seventh-Day Adventists in Russia and the Soviet Union," in Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet History, vol. 34, pp. 111-12; Walter Sawatsky, Soviet Evangelicals Since World War II (Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 1981), pp. 46, 331; Heigo Ritsbek interview, November 14, 1991. The crippling effect of long-standing state proscription of Protestant theological education appears somewhat less debilitating when contrasted with the pervasive KGB interference in the life of the three token Orthodox seminaries that survived the Khrushchev antireligious campaign. State manipulation of evangelical pastors may have been less successful overall simply because Protestants lacked seminaries. See Jane Ellis, The Russian Orthodox Church: A Contemporary History (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1986), pp. 109-20; and Anthony Ugolnik, The Orthodox Church and Contemporary Politics in the USSR (Washington, D.C.: National Council for Soviet and East European Research, 1991), pp. 21-24. 3. Sawatsky, Soviet Evangelicals, pp. 331, 425.

4. Ibid., p. 331.

5. Ibid., pp. 330-31; Alexander de Chalandeau, "The Theology of the Evangelical Christians-Baptists in the USSR, As Reflected in the Bratskii Vestnik" (Ph.D. diss., University of Strasbourg, 1978), pp. 43-45.

6. Peter Deyneka, Jr., in William S. Covington, Jr., "Consultation on Theological Education in the Former Soviet Union, A Conference at Wheaton College," Minutes, September 3, 1992.

7. Chalandeau, "Theology," p. 41; "Rev. Alexei Bychkov and Rev. Michael Zhidkov Sharing with Wheaton Area Pastors," transcript, March 13, 1987, p. 6.

8. Sawatsky, Soviet Evangelicals, pp. 330-31; Chalandeau, "Theology," p. 45.

9. Andrew Semenchuk was president of RBI from 1955 to 1968. The Toronto school was a joint venture of Oswald J. Smith, Toronto People's Church, and Peter Deyneka, Sr., Slavic Gospel Association. The Toronto school closed about 1954 (Semenchuk in Covington, "Consultation," p. 2; Semenchuk interview, March 17, 1993).

10. Sawatsky, Soviet Evangelicals, p. 330; Chalandeau, "Theology," pp. 45-46. The state also required Orthodox seminaries to study the USSR constitution. For the Orthodox course of study, see Johansen, Theological Study, pp. 4-5; and Ellis, Russian Orthodox, p. 116.

11. Marite Sapiets, True Witness: The Story of Seventh-Day Adventists in the Soviet Union (Keston, England: Keston College, 1990), p. 286; Mikhail Kulakov, Jr., interview, February 15, 1993; Mikhail Kulakov, Jr., "Zaoksky Theological Seminary, Presenting to You Our Seminary," unpublished flier (1992).

12. Jack Graves, "Biblical and Theological Education Initiatives in the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe," unpublished directory, Overseas Council for Theological Education and Missions, 1993, p. 1; interviews with Jack Graves and Manfred Kohl. There now are eighteen Orthodox and eight Catholic seminaries. 13. Interview in St. Petersburg with Terry Henshaw, February 9, 1993; interview in Moscow with Ludmilla Gorbuzova, February 14, 1993. A survey of theological educators in East Central Europe and the former Soviet Union, undertaken by World Vision Germany director Manfred Kohl, revealed that 25 of 51 respondents favored three-year programs, 13 favored two-year programs, but only 2 favored one-year programs ("Towards Globalization of Theological Education: Feasibility Study on Extending Theological Education into Eastern Europe and Parts of the Former USSR," Survey Appendix |thesis prospectus, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, October 15, 1992~, p. 1). In contrast, Russian Orthodox seminary and academy courses run four years each (Johansen, Theological Study, p. 4). 14. William Fletcher, "The Soviet Bible Belt: World War II's Impact on Religion," in The Impact of World War II on the Soviet Union, ed. Susan J. Linz (New York: Rowan and Allanheld, 1985).

15. Kent Hill, The Soviet Union on the Brink: An Inside Look at Christianity and Glasnost (Portland, Oreg.: Multnomah Press, 1991), p. 373; Sapiets, True Witness, pp. 274-78; Philip Walters, World Christianity: Eastern Europe (Monrovia, Calif.: MARC, 1988), p. 72; Walter Sawatsky, "Protestantism in the USSR," in Religious Policy in the Soviet Union, ed. Sabrina Ramet (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1991), pp. 18-19; Ralph Mann, "Soviet Pentecostal Demographics," unpublished paper (Denton, Tex.: Mission Possible, October 1991), p. 2.

16. Mark Elliott, "New Openness in USSR Prompts Massive Bible Shipments to Soviet Christians in 1987-88: A Statistical Overview," News Network International, March 20, 1989, p. 28; idem, "Scripture Imports to Former Eastern Bloc," United Bible Societies World Report 271 (March 1993): 30.

17. Chuck Schwartz, BEE, speaking at Moscow Theological Education Conference, February 11, 1993; fax from Beth Yost, International Correspondence Institute, March 17, 1993; author's notes from reports at Moscow Theological Education Conference, February 11, 1993; interview with Anne Kull, Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago, March 29, 1993; Kohl, "Towards Globalization," pp. 17, 24-25. Mikhail Kulakov (February 15, 1993, interview) noted that 500 Adventists also were studying theological education by extension at three sites. 18. Fourteen of twenty-four respondents listed the need for texts as the most urgent. See Jack Graves, "Report of the Conference on Theological Education in the Former Soviet Union, Moscow, Russia, February 10-12, 1993," Overseas Council for Theological Education and Missions, February 24, 1993, p. 2.

19. Author's notes from February 1, 1993, Moscow Conference. The Orthodox have had to contend with the same shortage. See Ellis, Russian Orthodox, p. 108.

20. David Allan Hubbard and Frederick William Bush assisted La Sor in revising his Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1982). Odessa holds the Russian translation rights.

21. Books Translated from English to Eastern European and CIS Languages (Elgin, Ill.: David C. Cook Foundation, 1992) includes 370 Russian titles and 51 Ukrainian titles.

22. Christian Bridge, Carol Stream, Ill., translated into Russian H. Henry Meeter's Basic Ideas of Calvinism and is overseeing the Russian translation in Moscow of The Golden Book of Calvinism, an abridgement of the Institutes. Funders include the Christian Reformed Church World Literature Ministries and the Back to God Hour. Calvin's Institutes previously did circulate in East Central Europe in Latin. Rev. George Rodonaia, a United Methodist pastor in Houston, Texas, originally from Soviet Georgia, translated the Standard Sermons, which may be published in Moscow by Golden Age Publishing House.

23. Author's conversations with St. Petersburg Vice-Rector Veniamin, February 8, 1993, and Adventist seminary president, Mikhail Kulakov, Jr., February 15, 1993. See also Ellis, Russian Orthodox, p. 107.

24. Nine of twenty-four conference respondents cited faculty development as a critical concern (author's notes from February 11, 1993, Moscow Conference). See also Kohl, "Towards Globalization," pp. 22-23. Sawatsky (Soviet Evangelicals, p. 330) heads his section on theological education, "The Missing Teachers." 25. Jack Graves, "Plugging the Theological Brain Drain," Evangelical Missions Quarterly 28 (April 1992): 155. See also "Bring Training In, Not People Out," Albanian Insight, no. 20 (February 27, 1992): 2.

26. Students from the former Soviet Union currently are enrolled at Asbury Theological Seminary, Dallas Theological Seminary, Denver Conservative Baptist Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, Moody Bible Institute, Southern Baptist Seminary, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Wheaton College.

27. Kohl, "Towards Globalization," p. 1 (survey appendix), p. 16 (text).

28. Ibid., pp. 20-21 (text).

29. James W. Cunningham, A Vanquished Hope: The Movement for Church Renewal in Russia, 1905-1906 (Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1981), p. 47; Ellis, Russian Orthodox, p. 105; Graves, "Biblical and Theological Initiatives in the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe," unpublished directory, Overseas Council for Theological Education and Missions, 1992, p. 2. 30. Twenty-one denominations are listed in Mark Elliott and Robert Richardson, "Growing Protestant Diversity in the Former Soviet Union," in Russian Pluralism, Now Irreversible? ed. Uri Ra'anan et al (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992), p. 204. Four additional denominations now working in the former Soviet Union are Christian and Missionary Alliance, Pentecostal Holiness, Christian Reformed, and Evangelical Covenant.

31. Author's conversations with Dr. Sharon Linzey, Moscow State University visiting professor, February 15, 1993.

32. Sharon Linzey, Holt Ruffin, and Mark Elliott, eds., East-West Christian Organizations Directory (Evanston, Ill.: Berry Publishing Services, 1993), includes 687 entries. The author has files on an additional 35.

33. Wil Triggs and Mark Elliott, "Christian Literature: Who Has Published What, Where, and in Which Languages?" East-West Church and Ministry Report 1 (Spring 1993): 12.

34. Michael Mandelbaum, ed., The Rise of Nations in the Soviet Union (New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 1991), p. 103.

35. Elliott and Richardson, "Growing Protestant Diversity," pp. 198-200.

Mark Elliott is Professor of History and Director of the Institute for East-West Christian Studies, Billy Graham Center, Wheaton College. He is coeditor of the East-West Christian Organizations Directory (1993) and the East-West Church and Ministry Report.
COPYRIGHT 1994 Overseas Ministries Study Center
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1994 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Elliott, Mark
Publication:International Bulletin of Missionary Research
Date:Jan 1, 1994
Previous Article:Encounters with "culture" Christianity.
Next Article:Annual statistical table on global mission: 1994.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters