Molotschnaer Mennonitischer Schulrat

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The Molotschnaer Mennonitischer Schulrat (Molotschna Mennonite School Board) was created in 1869 to supervise and promote the educational program of the Halbstadt and Gnadenfeld districts of the Molotschna settlement, Ukraine, South Russia. The seal of the organization was in Russian ("Petchat Molotchanskago Mennonitskago Utchilishchnago Soveta"). This organization took over the responsibilities and functions of the Agricultural Association in the realm of education. The first chairman of the organization was Philipp Wiebe. Other members were Peter Schmidt, Andreas Voth, Franz Dyck, and Peter Isaak. Representatives of the ministry during the first years were Isaac Peters of Pordenau, Dietrich Gaeddert of Alexanderwohl. Later significant members were Aron Rempel, Gustav Rempel, Daniel Unger, Abr. Görz, Heinrich Ediger, Gerhard Klassen, Heinrich Franz, H. A. Neufeld, Heinrich J. Janzen, Heinrich Jantz, Peter A. Ediger, Heinrich Unruh, J. K. Klett, P. H. Heese, David Nickel, Peter Unruh, Jacob Esau, Johann Dürksen, Benjamin Ratzlaff, and David Claassen.

Branches of the Molotschna Schulrat were formed in the Crimea, Brazol, Zagradovka, etc. The periods of the Schulrat activities can be divided as follows:

  1. Under Andreas Voth the foundations were laid. He created a fund of 2,000 rubles to help young men prepare for the teaching profession, and received from the government the silver medal "For Zeal." Before he retired all the schools in the Molotschna settlement had adopted a uniform curriculum and had introduced the Russian language as a subject. He promoted teachers' conferences (Lehrerkonferenzen) and the introduction of Mädchenschulen (secondary schools for girls), a parallel to the Zentralschulen (secondary schools for boys).
  2. The second period followed under P. H. Heese and J. K. Klett (1884-1896), both of whom deserve much credit for the continued interest in the improvement of the elementary and secondary education among the Mennonites of the Molotschna settlement and in Russia in general.
  3. The third period of the Molotschna Mennonite Schulrat was marked by a decline (1896-1914). During this period of Russian nationalism when the Mennonite educational system was subjected to the Department of Education, the activities of the Schulrat were paralyzed. Other organizations took its place.

See also Mennonite Teachers' Conference, Russia


Braun, Peter J. Der Molotschnaer Mennoniten-Schulrat 1869-1919. Zum Gedanktag seines 50jaehrigen Bestehens. Wladimir Suess, ed. Goettingen: Der Goettinger Arbeitskreis, 2001.

Braun, Peter. "The Educational System of the Mennonite Colonies in South Russia." Mennonite Quarterly Review 3 (1929): 169-182.

Enns, D. P. "Die mennonitischen Schulen in Russland." Mennonitisches Jahrbuch (Newton, 1950).

Friesen, Peter M. Die Alt-Evangelische Mennonitische Brüderschaft in Russland (1789-1910) im Rahmen der mennonitischen Gesamtgeschichte. Halbstadt: Verlagsgesellschaft "Raduga", 1911: 645.

Friesen, Peter M. The Mennonite Brotherhood in Russia (1789-1910), trans. J. B. Toews and others. Fresno, CA: Board of Christian Literature [M.B.], 1978, rev. ed. 1980.

Author(s) Cornelius Krahn
Date Published 1957

Cite This Article

MLA style

Krahn, Cornelius. "Molotschnaer Mennonitischer Schulrat." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 22 May 2024.

APA style

Krahn, Cornelius. (1957). Molotschnaer Mennonitischer Schulrat. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2024, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 738-739. All rights reserved.

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