Our Story

TVSeminary  began as Trinity Equipping Center in 1995

In 2006 Dr. McNeill passed the directorship of the college to Vitaly a Russian national and fourth generation believer whose family suffered and died for their faith in the gulags in the former Soviet Union under atheistic communism.



After 70 years of Communist rule in the former Soviet Union, the doors finally opened for missionaries to enter the country. TVSEMINARY began as Trinity Equipping Center in 1995, starting as a resident Bible College in a town south of Moscow, Russia with just 12 students and founded by American missionaries Dr. James and Lois McNeill.

In 1998 the name was changed to Trinity Bible College. TBC trained pastors and Christian leaders in an alliance with Russians for 10 years, preaching and teaching the Word of God. Many churches were planted in the area and across Russia by TBC graduates.  For a number of years, TBC also distributed courses by DVD, and in 2008 the name was changed to Trinity Video Seminary (TVSEMINARY). However, getting the courses across various international borders, and especially into closed countries, was a consistent challenge.

Vitaly had pastored a Bible Church in Russia and in 2003 graduated with a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) in Chicago, IL. Vitaly continued his teaching ministry in Russia and began dreaming of a way to offer TEDS courses and other Bible courses offered in America in video form to the people of Russia. Due to shrinking religious freedom in Russia, an investigation of TVSEMINARY by the FSB (former KGB), and unable to obtain registration with the government, TVSEMINARY was forced to temporarily close its doors in 2008. The McNeill’s and Vitaly persevered in prayer for direction. And soon, a distance learning program began to unfold and become a reality.

Genesis 50:20 

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

Today our distance learning program remains headquartered in Russia and is managed by a professional staff TVSEMINARY state-of-the art facilities that include recording studios, editing and production stations, offices, meeting rooms and guest residences for visiting faculty and friends. Today’s technology allows TVSEMINARY to rapidly disseminate Bible teaching making it possible not only to reach Russian speaking people throughout the world, but to reach any language group by translating courses into their native tongue. We now offer Bible courses in 6 languages and are adding translations into new language groups as funds allow.


Over the past 21 years TVSEMINARY has grown to be the largest seminary in Russia, with over 6,000 registered students located all over the world, studying in multiple languages using our unique online format. TVSEMINARY offers courses in both systematic and practical theology. Our registered students are generally pastors, church leaders and lay leaders who are hungry for this solid Biblical teaching. Thousands of others also watch the videos on YouTube learning the truth of the Bible through TVSEMINARY’s teaching.  


Learn how Christian higher learning is impacting global communities. Receive news updates, inspiring stories, and encouragement from those who minister and study in challenged areas of the world.


We look forward to keeping you informed!

Peggy Valentine
TVS Giving Coordinator