EELK USUTEADUSE INSTITUUT is the Institute of Theology of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church. Professor of New Testament, Dr. Randar Tasmut is the Rector of the Institute.


Biblical studies have been one of the central areas of research at the Institute of Theology of the EELC for several years. Some examples of the recent topics are: in June 2007 Master’s theses on the problems concerning the Edict of Cyrus was completed. Another work for Master’s degree will be completed in spring 2008 that analyses and compares the use of the words „way, life, and truth” in Synoptic gospels and in John. In August 2007 first doctoral students (six) have begun with their studies. Their topics are, however, other than those of Early Christianity. They include social and ethical topics as well as historical studies.

At the present time a team of three persons carry out a three year research project (2006-2008) Introduction to the Early Christian Way of Thinking. The project is supported by the Estonian Scientific Foundation, Grant Nr. 6849.

The goal of the project is to describe and analyse some elements of the way of thinkimg that were decisive for the formation of the identity of the new movement. Attention is paid to the concepts of gospel, lord(ship), authority, and truth in the use of Early Christian writers.

The areas of research are:

1) Mystical aspects of Early Christianity, especially in Paul. The concepts of holy and holiness in Paul. These aspects are studied by Dr Theol. Arne Hiob.

2) An attempt to describe the trajectory of ideas, i.e. the history of ideas. This part of the project has in mind the works of Lazar Gulkowitsch, a former professor of Judaic studies at the University of Tartu between the two World Wars. The begriffsgeschichtliche Methode of Gulkowitsch is not yet fully utilised until today. (Mag Theol Urmas Nõmmik, a doctoral student, his dissertation at Marburg would be completed in 2008, his supervisor is Prof. Otto Kaiser).

3) Concepts of soul and body (especially in Luke); the meaning of the concept euaggelion in Paul (and before Paul) with the association with the meaning of the phenomenon of emperor cult to the hearers and readers of Paul. How the early Christians used the concept of euaggelion? Their proclamation was new but at the same time based on already used terms and were thus in a certain way comprehensible to the hearers and readers. Dr Theol Randar Tasmuth concentrates on these themes.

Mag theol Vallo Ehasalu from the University of Tartu has agreed to be part of the project. He too studies the concept of the gospel and the meaning of the word euaggelion. He is a lecturer at the institute and agreed to cooperate with the NordForsk project Early Christianity in its Greco-Roman Context.

General information: Institute of Theology of the EELC

The Institute of Theology of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church is an educational centre for the entire church as a place there theological education is developed, coordinated and given to the theologians, clergy and church co-workers in various ministries, the complementary theological, pedagogical and musical training (hopefully a life-long one) is provided for clergy and laymen, and there theological research and publishing of theological literature takes place.

In addition to the congregation-related ministries (clergy, cantors, Sunday school teachers, youth leaders), also those dedicated to the social and prison work, and teachers of religious education in schools (pedagogical branch), are being prepared for their work. The pastoral seminary is obligatory for all graduated theologians who wish to become priests within the EELC. There will be practical work in congregations in addition to the lectures of practical theology.

Institute of Theology of the EELC

Pühavaimu 6, 10123 Tallinn, ESTONIA, phone +372 611 7400, fax +372 611 7402


Institute of Theology of the EELC
Rector Rev. Prof. Dr Randar Tasmuth

Head of the Rector's Office Kadri Lääs

Director of the library Mag. Urmas Nõmmik

Director of the Department of Sacred Music Kadri Ploompuu

Manager of Diaconia study programs Vaike Salveste

Director of the Pastoral Seminary Rev. Dr Ove Sander

Published Mar. 6, 2010 6:39 PM - Last modified Mar. 6, 2010 6:42 PM