Today, Monday, October 23, 2023, there has been the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the Volos Academy for Theological Studies (represented by its Director, Pantelis Kalaitzidis), the Estonian Orthodox Church through its Theological Institute (represented by Tauri Tölpt, on behalf of His Eminence Stefanos, Metropolitan of Estonia) and the University of Tartu (represented by Roland Karo, Head of the School of Theology and Religious Sciences). The memorandum aims to develop academic and educational cooperation and promote mutual understanding between the organizations involved, with the exchange of researchers, students and doctoral candidates, and also of professors, researchers and other research and administrative staff, exchange of books, journals and copies of archival material, exchange of information on ongoing projects, on available scholarships, grants and particular joint perspectives in relation to funding opportunities, joint organization of events, scientific conferences, seminars, fieldwork, workshops, etc., publications, and promotion of any other academic collaboration.
The memorandum comes to institutionalize a collaboration that has started long time ago, and recently (September 2023) intensified with the launch of the educational program "The Orthodox Church and contemporary challenges", which is carried out with the cooperation of the three organizations and which examines burning issues of the modern era such as the ecological crisis and ecotheology, spirituality and the "New Age", nationalism, ethnophyletism and imperialist theological-political narratives, psychology, psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in their relationship with theology, etc. A special mention of this program was made by the President of Estonia, Alar Karis, in his meeting with the H.A.H. the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who visited Estonia at the end of last September.
The signing of the memorandum of cooperation was attended by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Volos Academy, His Eminence Ignatius (Georgakopoulos), Metropolitan of Demetrias and His Eminence Grigorios (Papathomas), Metropolitan of Peristeri and Member of the Board of Directors of the Volos Academy, which for a number of years has been a Professor at the University of Tartu.
The signing of the memorandum was completed with the exchange of gifts between the Greek and Estonian sides.