St. Tikhon’s Seminary Prepares for ATS Site Visit: Comments Invited
St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary will be receiving an evaluation committee from the Association of Theological Schools November 20-23rd. You are invited to forward comments related to this evaluation to either to the ATS Commission on Accrediting or to our Seminary Accreditation Leadership Team. Comments are particularly welcome regarding the General Institutional Standards, the Educational Standards, and Degree Program Standards.
Please email comments directly to the director of accreditation services,
or to our seminary’s dedicated e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
or send comments by mail to the Commission or the Seminary:
Director of Accreditation Services STOTS ATS Accreditation Leadership Team
The Association of Theological Schools St. Tikhon’s Seminary
10 Summit Park Drive P.O. Box 130
Pittsburgh, PA 15275-1110 South Canaan, PA 18459
Please watch for a further announcement of a session to be held at the seminary that you may attend.
(Photo from ATS Focused Visit at St. Tikhon's Seminary in 2012)
Alumni Update: Recent Ordinations
Dn. Paul Abernathy (STOTS Class 2010) was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on Saturday, August 27 at St. George in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania. He was ordained by His Grace, the Right Reverend Thomas (Joseph), Bishop of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic, of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Fr. Paul was ordained in the same parish where he was received into the Orthodox Church. There were 18 priests and deacons present during the Divine Liturgy and ordination. Fr. Paul served his first liturgy at the Mission of St. Moses the Black in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Sunday, August 28. Axios to Fr. Paul and his family as he begins the next phase of his ordained ministry.
Dn. Basil Kuriakose (STOTS Class of 2015) was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on Wednesday, September 14th, 2016, at his home parish in Mumbai. He was ordained by his Diocesan Bishop, His Grace, Geevarghese Mar Coorilos (Metropolitan, Diocese of Bombay, Malankara Orthodox Church). Axios to Fr. Basil and his family in India! (Photo is from diaconate ordination.)
Timothy Winegar (STOTS Class of 2016), was married to Joni Raile in July. He sent word that he would be ordained to the Holy Diaconate also on the Feast of the Elevation of the Cross, at the Elevation of the Cross Church in Sacramento, CA. Axios!
Alumni Update: In Memoriam, Fr. John Govrusik (STOTS Class of 1944)
Archpriest John Govrusik fell asleep in the Lord on September 3, 2016. He was interred at St. Tikhon’s Cemetery on September 12th. Please click here to see memorial write-up featured on our OCA website: https://oca.org/in-memoriam/archpriest-john-w.-govrusik .
Alumni-Seminarian Joint Retreat Encourages Unity and Brotherhood
On September 1-2, St. Tikhon’s seminarians and alumni convened for a joint retreat, which was hailed as the most positive, successful seminarian-alumni gathering in recent memory. The retreat not only afforded students the opportunity to meet the men who were trained at St. Tikhon’s and are now stewards of Christ’s vineyard, but also provided a context in which both groups could grow together in fellowship and self-reflection.
On Thursday afternoon, September 1, Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick of Emmaus, PA (STOTS 2007) spoke about the concept of “Priest and Parish as Family,” and encouraged those assembled to consider that their own parish communities operate under the same dynamics as families do. In a follow-up session with Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, Seminarians and alumni briefly separated into small groups, and considered how their own personal family experiences might shape parish ministry. Reflections from each group were shared with the larger group. Photo of Fr. Damick is from his fall lecture series presentation to St. Tikhon's in October of 2014.
That evening, the alumni treated the seminarians and their families to a delicious barbeque dinner. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and watermelon heralded the last month of summer; old friends had a chance to catch up, and new friendships were formed, as conversations lasted well into the evening.
Archimandrite Sergius, Abbot of St. Tikhon’s Monastery (STOTS 2005), delivered a powerful talk the next day on the three stages of spiritual life, as taught by Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou in his work, “Remember Thy First Love.” Archimandrite Sergius’ words offered encouragement that the difficulties we frequently experience are the “testing of your faith [that] produces patience,” (James 1:3), and it is this patient endurance by which we shall be found to gain the salvation of our souls (Luke 21:19).
The last event of the retreat was unique in that second and third-year seminarians were present at the alumni business meeting as official alumni for the first time. While there were many thoughts, feelings, and deep emotions expressed at this meeting concerning the importance of the work of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, perhaps one theme stands out: the student body and the gathered alumni may learn from each other, and both are dependent in a way on the other. While it is clear that the seminarians may be guided and taught by those currently serving in parish ministry, the clergy also expressed their conviction that they may learn from the seminarians, and be inspired by their zeal and vision for the Church.
This year’s joint seminarian-alumni retreat reminded those present that we rely on each other, as some of us continue serving Christ’s Church and others enter into that ministry. Christ is our source of life and renewal, and as branches of the True Vine, we abide in Him and grow together.
Writer, Jonathan Lincoln
New Students Arrive at St. Tikhon's Seminary
SOUTH CANAAN, PA [STOTS Communications] – New Seminarians Arrive at St. Tikhon’s!
St. Tikhon’s Seminary welcomes 14 new M.Div. Students for the coming academic year! Of the new students, eight are from the Orthodox Church in America, two each from the Antiochian and Greek Archdioceses respectively, one is from the Bulgarian Patriarchate, and one is from the Eritrean Church. In addition, several other OCA students are beginning special programs of study.
The new academic year coincided with the new Ecclesiastical year. Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, celebrated the Divine Liturgy on September 1st, with Priest Patrick Burns, Alumni President, and Priest Ignatius Gauvain, Director of Student Life. Seminarian Deacons Mikel Hill and Basil Ferguson also concelebrated. At the end of the Liturgy prayers were offered for the monastery and seminary at the beginning of the New Year, and new students were blessed to wear their cassocks.
Alumni came together for a continuing education program in part to have greater interaction with new and returning seminarians. This initiative came from the alumni. Presentations were offered by Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick (STOTS, 2007), Pastor of St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church, Emmaus, PA, and Archimandrite Sergius, St. Tikhon’s Monastery Igumen (STOTS, 2005). Alumni and seminarians alike expressed how meaningful it was to have spent almost two days together! A separate story will be posted with more details related to the retreat.
Fr. Steven shared a comment about the beginning of the year: “With special thanks to the work of many during this past week, especially Fr. Ignatius Gauvain as Director of Student Life, and Fr. Patrick Burns, Alumni Chair who spent most of the week at the seminary, we are off to a very good start for the new year!”
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