КЛБІ 2015

Dear friends!

We are happy to invite you to the

"Tomos Agapis" 15th Kyiv Summer Theological University,

which will take place

from June 28 to July 11, 2017

in the village of Lyshnya in the vicinity of Kyiv

The topic of the University for this year will be


The annual “Tomos Agapis” Kyiv Summer Theological University, which was launched in 2003, represents alternative forms of ecumenical theological education for both clergy and lay men and women. It is named “Tomos Agapis” after the famous correspondence of Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenogores, which developed the chief ideas of the Unitatis Redintegratio Decree on Ecumenism. 

The first University took place in 2003 in Holy Assumption Kyiv Monastery of Caves (Holy Assumption Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra). Then most of the professors and students were primarily from Ukraine, with an exception of a few lecturers from Moscow.

Starting from 2004, each year the University has taken place in the Orthodox spiritual, educational and social ecumenical centre “The Ark” at the parish of St. Paraskeva of Serbia (parish priest – Archimandrite Philaret (Iegorov)) in the village of Lyshnia, Kyiv region.

Since 2004, the University has proceeded in the same fashion, the international representation increasing year after year. For more than ten years, during two weeks in summer it creates an informal environment for profound theology, philosophy, history and culture studies, as well as for the spiritual reunion of Christians from East and West.

Each year the University has a special topic: like Trust. Dignity. Mercy (2015), Truth. Memory. Reconciliation (2014), Witnessing: Traditions, Forms, Names (2013), among others.

Consisting of 8-10 intensive lecture courses, besides seminars and round tables, KSTU works in several directions: Ecumenical Theology, Contemporary Theology, Christian Culture, Faith in the Public Square, Christian Pedagogy.  Lectures tend to alternate between general introductions and highly focused presentations that demand a suitably trained listener.

Since 2009, the Children’s Academy has become a quite significant element of the University. This program is designed for 10-15 children and teenagers aged 8-15 y.oIt includes “Open Bible” classes, liturgical classes, icon painting and art, theatre, animation, science, poetry, and even sports. As adult students are encouraged to participate as well, they get an excellent opportunity to communicate with kids, to teach and learn from them. In their turn, more mature teenagers attend some of the adult courses.

Common residence in a picturesque area, the possibility of informal communication between students, lecturers, children and guests, regular worship, common meals, the unique atmosphere of a village parochial life  – all of that is an indispensable contribution to the learning process itself and to establishing friendly relations between all the participants.

Describing the progress of the University, which he could observe as a regular participant since 2004, professor Paul Valliere from Butler University (Indianapolis, the USA) commented: “From the very beginning, Lyshnia has been a special, indeed a magical place, and from the very beginning, the theological institute has been an inspired project of lay theological education. But every year, it seems, the place and the project are in even better shape than the year before. This is a project which continues to grow, to flourish and to draw a growing audience of people whose lives have been transformed by their engagement with the Kiev Summer Theological Institute”. Professor Thomas Bremer from the University of Muenster, who came here sounded alike: “It would be quite desirable that the University continues and turns into a stable institution”.
The specific topic for KSTU in 2017 is "FREEDOM. AUTHORITY. SERVICE."

In our days the notions of freedom, authority and service often become distorted and depreciated. For example, freedom often seems to be opposed to authority, and service gets equalized with submission and compulsion. Exactly because of this we need to comprehensively investigate those notions, understand their meaning, and apply them in practice in an appropriate way.

Everything that lives tends to change, and we should make sense of those changes. Every growth involves a risk, but this is unavoidable and necessary for life. The key to understanding changes and finding new ways and solutions lies in the rethinking of the notions of freedom and authority in connection with true service.

The topic “Freedom – Authority – Service” is especially important in the times of crisis. The situation in our country, in Europe and in the world makes us reflect upon how to look for new forms of mutual coexistence of different cultures and worldviews. We believe that Divine revelation and Christian wisdom will help us together comprehend the challenges of contemporary situation and look for ways towards the future. 

In order to become a student of KSTU, please fill in the application form and write an essay on the topic "Freedom. Authority. Service" or on "How to Be a Christian in a Contemporary World?". The application form and the essay should be sent to the address stclementscenter@gmail.com not later than May 16, 2017.

The participants will be provided with accomodation and meals in "The Ark" spiritual, social and cultural centre. In order to compensate the expenses, they need to make a financial contribution of 500 UAH per one week. 

Looking forward to seeing you in the hospitable "Ark"!

"Успенские чтения"