Spiritual Dimensions to Elite Academic Training

Metropolitan Georgy of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas presided over the meeting of the Spiritual and Scientific Center in Sarov, held on September 25, 2021.

The Spiritual and Scientific Center, where leading scientists, politicians, and businessmen meet to discuss issues of national importance, was created with blessings from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia in 2013. Its founders are the Russian federal nuclear center, and the Sarov monastery of the Dormition of the Mother of God, home to the famous Russian Saint - St. Serafim of Sarov.

Focusing on the National Center for Physics and Mathematics (NCPM), the recent meeting just opened in Sarov, a town where the first Soviet A-bomb was produced back in 1951. Based with the Sarov branch of the Moscow State University (MSU), NCPM was created with a goal to train top class physicians and mathematicians.

However, teaching math and physics should be seen as only one part of academic elite training. Speaking at the meeting of the Spiritual and Scientific Center, Andrey Klepach, vice-chairman of the Vnesheconombank, said that the new generation of leaders must not only possess a strong intellectual potential, but also share Orthodox Christian beliefs.

He suggested that a basic program of religious education could be introduced for the MSU Sarov students, which could include a series of dialogues on science and faith. Metropolitan Georgy agreed that fundamental projects like the NCPM could be most instrumental for further development of science. “Yet, academic studies simply must be combined with a spiritual education program.”