On May 22 and 23, 2023, the Institute of Distance Learning of STOU hosted the final certification for the students of continuing education program in Theology.
Twenty students were admitted to the final colloquium and successfully passed it: most of the graduates are from Moscow and Moscow region, but there are also graduates from Nizhny Novgorod, Irkutsk, Kamyshin (Volgograd region), the village of Mogilevka (Tver region), Novosibirsk, Piatigorsk, the village of Rodino (Altai region), and Samara. Two graduates live in Minsk (Belarus), and one graduate is from Monte Carlo (Monaco).
On June 10, diplomas were awarded to graduates in the Conciliar Chamber of the Moscow Eparchy House. Only part of the graduating group was able to come to the historical building where the Local Council of 1917–1918 was held and personally receive the diplomas handed to them by Archpriest Gennadii Egorov, Director of the Institute of Distance Learning. It was especially nice to see graduates from other cities there.
Andrei Ivanov, an employee of the Sobornaya Palata Historical, Cultural and Educational Center, gave the guests a tour of the Moscow Eparchy House, telling them about the history of the Local Council and the reconstruction of the building. Then, in the St Vladimir Church, a prayer service was served, at which Archpriest Gennadii Egorov concelebrated with Deacon Vladimir Kazakov, a graduate of the program.
In his valedictory address, the director of the Institute reminded the graduates: “Woe to the theologian who studies theology so that later his brother or sister can say: ‘You do this, you do it wrong, you should do it this way…’. It is unlikely that the Lord is pleased with such theology, such fruit. But if we study theology in order to constantly say to ourselves: ‘Do this, and this better not to do, do this, and run away from this as from fire’, and if this study allows us to better understand the will of God, this is all good and perfect, then there is hope that someone will learn something from us. […] I congratulate you on the completion of your formal studies and I pray from the bottom of my heart that the Lord will not deprive you of your informal studies, that true knowledge of our Spirit which makes us heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven,” Father Gennadii concluded his address to the audience.
The video of the diploma presentation is available on the IDL YouTube channel: