Moscow Spiritual Academy

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Moscow Spiritual Academy ( Russian Московская духовная академия , scientific transliteration Moskovskaja duhovnaja akademija ) is an ecclesiastical college on the site of the Trinity Monastery of Sergiev Posad in northeast Moscow Oblast .


The Moscow Spiritual Academy is the most important educational institution of the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate). Clerics usually study there after they have been ordained to prepare for higher duties in the Church .

A distance learning is possible, mainly for priests abroad, mostly monks , who need to continue their education for the acquisition of an ecclesiastical office.


Monument to the Lichud brothers at Moscow's Epiphany Monastery
The Zaikonospassky monastery, once the seat of the academy

The Moscow Spiritual Academy was founded in 1687 at the instigation of the Lichud brothers ( Sophronius Lichud and Joanniki Lichud ) as a Slavic-Greek-Latin school after Tsar Fyodor III. had signed the founding decree in 1686. The school was the first higher educational institution in Moscow.

Under the reign of Tsar Peter I , the school grew and was converted into a higher theological institution, especially since many secular schools were established during this time, which ensured the education of the population. In 1721 the school was subordinated to the Holy Synod .

In 1775 it was officially named "Slavic Greek-Latin School" and its educational mission was coordinated with the seminary of the Trinity Monastery.

During the 19th century, the former Greek-Latin school became the first theological school of the Russian Orthodox Church. Among the professors were the important historian Vasily Osipovich Klyuchevsky and the Christian philosopher Pavel Alexandrovich Florensky . Since 1892 the Moscow Spiritual Academy has published the most prestigious journal for Orthodox theology, called Bogoslowski westnik . Gorski-Platonow and Pawel Alexandrowitsch Florensky were among their editors.

After the October Revolution, the Moscow Spiritual Academy was closed by the Bolsheviks in 1918 . Some professors, among them the rector , Archbishop Fyodor Posdejewski, as well as I. W. Popow and Pawel Alexandrowitsch Florensky, switched to the informal higher theological school in Moscow, where only a few students remained.

In September 1943, at the summit of World War II for Russia , the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin met three leading archbishops of the Russian Orthodox Church and agreed with them a new policy of cooperation with the Orthodox Church in Russia. He promised recognition of the higher theological school and held out the prospect of reopening. As promised, the school opened in Novodevichy Convent on July 14, 1944 . It was the first officially accredited theological training institution in the Soviet Union. The teaching was initiated by Grigory Chukov, Archbishop of Saratov . The rector was Sergei Vasilyevich Savinsky (1877-1954).

In 1946 the Theological Institute was transformed into what is now the Moscow Spiritual Academy. A year later, in 1947, the Academy received the right to confer the titles of candidate nauk ( candidate of science , first post-graduate degree in the former USSR ), doctor and professor.

In 1949 the Moscow Spiritual Academy was allowed to return to its original location in the Trinity Monastery of Sergiev Posad, where the Spiritual Academy is still located today. Most of the younger bishops and theologians of the Russian Orthodox Church graduated from the Moscow Academy.

Notable graduates

Web links


  1. Савинский, Сергий Васильевич , short biography (Russian), accessed on July 29, 2019.