Most Reverend Dr. Heigo Ritsbek, M.A., M.Div., D.Min., Litt.D, D.D.
Born April 12, 1951 in Pärnu, Estonia
University of Tartu 1978 – Master of Arts
Theological Institute of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church 1982-1989
Asbury Theological Seminary, KY, U.S.A 1993 – Master of Divinity
Boston University, MA, U.S.A 1996 – Doctor of Ministry in Theological Studies
St James the Elder Theological Seminary, FL, U.S.A 2012 – Doctory of Divinity
St James the Elder Theological Seminary, FL, U.S.A. 2012 – Doctor of Letters
Contact: Patriarch Dr. Heigo Ritsbek, Õismäe tee 54-24, 13512 Tallinn, ESTONIA
email email@example.com, phone + 372 50 92337
Heigo Ritsbek (born April 12, 1951) is the Patriarch of The Anglocatholic Church (ACC) worldwide (2016–). Formerly he was Bishop of the Anglocatholic Church in Estonia (2012–2015) and Archbishop of The Holy Catholic Church International (HCCI) (2012-2015); before that he served as a priest of The Charismatic Episcopal Church of Estonia (1996-2010) as Vicar General and a priest and as a pastor of the United Methodist Church (1979-1996).
He was born in Pärnu in clergy family and graduated eight classes in Pärnu First Upper Secondary School, Upper Secondary School he graduated on the island Saaremaa (current Kuressaare Ühisgümnaasium) in 1969. After that Heigo Ritsbek went to study history at the University of Tartu. He graduated University of Tartu as an historian in 1978.
After graduating from the university, Ritsbek worked as the Secretary of the Board of the United Methodist Church in Estonia (1977-1982) and as a pastor of Tallinn United Methodist Church (1979-1989). On March 9, 1979 Bishop Dr. Ole E. Borgen ordained Heigo Ritsbek as a deacon. In February 1989 Heigo Ritsbek and his family emigrated to the United States of America. Pastor Ritsbek continued there theological studies at Asbury Theological Seminary, graduated it with Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree in 1993. Then he entered into Boston University School of Theology, which he graduated in 1996 with Doctor of Ministry in Theological Studies degree (D.Min.). His doctoral thesis was entitled “The Mission of Methodism in Estonia”. After graduating Boston University, The Ritsbek Family returned back to Estonia.
In 1996 Heigo Ritsbek joined The Charismatic Episcopal Church, he was consecrated as a priest on June 23rd 1996 in Jacksonville (Florida, U.S.A) by the Archbishop, The Most Reverend Dr. Dale F. Howard. After that Fr Ritsbek returned with his family back to Estonia and began to establish the Charismatic Episcopal Church of Estonia. Heigo Ritsbek served as the Vicar General of the Church (1996-2011) and the Rector of St Stephen the Martyr CEC Church (1996-2011).
On May 2, 2012 Dr. Heigo Ritsbek joined the Holy Catholic Church International (HCCI), being received as a priest in the Apostolic Succession. On August 25, 2012 the Rev Fr Heigo Ritsbek was consecrated a bishop in Kasese, Uganda, Africa by the Most Rev. Dr. Kiiza S. Thomas, D.D., The Archbishop for Africa. He was elevated there after consecration as an Archbishop over Europe.
On February 21, 2016 The Most Reverend Dr. Heigo Ritsbek, MA, MDiv, DMin, LittD, DD left the HCCI and established a new international body – The Anglocatholic Church, with The Holy See in Tallinn, Estonia. He was elevated to the status of Patriarch by the Founding Synod of The Anglocatholic Church on February 21, 2016.
Dr Heigo Ritsbek serves currently also as a teacher of history, civics, and philosophy at Tabasalu Grammar School (2011-). He has worked with intervals as an Associate Professor at Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary (1996-2012). From 2000 to 2010 he served as a teacher of religion, philosophy and history at Rocca al Mare School, and as a professor at Tartu Theological Academy, and at Tallinn Maritime Academy (2004-2005) and at Gustav Adolf Grammar School in Tallinn (2011-2014).
Dr Ritsbek has been a member and is a member of the following organizations: The World Methodist Historical Society 1976–2006, President 2001–2006; The World Methodist Council 1981–1991; Nõmme Heritage Society 1988–1989; The International Fellowship of the Asbury Theological Seminary 1989–1993, President 1990–1991; The Historical Society of the United Methodist Church 1992–1994; The Order of Saint Luke 1992–1996; Wesleyan Theological Society 1993–1997; Estonian American National Council, Inc. 1993–1996; The American Association of Christian Counselors 1995–1996; Estonian Bible Society 1996-2014; Societas Liturgica 1997– ; Estonian Evangelical Alliance (EEA) 1997– 2010; EEA Board 1997–2010; a member of the EEA Theological Comission 1998–2010; EEA vicepresident 2001–2002; EEA Secretary General 2003 -2010; Youth for Christ in Estonia 1998–2002; YFC Estonia Board member 1998–2002; Estonian Academic Theological Society 2000– ; Estonian Council of Churches 2002–2010; Estonian Society for Teachers of Philosophy 2005– ; Estonian Society for Teachers of Religion 2005 – ; The Fellowship of European Evangelical Theologians 2006 – ;Estonian Society for Teachers of History and Civics 2009 – ; The Theological Comission of The Estonian Council of Churches 2009–2010, Chairman of the Commission 2010.
Dr Heigo Ritsbek is married, father of three daughters and grandfather of three granddaughters.
In 2002 he was awarded by the Medal of Estonian Heritage Society. In May 2012 St James the Elder Theological Seminary (Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.A.) gave to Dr. Heigo Ritsbek honoray degree in theology Doctor of Divinity (Doctor Divinitatis, D.D.). In August 2012 St James the Elder Theological Seminary gave to Dr. Heigo Ritsbek honoray degree in arts – Doctor of Letters (Litt.D., Litterarum Doctoris).
In May 2013 Dr. Ritsbek was rewarded with the Great Grandpriory Merits’ Cross of Knighthood by Estonian Grand Priory of the Saint Archangel Michael’s International Knighthood Order. From September 26th, 2014 Archbishop Heigo Ritsbek is a Honorary Member of The Estonian Grand Priory of the Saint Archangel Michael’s International Knighthood Order. On Saturday May 20, 2017, His Beatitude Patriarch Dr. Heigo Ritsbek was given the Medal of Merit by the Royal Brotherhood of Saint Teotonius from Portugal.