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Lutheran School of Theology in Gothenburg Lutheran High School Gothenburg

Swedish Evangelical Lutheran
Education Foundation (SELEF)
Swedish name: Peter Isaac Béens Utbildningsstiftelse

wedish Evangelical Lutheran Education The context
Foundation (SELEF) is a school orga- Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Education Foun-
nisation with three different schools in dation is a part of the confessional movement
Gothenburg (Göteborg) on the Swedish west within the Lutheran church in Sweden as it has
coast. Here we have a Christian ‘gymnasium’ shown up in the Church of Sweden. Today the
which is a school for young people 16-19 years Church of Sweden is a very liberal church with
old, preparing for university studies. Then we all its signs. Sweden is also a much secularised
have a theological institute or seminary which country with a high rate of divorces, abortions,
prepares for pastoral or missionary ministry. We homo­sexual partnerships. A highly increasing
also have a one year Bible school for people of dif- Islamic population is shaping a new situation
ferent ages. with many challenges. Here SELEF has its call
from the Lord.
The background
This school organisation was established 1924 The confession
with the main purpose to support young men in The different works through the three schools
their preparations to become pastors within the within the foundation are – according to the
Lutheran Church in Sweden. Committed pastors statutes – to be built on the Bible (which is the
such as Peter Isaac Béen († 1931) and Lars Mag- true word of God, the true witness of Christ the
nus Engström († 1950) worked hard to find ways only Saviour, the infallible guide in every aspect
to support skilled and poor young men on their it teaches and is trustworthy due to inspiration
way to the ministry. And still is the central pur- by the Holy Spirit) and the Book of Concord,
pose of this foundation to support the recruiting which gives us the right understanding of the
and education of evangelical Lutheran pastors. Scriptures.
International contacts
The foundation has many international con-
tacts both in Scandinavia and further abroad, in
the Baltic States, different countries in Europe,
Africa, the U.S.A. and Japan, both in the field of
theological education and on the more basic level.
The board of the foundation is anxious to deepen
these contacts.

Rev. Dr. Bengt Birgersson
Secretary of Education

Lutheran School of Theology in Gothenburg

he Lutheran School of Theology, Gothen- Between 1993 and 1997 LST had its premises
burg (in Swedish: Församlingsfakulteten within the walls of the Christian High School,
i Göteborg) was created in 1993. but as both institutions grew, LST moved in 1997
As early as in 1904 a Swedish Lutheran pastor, to a house located close to the University Library
Peter Isaac Béen, had the vision of creating a theo- of Gothenburg.
logical institution in Gothenburg, but because of For some years, from 1993 onwards, the Lutheran
lack of support the plans were dropped. School of Theology mostly gave supplementary
Some 20 years later his vision was revived , and courses. This means that most of the students be-
he managed to get support from many pastors longed the (secular) University of Gothenburg,
and congregations all over Sweden. undertakning studies of religion there.
He didn’t find it possible, however, to create an The Board and Staff of LST were not, however,
independent theological institution. Instead he satisfied with being dependent on the agnostic
managed to open a Christian High School (now teaching in a secular university.
called L M Engströms gymnasium or Lutheran For this reason LST develop a programme of
High School Gothenburg) which was to prepare studies in theology which is totally independent,
young male candidates for the pastoral ministry called TU in Swedish.
within Church of Sweden.
It took almost 70 (or almost 90 years!) for his Normally the students of TU study either 3 years
original idea – an academic, Lutheran theological (following a pastoral or a mission oriented pro-
traning - to be come into existence! gramme), or study 1 year, getting a basic year of
In 1993 the Board of L M Engströms gymnasium
decided to create a Bible conservative, Lutheran Since some years, LST is involved in an accredita-
institution with the aim of training students of tion process with EEAA, European Evangelical
theology for the pastoral ministry and other kinds Accrediting Association. We hope that this will
of Christian work. give us a possibility of award those students who
This institution is now internationally known have successfully studied for three years an inter-
as the Lutheran School of Theology, Gothenburg, nationally recognized Bachelor of Theology.
LST, and has now existed for 15 years. Although the number of students so far hasn’t
been very big, and there is an intake only every
second year, many students have been very suc- It can also be noted that our international con-
cessful. tacts are both good and reaching far, especially
One is now undertaking doctoral studies in with the Nordic and Baltic countries, but also
Great Britain, and three others have recently with Germany, USA and East Africa. Quite many
started or finished studies post-graduate studies of the students make their internship abroad.
(USA, Norway, China).
It can also be noted that most of the Faculty mem- Rev. Dr. Rune Imberg
bers are Doctors (D.Th or Ph.D.), these doctorates Principal
emanating from three different countries (Sweden,
Finland, USA). One faculty member recently got a
University position in Great Britain.

Many of the students are now ordained for the
holy ministry and serve in different Lutheran
churches, several of them serve within the Mis-
sion Province.

Lutheran High School Gothenburg

he School was founded 1924 by confes- tions and a weekly divine service in Gothenburg
sional pastors with support from wide Cathedral, often lead by the Chaplain of the
groups of faithful Christian in south school, Rev Olle Fogelqvist or the Principal Rev.
west Sweden. The aim was double: to develop an Fredrik Sidenvall. We are proud to keep up the
educational program independent of the official tradition on teaching Latin and to offer a course
system that was being influenced by modernism in Lutheran dogmatic.
and liberal theology and to make it possible for The School recruits its students from Gothen-
young men from smaller economical circum- burg and south west but has also a few interna-
stances to achieve the exam of the Gymnasium tional students. We take part in different interna-
and so go on to study theology to become pastors tional programs. We have a Higher Thing group
in the Church of Sweden. that is preparing to take part in Higher Things
Since the early 1990´s new legislations in Swe- Youth Conference in USA. We are establishing
den promote free schools. The school now has cooperation with St Paul Lutheran High School,
around 450 students in three programs, so- Concordia, Missouri and we support an aid
cial sciences with classics, natural science and project in Romania. Our ambition is to take all
music. Our foundation the seniors on a tour to the European continent
has required the histori- to visit Wittenberg and Lützen.
cal Bishops palace and In our pedagogic basic view we are introducing
an adjacent historical the ideas of Aaron Antonovsky and what he refers
building in down town to as Sense of Coherence.
Gothenburg. Our School holds a top position among High
Our Lutheran founda- Schools in Sweden in terms of students being ac-
tion and profile comes cepted into Swedish universities.
through in the daily
work at the school in Rev. Fredrik Sidenvall
compulsory bible classes, daily morning devo-
The aim of the foundation is to promote recruiting
and education of ministers of the Word ...
(from the 1st § of the statutes of the foundation)

Bible School Gothenburg Board and administration

n August 2007 the foundation started a wedish Evangelical Lutheran Education
new education, a bible school. This is a bible Foundation is lead by a nine member’s
education with courses in the Old Testa- board, elected by the board of one of the
ment, the New Testament, dogmatic, church Lutheran confessional associations in Sweden.
history, and cure of souls, “A life in prayer and Chairman is the book store manager Per Bode-
liturgy, “God’s plan for my life” and “Building mar.
the church”. This is a course lasting one year and The administration and financial office are
is open for Christians of different ages, young located in the same house as the Lutheran High
people not yet knowing about there future, more School Gothenburg and lead by the controller
mature Christians having a break from a job in Eva Odengård , who has a Master of Science in
society or church. Business administration and Economics.
Most of the teachers teach normally at either the The board has also employed Rev. Dr Bengt
seminary or the high school. Leader is Rev. Olle Birgersson to represent the foundation and being
Fogelqvist. responsible for international contacts, to support
This school is a joint the board in its leading of the foundation and to
venture together with execute its decisions.
another foundation Economy
called “Markusstiftel­ Lutheran High School Gothenburg is mainly
sen”. financed by support from the state. Lutheran
School of Theology is financed only by donations
and fundraising. The Bible School Gothenburg
is financed both by some support from the state
Rev. Olle Fogelqvist and by fundraising.

How to reach us?
Lutheran School of Theology in Gothenburg
PIBUS jan 2008. Layout: Stefan Nyholm

Lutheran High School Gothenburg:
Bible School Gothenburg

E-mail addresses
Rev. Dr. Rune Imberg
Rev. Fredrik Sidenvall
Rev. Olle Fogelqvist
Rev. Dr. Bengt Birgersson
M Sc. in Ba and Econ. Eva Odengård
Chairman Per Bodemar