The story of Sankt Ignatios began during the 1990's when the Christian Council of Sweden was divided into four Churches: a Lutheran, a Catholic, a Nonconformist and an Orthodox. In this way the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches were brought together in a way that was unique. This presented a challenge with cooperation in relation to other Churches. The Churches had neither the resources nor the competence to meet this challenge. The situation changed in 2001 with the initiative of the ecumenical educational association Bilda to organise a department for orthodox studies and education. This brought the Orthodox Churches closer and they also received support for their local congregations.
In 2010 it became obvious that a department within Bilda was not sufficient. The Churches needed a place where a new leadership could form and where the Churches could meet for studies and sharing of knowledge. Therefore the Churches, together with Bilda and Botkyrka folk high school, created a centre for Eastern Christian studies, which was later reformed to the Sankt Ignatios theological academy in 2012, with Botkyrka folk high school and Bilda as partners.
Since July 1, 2016 Sankt Ignatios folk high school is an independent state-funded folk high school. The academy is also a part of the Stockholm School of Theology. This means that today Sankt Ignatios can offer everything from general entry requirements to post-graduate studies in theology with an Eastern Christian focus. We have full educational programs for future priests and religious educators.
Sankt Ignatios establishment as an independent educational institution which serves both Oriental Orthodox as well as Eastern Orthodox Churches is an impactful event by both Swedish and international standards.