History and tradition
History of Latvian Christian academy in brief:
- 1993.05.13. – License issued by the Ministry of Education and Science, Latvia.
- In 1994 – 2006: a long-term participation in archaeological research project „Emmaus-Latroun” in cooperation with specialists from Finnish Theological institute and Germany under supervision of Israel Antiquities Authority. Teachers and students from LChrA worked in archaeological digs in the Holy Land.
- 1997 – the first State and International accreditation.
- Several visits to the Orthodox monastery of Saint Catherine, Sinai, led to penetrating studies of the theological heritage of the Eastern Church Fathers.
- Latvian Christian academy runs for quality in educational and with value orientation. Teaching and research at the Academy is based on the Church tradition along with involvement in active dialogue with social sciences and humanities, as well as in social dialogue.
- The Bible art faculty (and and academic study programme) has been established in cooperation with Icon painters from Latvia, Russia, Sinai and Israel. Icon painting at the Academy follows the canon of the Church and is meant mainly for Orthodox believing students.
- The first graduation ceremony at the Academy was held in 1998. The unique atmosphere of the day is reflected in words written in the Letter of Appreciation of the State President Mr. Guntis Ulmanis to the Rector of LChrA: „Ministry of your University clearly testifies to successful synthesis of education and Christian faith when we all take part in the rebuilding of our new State.”
- In 2003 LChrA became a member of the ERASMUS European Universities Charter permitting wide-spread mobility to universities of other countries. Active participation in the ERASMUS programmes of the Bologna Process work for wide spectrum of contracted relationships with universities across Europe.LChrA cooperates with universities and research centers in Finland, Germany, Romania, Hungary, Greece, Lithuania, Estonia, Israel and USA as well as with both Catholic and Orthodox research and networking institutions (EZA – supported by EC, IDC, EUROCS, CAC, Semaines Sociales de France, IXE group etc.).
- In 2003 an International Board of Advisors was established.
- In September 2006 the Academy moved in to the just renovated building in Bulduri by the Riga bay. Spacious and comfortable facilities, classrooms, artist’s studios, Academic library, cafe are open for students. The Academy is located in the midst of beautiful nature – just a dozen meters from the Baltic Sea shore!
- Since 2006 the Academy works under the blessings of HE Metropolitan of the Latvian Orthodox Church Alexander.
- The Academy develops its own academic and pedagogical tradition. In May 2002 the first degree Doctor Honoris Causa was awarded to Dr William Bell from the SHUV Research institute (Seattle, WA). In 2007 the DrHC was awarded to Metropolitan of the Latvian Orthodox Church Latvia Alexander – the first time ever when the degree from the University was awarded to a clergy of such high status. In 2008 the DrHC was awarded to two members of the Latvian Parliament Mrs. Aija Barča and Mrs. Baiba Rivža. In 2010 the DrHC was awarded to Mr Jan Gossner, Principal of Evangelical Lutheran College, Norway, and Mr Eskil Albertsson, former President of the Swedish Alliance Mission, Sweden. In 2011 the DrHC was conferred to Mr Jerald Borgie, Senior pastor of the Penasquitos Lutheran Church (California, USA). In 2014 the DrHC was conferred to prof. Dr. Dr. Klaus Kießling from Institut für Pastoralpsychologie und Spiritualität; Seminar für Religionspädagogik, Katechetik und Didaktik; Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule Sankt Georgen (Germany). In 2018 the DrHC was conferred to Mr George van Durtanossky (Germany, The Netherlands) – calligrapher and Medieval iluminated manuscripts specialist.
- In 2012 Latvian Christian academy underwent European expertise of study directions and was ranked among the best universities in Latvia.
- In 2012 rector of Latvian Christian acaxdemy prof. Skaidrīte Gūtmane, prof. Jānis N. Vējš and assist. prof. Dace Dolace were awarded by the Ministry of Education and Science for excellent achievements in higher education.
- In 2013 Latvian Christian academy underwent regular State and European expertise of study directions quality and all study programmes were awarded with accreditation for maximum duration, i.e., 6 years (till 2019). Experts’ evaluated all study programmes as “qualitative, sustainable study opportunities”.
- Rector of Latvian Christian academy Dr., prof. Skaidrīte Gūtmane has been awarded with the order of Russian Orthodox Church of St Olga (2008) and the order of Latvian Orthodox Church of St John (Pommers) of Riga (2011).
- Diploma issued by LChrA was awarded with the quality hallmark of the European Commision executive agency EACEA (Diploma Supplement Quality Label) (2014). The decision was made following criteria prescribed by the document “ECTS DS Guidelines for applicants”.
- Latvian Christian academy was awarded with prestigious prize “Spārni 2015” (Wings 2015) as the best among Latvian Universities in the international Erasmus, Comenius, Leonardo da Vinci and Grundtvig projects’ competition organized by the Latvian State Education Development Agency (VIAA), December 2015.