Kazan Theological Academy

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The Kazan Theological Seminary is a continuation of the line of Orthodox theological schools in Diocese of Kazan. Prior to the Bolshevik assumption of power in 1917, the Kazan Theological Academy was the principal theological institution of the Kazan Diocese.


From the time of its organization in the sixteenth century, the Orthodox Church in the Kazan area of Russia has been missionary in its outlook, serving in the frontier of Christianity among a large pagan population, an area that still contains a large non-Christian population. . The development of theological education in Kazan began with the establishment, in 1718, of a school for education of children of the clergy in the Kazan area. This school was followed by the opening of the Kazan Slavonic-Latin School in 1723. This school, in turn, was reorganized as the Kazan Theological Seminary in 1732.

The first attempt to teach at a higher academic level was the founding of the Kazan Theological Academy in 1798. This school could not be sustained successfully as an academy and was reorganized again in 1818 as the Kazan Theological Seminary. In 1842, the Theological Academy was revived and continued to operate until the Bolshevik revolution in 1917. At the time of its organization in 1842, the academy became the fourth theological academy in the Russian Empire. During the following years a notable number of men were included among the professor and students of the academy. These included: Victor Ivanovich Nesmelov - a philosopher, Ilia (Elias) Berdnikov - an expert in church law, Peter Vasilievich Znamensky - a historian, and Gordiy Semenovich Sablukov - an islamic authority.

In 1847, the Kazan academy established a committee of translations that supported the missionary efforts of the Kazan Diocese among the non-Christian peoples of the diocese.

It was during the time that Archbishop Gregory (Postnikov) was the ruling bishop of the Kazan Diocese (1848 to 1856) that the Academy received an old library from the Solovetsky Monastery on the White Sea. This acquistion enriched the academy’s library greatly. Later, it was under the tenure of Bp. Anthony (Khrapovitsky) as rector (1895 to 1900) that the theological education at the academy reached its fullest flower.

The Kazan Academy produced more than eighty students who later were consecrated bishops, many who became martyrs in the twentieth century. Among these martyred bishops were: the rector of the academy Metr. Anatolius (Grisyuk); Abps. Athanasous (Malinin), Victor (Ostrovidov), Gabriel (Abolimov), German (Ryashentsev), and Gurias (Stepanov); and Bps. Joasaph (Udalov), Juvenal (Maslovsky), John (Poyarkov), Job (Rogozhin), and many others.

The Kazan Academy was closed as the Bolsheviks took over the government of Russia in 1917 and 1918.

In September 1997, theological eduction returned to the Kazan Diocese as the Kazan Theological School was opened. The school was later reorganized as the Kazan Theological Seminary. The seminary has produced a five-year long theological course of study that provides educated clergy for the Kazan diocese as well as many neighboring regions.