Today, 30 years ago, first lessons started at Tartu Academy of Theology with 30 students. A year and a half earlier, Estonia had regained its independence after being 50 years under atheistic Soviet occupation. Pastor Eenok Haamer, founder of Tartu Academy, had witnessed the suffering of the Estonian people who lived decades surrounded by atheistic propaganda. He had a vision for the future. God showed him that once their fervently prayed-for freedom would return, there would be a great need to educate Estonian men and women so that they would be able to carry on God’s work and clearly communicate the principles of the Bible. 30 years ago this vision was realized.
We are very thankful for initial financial support of $10,000 that was raised by a group of American pastors who had visited Estonia in spring of 1992. They opened a door for this great history and remarkable achievements.
Today we have Home of Hope Christian outreach center and all different activities that are changing lives in Estonia:
- 132 bachelor and master students currently learning at Tartu Academy and Lutheran Seminary
- 20 new bachelor and master students admitted this autumn
- 200 students attending Bible School during three years
- 21,500 calls have been made to the Pastoral Care 24/7 telephone line during the last 20 months
- About 80 young people participate in various youth events
- 600 people have visited Home of Hope to attend various seminars and conferences
- Christian radio, located at Home of Hope, broadcasts throughout a 1.5-2 million square mile area
- Our Pastoral Care Center is having good co-operation with local governments and is offering pastoral care for Estonian people
On the picture below is one of the lectures that was held in one small chapel at the very beginning of TAT.
Here are some thoughts from our alumni:
The atmosphere of the Academy has always been homely and warm, full of spirituality. The small size of the school enabled direct communication at all levels (students, teachers, administration). There was no bureaucratic top management level typical of large schools.
The Academy managed to cope successfully despite constant economic problems. This was the best proof for all of us of the divine miracle and blessing. Rector Eenok Haamer acted as a truly wise and determined leader who was able to deepen in us a firm hope for the future and faith in God even when it was humanly difficult to find hope.
Very different, very interesting and very lovely people got together in this school. God has a habit of making miracles, sometimes he uses people to bring this miracle to us at the cost of hard sweat and tears. Thank God for the people whose sweat, tears and prayers keep this school going.
We pray God’s blessing on all of you who have helped us to survive and move forward through this 30 years. We do not intend to stop our work, but our goal is to continue the work of God’s kingdom for generations to come. Please, stay in partnership with us!
Pastor Siimon Haamer
President of Tartu Academy of Theology