Moscow region, Sergiev Posad, Lavra, Academy

title image

The graduation ceremony of correspondence students and listeners of the additional education department

On February 22 after the prayer at the Intercession Academic Church, the Bishop of Zvenigorod Theodorite, Rector of the Moscow Theological Academy, gave certificates to Bachelor and Master Graduates and students of the additional education department,

At the end of the prayer service, Bishop Theodorite addressed the graduates with a parting word:

Dear fathers, brothers and sisters! 

I sincerely congratulate all of you on your graduation from the Moscow Theological Academy! 

Now you are going to receive a certificate confirming the completion of your studies at the Moscow Theological Academy. But first, I would like to address you with a short parting word. 

During the thanksgiving prayer service, you heard a short passage from the Gospel of Matthew. I felt that this particular extract would suit the best for the graduation ceremony of theological students.

After Resurrection, the Savior meets His disciples in Galilee and gives them last parting words, which can be divided into three parts.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me” said the Lord. Here Christ confirms His Deity, since only God can have all authority in heaven and on earth. The faith in Christ’s Deity is the foundation of our faith and our Church.

These words are also important because the apostles could answer the question asked by pagans “Who authorized you to proclaim the new faith”. The response is “Almighty God, Who has been given all authority in heaven and on earth”.

However, these words were said not only to the apostles, but to all further Christian teachers. You are one of them either by ordination or by education. It sounds obvious that the Lord Jesus Christ is the true God, although it's not that simple. It took centuries to protect this fundamental tenet from the schismatics and confirm this dogma into the world.

Further, the Lord says: "Go, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you." This is a direct and clear command, which encouraged apostles go preaching the true faith and baptize people. This is a command to all of us. Remember that before you baptize, you need to teach.

How can you teach people to believe? The faith is not just a sum of knowledge or right words. The faith is a way of life, so it can be taught only through one's own example. Remember that words bore you, while an example teaches you.

The work of spreading Christ's faith will always have opponents. The apostles themselves encountered many obstacles during their preaching. Obstacles may come not only from the outside, but also from within the preacher himself. I mean our passions. However, it should not be a reason to fall into despair and cowardice. Remember that Christ said that He is with us all the days until the end of the age. This assertion is enough to boldly go into the world and do the work you were summoned for by the Lord».

Владыка ректор вручил выпускникам дипломы и знаки об окончании Московской духовной академии.

Background information:

This year there were 29 graduated Master students (27 in the priesthood) and 31 graduates from the Bachelor's program at the Correspondence department.

The program of additional education department for training church specialists has been implemented at the Moscow Theological Academy since 2014. Currently, it has more than 400 listeners.

MThA Press Office