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Religion, Peace and Democracy through Education and Learning

The Sankt Ignatios Foundation

History

Sankt Ignatios’ story began during the 1990’s when the Christian Council of Sweden organised itself as consisting of four major Church branches: a Lutheran, a Catholic, a Nonconformist and an Orthodox.

The Byzantine and Oriental Churches were to share a common platform in relation to other Churches, a unique situation which made it necessary for the two distinct Church families to cooperate. But working together in relation to other Churches was a considerable challenge, which the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches had neither the resources nor the competence to meet. This situation changed in 2001 thanks to the adult educational association Bilda and their initiative of organising a department for orthodox studies and education. This brought the Orthodox Churches closer together and made resources available for the support of their local congregations.

In 2010 it became clear that a department within Bilda was not sufficient to meet the growing needs of the Orthodox community. The Churches required a platform where a new leadership could be nurtured and where the Churches could meet for study and the sharing of knowledge. As a result, the Churches founded a centre for Eastern Christian Studies in cooperation with Bilda and Botkyrka Folk High School. In 2012 the centre was reestablished as Sankt Ignatios Theological Academy, with Botkyrka Folk High School and Bilda as partners.

On July 1st, 2016, Sankt Ignatios Folk High School became an independent, state-funded folk high school. The academy is also part of University College Stockholm (EHS). This means that today Sankt Ignatios Theological Academy can provide education ranging from basic qualifications in general subjects, all the way up to third cycle university programs in Eastern Christian Studies.

The establishment of Sankt Ignatios as an independent educational institution that serves both Oriental and Byzantine Churches is a significant development by both Swedish and international standards.

Organisation

The foundation’s board consists of:

  • Bishop Abakir, the Coptic-Orthodox Church
  • Metropolitan Dioscoros, the Syriac-Orthodox Church
  • Bishop Dositej, the Serbian-Orthodox Church
  • Metropolitan Julios, the Syriac-Orthodox Church
  • Yusuf Aydin, executive chairman

The board appoints the memebers of the executive committee and the management board.

The executive committee consists of:

  • Yusuf Aydin
  • Greg Krahothin
  • Yaser Kassir
  • Tina Youssefn
  • Tezhale Biazen
  • Anne-Christine Lindvall
  • Tony Zeitoun
  • Sara Tekle
  • Mikael Liljeström
  • Misha Jaksic
  • Joachim Främberg, union representative

The executive committee acts as the board for Sankt Ignatios Folk High School, Sankt Ignatios College and Sankt Ignatios Academy.

The management board consists of:

  • Yusuf Aydin, executive chairman
  • Olle Westberg, Chancellor
  • Fr. Misha Jaksic, Director of External Relations
  • Dr. Michael Hjälm, Dean
  • Daniel Öhrvall, Deputy Dean

The management board prepares the proposals that are brought before the executive committee.

The Sankt Ignatios foundation was founded in the fall of 2012. Here the foundation charter is being signed by the present bishops.