The Department of Church History is an educational and scientific subunit of the Moscow Theological Academy. The department prepares specialists of high professional qualification in the specialization of the department, it prepares academic and pedagogical staff and improves their qualifications (including higher qualification through postgraduate studies) by uniting educational, methodological and academic work.
The priority direction of the Department's activity is the organization and carrying out of research work, coordination of academic research conducted at the Department; development of the subjects of the Diploma, Master's and Candidate's theses; management of the students' research work and providing post-graduate students academic counceling.
The Department is responsible for the publication of academic research done by the faculty and students. The Department regularly publishes an academic journal called the "Church historian".
The Updating and testing of academic theories and research is carried out with the participation of faculty, staff and students in seminars, conferences, symposiums, scientific societies, as created and convened by the department, as well as at the invitation of other educational, scientific and research institutions.
In order to implement specific scientific and research projects, the Department creates work groups, if necessary involving specialists from other MThA departments and employees of other educational or research institutions in their work.
The basic direction of research in our Department is rooted in the creation of the academic school "History of Russian Church in events and personalities". Among the research work which members of our department and our students present for defense one encounters - works on personalities, on history of dioceses, churhes and monasteries of Russia and the Russian abroad, on history of church-state relations, on historiography, on history of the feat of the New Martyrs and confessors of the Russian Church. Of especial interest are the works devoted to the history of the Moscow Theological Academy. Research on a history of Ancient Russia and the western confessions is also important at the Department.
The modern structure of the department was introduced in 2004 as a result of the reform of higher theological education of the Russian Orthodox Church. The remarkable growth of the Department's influence on the educational and academic life of the Academy is directly related to the deepening of the specialization of academic programs and the organization of the MThA Department of Church History.
At present there are 6 professors, 6 associate professors, 3 senior instructors and 3 instructors at the department. Among them are both experienced lecturers with many years of experience, recognized in the academic world as authoritative researchers and also beginners in the field of theological education and
Members of our department teach at the bachelor's and master's level at the Moscow Theological Academy the following disciplines: History of the Church, History of the Fatherland, History of the Ancient Church, History of the Russian Orthodox Church, History of Western Confessions and Comparative Theology, Recent History of Western Confessions, History of Local Churches, Catholic Theology after the Second Vatican Council, History of the Catholic Church, Historiography of Church History, Church-state relations in XX century, pertinent problems of studying the history of Russia, history of the ancient world, auxiliary historical disciplines, relevant problems of studying the history of the Church till 1054, hagiography and hagiology, source and archival research, history of Old Believers, methodology of a historical investigation. In addition, the department organizes and conducts class and field practices. The department is constantly developing new courses and electives of the historical specialization, as well as improving and updating the basic disciplines.
Long and constructive relations connect our department with the Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, with the Moscow Kremlin Museums, with the State Historical Museum, with the Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts, with the State Archive of the Russian Federation, with the specialized departments of spiritual and secular educational institutions, with educational and enlightenment structures of the dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The activities of the Department are managed by the Head of the Department of Church History. This position has been held by Professor Alexey Svetozarsky since September 1, 2004. Secretary of the Department of Church History - Archpriest Sergius Zabelich.