Sankt Ignatios had its beginnings in the 1990's when the Christian Council of Sweden organized itself as consisting of four major Church branches: a Lutheran, a Catholic, a Nonconformist and an Orthodox. The Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox 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. This presented a 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 ecumenical 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 obvious that a department within Bilda was not sufficient to meet the growing needs of the Orthodox community. The Churches required a platform where they could develop new leadership and where the Churches could meet for study and the sharing of knowledge. As a result the Churches, in cooperation with Bilda and Botkyrka folk high school, created a centre for Eastern Christian studies, which was later reestablished as Sankt Ignatios theological academy in 2012, with Botkyrka folk high school and Bilda as partners.
Since July 1st, 2016 Sankt Ignatios folk high school is an independent, state-funded folk high school. The academy is also part of the Stockholm School of Theology. This means that today Sankt Ignatios can offer education ranging from general education at primary and secondary level, all the way up to postgraduate studies in Eastern Christian studies. We have complete programs for training priests and religious educators.
The establishment of Sankt Ignatios as an independent educational institution which serves both Oriental Orthodox as well as Eastern Orthodox Churches is a significant milestone by both Swedish and international standards.