Theological Academy (SPbDA)


Obvodny Channel emb., 17




The Theological Academy grew out of the school, which, by decree of Peter the Great, was established in 1721 at the Alexander Nevsky Monastery to teach alphabet, writing, arithmetic, grammar and psalteries.

On February 17, 1809, the grand opening of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy took place; The degrees of doctor, master and candidate of theology were introduced.

On June 10, 1817, on the site of the Monastery Island adjacent to the Lavra, Metropolitan Ambrose made the solemn laying and consecration of a place for the new building of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy with the erection of the cross at the base of the “designated in the middle of the house of the Academic Church in the Name of the Twelve Apostles".

The design of the three-story academic building was compiled by architects Luigi (Aloisiy Ivanovich) Ruska and Giacomo Quarenghi. The decoration of the building was led by L. Ruska, and then the architect Joseph Iosifovich Charlemagne. In the middle part of the building at the levels of the second and third floors, there are three large double-decker rooms. There is a temple in the largest central hall, an academic library to the left of it, and an assembly hall with choirs to the right. The interior of the church was made in the style of classicism, its windows overlooking the front facade with an eight-column ionic portico. On the right side of the altar at the church, they arranged a special room for the sacristy.

In 1918, St. Petersburg Theological Seminary was closed, and was revived only in 1946 by decree of His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy I.

Today, the St. Petersburg Orthodox Theological Academy is at the top of its nearly three-century development: the number of students and teachers has reached the highest level, almost all historical buildings have been returned and successfully mastered, taking into account the latest technological achievements, the educational process is developing, scientific, theological and publishing activities are on the rise .

The SPbDA library is one of the largest not only in the Russian Church, but throughout the Orthodox world. Currently, its fund has about 310,000 copies. books, periodicals and sheet music. The library includes books of mainly theological and church-historical content. Especially fully represented are the creations of the Holy Fathers, both eastern and western. The pre-revolutionary library fund was largely preserved.

Academic temples

The Church of the Twelve Apostles in the historical building of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy

The temple was erected in the years 1817-1819 along with the Academy building according to the project of Luigi Ruska and Giacomo Quarenghi. The decoration of the church hall was completed by mid-1819, and on August 26 of the same year, the church in the name of the Saints Twenty Apostles was solemnly consecrated by Metropolitan of Novgorod, St. Petersburg, Estland and Finland (in the world Matvey Mikhailovich Desnitsky, 1762-1821) in the presence of invited members Holy Synod, Commission of Theological Schools and Academic Conference

After the closure of the Petrograd Theological Academy in the autumn of 1918, the Church of Sts. Twenty apostles officially closed by mid-1919. In Soviet times, the building of the Academy and the temple housed educational institutions.

In 1993, members of the corporation and students of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy began the struggle for the return of their historic building and the Church of the Saints of the Twelve Apostles. On November 29, 2013, the entire historical complex of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy together with the temple was returned to its rightful owner.

The academic church in the name of the apostle and evangelist John the Theologian

The church historically belonged to the St. Petersburg Theological Seminary. The seminary, according to the will of Emperor Nicholas I, found a new separate building in 1838-1841. The design of the building in the style of classicism with the house church was compiled by the synodal architect, academician Apollon Fedoseevich Shchedrin (1796-1847). On September 26, 1841, the consecration of the temple was performed by His Grace Filaret (Amphitheater), Metropolitan of Kiev and Galitsky.

After celebrating the 75th anniversary of the seminary, held in 1884, the building was reconstructed. According to the project of the architect Synod Nikolai Nikiforovich Markov, a three-story building with an exterior decoration in Russian style was added from the courtyard along the central axis. The temple was moved to its upper floor, which was consecrated on December 18, 1888 by the Archbishop of Kholm and Warsaw, Leonti (Lebedinsky), later Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomensky.

The church was closed with the Theological Seminary in 1918. During the revival of theological schools, mainly through the zeal of Metropolitan Gregory (Chukov), the church was consecrated on October 8, 1946 in its original place.

In the church in the name of the apostle and evangelist John the Theologian, there is a miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin Mary “The Sign” of Tsarskoye Selo, the family shrine of the Romanov dynasty. It appeared in Russia in the 17th century, when Patriarch Athanasius of Constantinople presented the image to Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. After the founding of the new capital, St. Petersburg, Peter I transferred the icon to the palace on the Neva. In the spring of 1948, with the blessing of Metropolitan Grigory (Chukov) of Leningrad and Novgorod, the icon was transferred to the revived Leningrad Theological Academy.

House Academic Church in honor of the Assumption of the Mother of God

On the ground floor of the historic seminary building in the late 1960s, a house church was built in honor of the Assumption of the Mother of God. The peculiarity of the temple is a small altar barrier, which allows you to get an excellent view of the altar. The interior is fully preserved and conveys the spirit of that era in the life of our Church. In 1999, a team of St. Petersburg artists renewed the murals of the house church.

The temple is currently used for Sunday School services.