ST. CYRIL AND METHODIUS DEPARTMENT OF THEOLOGYThe department began its work in 1992, being the first department of theology in the former Soviet Union and in Belarus. Its activity is based on the principles of Christian methodology and the idea of Christian social service. The Department of Theology functions within the system of secular higher education. The theology program takes 5-6 years and includes the bachelors and the masters degrees, with the humanities, languages, and special disciplines as essential aspects of the curriculum.
The theology field of concentration was first officially offered in the Republic of Belarus in 1995, on the initiative of the Dean of the Department, Patriarch's Exarch of all Belarus, Metropolitan Philaret, and Rector of the university academician A. Mikhailov, with the assistance of the Ministry of Education and Science. This allows graduates of the department to get a state accredited diploma after their graduation from the university.
The Theology Department trains specialists in two qualifications: theology/educator and theology/social worker. After graduating from the university a specialist is prepared for teaching, academic research, management, translating, editing, informational and bibliographical work, and/or archival work and activities in connection with religion.
Specialists are expected to work in educational institutions, academic research institutions, publication, mass media systems, libraries, archives, museums, in state establishments on religious affairs, public charity organizations, and Sunday schools.
The teaching staff consists of highly qualified specialists - candidates of theology, philosophy, philology, humanities, and languages. The Dean of the Department, Metropolitan of Minsk and Slutsk Philaret, is a Honoris Causa Doctor of Theology from various European universities. Many of the instructors are fluent in one or more foreign languages, and candidates of theology, as usual, have an advanced secular education. The department works in cooperation with Moscow State University, the Russian Orthodox University, St.Tikhon Theological Institute, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic College, and also other Orthodox and Catholic educational establishments.
Prominent theologians, such as Protopope John Meyendorf (USA), Bishop Basil Rodsyanko (USA), Metropolitan of Switzerland Damaskin, and Father Andrei Kurayev (Russia) have lectured at EHU.
The program of academic research of the Theological Department is oriented toward the revival of a national theological school and the recreation of the tradition of the presence of the Orthodox Church in the system of university research. Every May Easter Cyril and Methodius readings are held. A student research laboratory has begun to work. The instructors take part in international seminars, conferences, and national and international publishing projects. Within the framework of the university the department has an independent financial status and mechanism of funding.
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