"You shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:8
Shortly after Christ uttered these words, the disciples began to fulfill Jesus' commission. One of the first encounters with a person from "the end of the earth" was between Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. When Philip asked the man if he understood the Scriptures he was reading, he replied, "How can I, unless someone guides me?"
The need for teachers of the Scriptures continues today, and it is for this reason that Hope Russia exists.
Though we call the venue a seminary, it is actually a 3-year intense life-on-life discipling, mentoring, learning experience for pastors. II Timothy 2:2 is one of our guiding passages. And what you have heard from me before many witnesses, entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Our conviction is that the knowledge gained in the classroom is a tool in forming disciples into the image of Jesus Christ, and not as an end in and of itself. II Timothy 2:2 in context, implies that students are not just to hear the voice of leaders but to experience what is written in II Timothy 3:10, 11, 14 as well. Paul said, "You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings ....which persecutions I endured...But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it..."
The Bible teaches that the life of the teacher is the real lesson, not just a man's words. The professors of the Biblical Theological Seminary of St. Petersburg Russia, that is, Evgeni Kruzhkov, Blake Purcell, and all the visiting professors, aim first and foremost to be an example of a Christ-like life to the students, and to share not only the word of God, but their very selves. I Thessalonians 2:8.
We believe that this is why our students are not only growing in Christ, but are working with each other before and after graduation to form a Eurasian-wide presbytery of churches so that the fellowship and momentum of growth and mutual up-building that started for them in the seminary will continue on for their whole lives after graduation.