Pastoral Seminary

Since 1995 the Pastoral Seminary has been the place where the prospective candidates for ordained ministry have received their necessary preparation to be ordained in the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church.

The Pastoral Seminary provides professional training for the prospective priest candidates who have higher specialised theological education and have passed the pro venia concionandi examination before the special examination board. The one year training course integrates pastoral theology with internship, individual learning, introductory lectures, reflections and practical training.
The Pastoral Seminary also provides diaconal training for the diaconal candidates sent to study by the Consistory.

The main emphasis of the Pastoral Seminary study year is on the spiritual growth (praxis pietatis) thought regular communal prayer and worship life of the Seminary, Bible study, counselling and pastoral care. Corporate and personal spiritual growth are of crucial significance for the candidate's formation process and future ministry.

The Pastoral Seminary gives in depth knowledge in practical theology subjects: homiletics, liturgics, religious education, diaconal ministry, ecumenism, cybernetics and professional ethics for ordained ministry. Studies in the Pastoral Seminary are conducted mostly in the form of seminar and are organised as follows: individual learning, introductory lectures, internship and reflections. The ordination candidates also study the Augsburg Confession for the contemporary context, liturgical song, speech technique, legislation, economics, bookkeeping, record management; they receive training in heritage conservation and in many other necessary areas.

Internship supervisors and placement churches play an important role for the student both during the studies in the Pastoral Seminary and in later ministry.
At the end of the study year the students will sit the pro ministerio concionandi examination, the prerequisite for applying for the ordination to the priesthood in the EELC. The examination will be conducted by the archbishop of the EELC.

The call to ministry is one of the most beautiful calls of God. It enables to meet numerous people at the most significant occasions of their lives and help them to give meaning to these moments. Only an ordained minister has the right to serve people by hearing confessions and ministering the Lord's Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in our church. The minister has the privilege to be a faithful intercessor, to proclaim the crucified and risen Christ and the Good News of eternal life.
Pastoral Seminary statistics:
Between 1995 and 2018, 132 people have studied in the Pastoral Seminary, 110 of them have received the priestly ordination in the EELC.

Leaders of the Pastoral Seminary:
1995-1998 Revd Paul-Gerghardt Hoerschelmann (of Baltic German origin);
1998-2012 Revd Ove Sander, PhD;
since autumn 2012 Bishop Einar Soone.