A correspondence department graduation ceremony at the Moscow Theological Academy.
On February 15th correspondence department graduates were given their certificates. After that they hold a public prayer at the relics of St. Sergius of Radonezh.
After the Divine Liturgy the bishop of Zvenigorod Pitirim, Rector of the Moscow Theological Academy, greeted correspondent graduates and presented them High School certificates.
Bishop Pitirim also wished the graduates to do not stop on the achieved and encouraged to continue their further education.
Nowadays it is impossible for a priest to be illiterate or uneducated as things change pretty quickly. This day is quite unusual. First of all, we celebrate the Presentation Christ in the Temple when two Testaments – Old and New – meet. Secondly, it is a graduation day for all our correspondence department students which is like meeting on site and correspondence academy wings. And it also happens only once a year. I would like to congratulate all of you on successfully finishing your studying process and getting these long-awaited certificates. However, it does not mean that your education if finished. It has just started. Here at the Moscow Theological Academy you were taught how to study, do a research, find the right theological literature. Clearly, they were only some basic steps and skills for your further self-development. Now it is the time to approve your knowledge. In recent years, things have dramatically changed, so a modern priest has to be well-educated. Twenty years ago it was quite easy to engage in polemics with our opponents as they also were rather ignorant and illiterate. Knowing Catechesis was enough to start debates. Nevertheless, our enemies of the time are gone from us according to Apostol Paul “they gone from us but were not with us”. So the ones who now leave Church are well-educated theologically and they consciously hate Christ, an Orthodox religion and the Christians. So it is getting even more and more difficult to discuss some theological issues with them as they are brilliantly prepared. And to win in the debates we also have to be ready and have enough knowledge to answer all tricky questions. That is why we need to study and get our education for. Another important thing is a prayer. The lack of knowledge is often fulfilled by it. If you pray and maintain a selfless lifestyle, no one will notice that you do not know something. I would like to heartily congratulate you one more time and wish you to continue your education further. God bless you all!»
After an official ceremony all the graduates went to the Trinity church to thank St. Sergius for his holy support. A public service was held by the bishop of Rubtsov and Aley Roman together with the bishop of Iskitim and Cherepanov Luka and clerical academic teachers with correspondence department graduates.
At the end a group photo was taken.
The MThA Press Office