St. Tikon’s Seminary Re-Accredited by ATS
South Canaan, PA – St. Tikhon’s Seminary received word from the Board of Commissioners of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) regarding the final disposition of our periodic re-accreditation review site visit that occurred on November 20-23, 2016. In a letter dated February 15th, the Board of Commissioners indicated that St. Tikhon’s Seminary is re-accredited for seven years, with no notations!
This is great news for the seminary, following several years of consistent and intensive preparation, and gratitude is expressed toward all who assisted in this effort! The Self-Study Leadership Team was chaired by Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Dean, directed by Dr. Paul Witek, Assistant to the Dean for Academic Affairs, and Dr. David Ford, Professor of Church History, served as self-study editor. Archbishop Michael, Seminary Rector, served as chair of the Self-Study Steering Committee Chair, and Professor Sergei Arhipov served as committee secretary as well as respondent on behalf of the library. Michael Skor is one of several seminarians engaged in the self-study process (including those serving as Student Government chairs during the past few years) that continued to be integrally involved in developing the final draft of the self-study well after his graduation.
Fr. Steven shared words of gratitude for the seminary community: “our goal for this review was for all dimensions of the seminary community to be engaged in and able to speak to the self study process with the site visit team. Thanks be to God, it is wonderful to see such a strong outcome following our collaborative effort.” The seminary is also grateful to our new Accreditation Liaison, Dr. Barbara Mutch and the site visit team that worked together to conduct the review.
Photo features Dr. Barbara Mutch, ATS Accreditation Liaison for St. Tikhon's, addressing those attending the Opening Reception.
Jonathan Lincoln Ordained to the Holy Diaconate
South Canaan, PA – On Sunday, February 19th, Jonathon Lincoln was ordained to the Holy Diaconate at St. Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery Church. His Grace, the Right Reverend Paul, Bishop of Chicago and Diocese of the Midwest, celebrated the ordination. Concelebrating with him were: Archpriest Steven Voytovich, seminary dean, Archpriest Dennis Swencki, seminary CFO, Hieromonk Innokenty (Chmerko), and seminarian priests Basil Ferguson and John Kennerk.
Jonathan and Megan Haak, also a seminary student, were married in the monastery church in October. Bishop Paul indicated his hope that upon graduation, the Lincoln’s will settle and become engaged in the Diocese of the Midwest.
Axios and many years to Deacon Jonathan and Matushka Megan!
Photos, Seminarian Robert West
St. Tikhon's Mission Choir Visits Paramus, NJ
St. Tikhon's Mission Choir visited Christ the Savior Church, in Paramus, NJ, on Sunday, February 5th. This was a wonderful visit on multiple levels. Fr. Leonid Schmidt, (STOTS Class of 2010) began as pastor there early in 2015. His move there meant in part leaving his teaching responsibilities here at St. Tikhon's Seminary. Seminarians had the opportunity to sit in on Fr. Leonid's adult education session before the Divine Liturgy.
It was also meaningful to make this visitation in order that our current seminarians could have the opportunity to interact with Archpriest John Nehrebecki (STOTS Class of 1950). Fr. John participated in the Symposium on Metropolitan Leonty, held in May of 2015, and before that was a member of the delegation traveling to Russia to receive the Tomos of Autocephaly in 1970. Fr. John also initiated a number of mission parishes in the area. He and Matushka Eugenia remain actively involved in the parish.
Fr. Mikel Hill, senior seminarian, was the homilist at the Liturgy, and has had a meaningful relationship with Christ the Savior Parish during his course of studies at the seminary. The Mission Choir was treated to a sumptuous luncheon, after which a short concert of liturgical music was shared.
May God bless Christ the Savior parish, with gratitude for their very real support of the seminary through donations, and through their support of Fr. Mikel.
St. Tikhon's Community celebrates the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple
on February 1-2, St. Tikhon's celebrated the Feast of the Meetin of the Lord in the Temple. Most all of the recently ordained seminarians participated in celebrating the Feast, that included the blessing of candles following the Divine Liturgy. Classes are cancelled on major feast days so seminarians can fully particiapte in festal services.
Those seminarians who have been recently ordained have, as part of their formation supported by the St. Tikhon's Monastery community, celebrate all the services in the course of the week: Vespers and Matins or vigil in the afternoon, and Midnight Office and Divine Liturgy early in the morning (6am), unless feast days occur, where they serve Proskemedia and then concelebrate with clergy gatheirng for the feast.
St. Tikhon's Seminary is grateful to the monastery community for their continued active support of seminarians ordained while at seminary.
Blessed Feast Day!
St. Tikhon's Seminary Establishes an Institutional Review Board
South Canaan, PA – St. Tikhon's Seminary responded to two seminarians desiring to include research in their theses by establishing an Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB met for the first time on Wednesday, February 1st to complete a brief orientation and consider the two protocols. As a part of the review process, the IRB met with each of the researchers.
One of the two submissions included research with incarcerated persons. This proposal, with the IRB approval, was then forwarded to the State of Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. The proposal was approved within days. This represents another of a series of steps the seminary has taken to support seminarians in elevating the level of engagement possible in the course of their studies.
Alumni Update: STOTS Graduates and Students in the News
Several STOTS graduates were in the news recently. Two students have reposed in the Lord: Fr. Ignatius Crockett, and Leon Volkoff. One of our graduates Archpriest Joseph Woodill retired, and was recognized well for his many years of service.
Fr. Ignatius Crockett fell asleep in the Lord on January 12, 2017. You can view the write-up on OCA.org here. He was a student at St. Tikhon's Seminary from 1988-1991.
Archpriest Joseph Woodill (STOTS Class of 1981) was celebrated well at his retirement. He most recently taught Ethics here at St. Tikhon's Seminary. You can read the write-up of his retirement celebration here.
Most recently, Leon Volkoff (STOTS Class of 1954) fell asleep in the Lord on January 14th. Leon, born in Poland on January 14, 1930, moved with his family to Germany during WWII. In Salgau, St. Michael Church was formed. This parish of Russian Immigrants relocated to Paterson, NJ in 1951. Leon went on from seminary to complete a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1961, and was employed at Picatinny Arsenal as a project manager for 32 years. He was predeceased by his wife Lydia. Leon was a friend of our Librarian and Registrar, Sergei Arhipov, visiting the seminary on occasion.
Memory eternal to Fr. Ignatius and Leon. May God grant Archpriest Joseph and Matushka Charlotte many blessed years!
Ordination of Dn. Mikel Hill to the Holy Priesthood
Alliance, Ohio. [STOTS Communications] Dn. Mikel Hill was ordained to the Holy Priesthood at St. Nikolai of Zhicha Church on Saturday, January 28th. His Grace, the Right Reverend Alexander, Bishop of Dallas, the South, and the Bulgarian Diocese celebrated the ordination. Concelebrating with him were: Archpriest Don Freude, Chancellor of the Bulgarian Diocese, Archimandrite Joseph (Morris), Abbot of St. Gregory Palamas Monastery, Hayesville, Ohio, Archpriest Steven Voytovich, St. Tikhon's Seminary Dean, Fr. John Boddecker, Rector of Sts. Theodore Orthodox Church, Buffalo, NY, and Fr. John Kennerk, seminary classmate. Protodeacon James Gresh has been administering the parish, and led Dn. Mikel as the ordination began.
Fr. Mikel is to be assigned to St. Nikolai Parish upon graduation, so many parish faithful attended the ordination, along with preparing a festive luncheon afterward. Many seminarians came from St. Tikhon's to participate in services, some staying over to witness Fr. Mikel's first Divine Liturgy at the parish on Sunday. It is also remarkable that St. Nikolai Mission only began in 2013, and has enjoyed robust growth and development.
Axios! May God bless Fr. Mikel, Matushka Rachel, and their children as he prepares to undertake parish ministry upon graduating from the seminary in May!
Photos by Dn. Andrew Nelko
St. Tikhon's Seminary Participates in March for Life: Updated
Washington, D.C. [STOTS Communication] St. Tikhon's Seminary participated in the March for Life on Friday, January 27th. To see the story posted on our OCA website, click here.
Metropolitan Tikhon concelebrated with OCA Hierarchs: His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisedek, His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel, His Eminence, Arcbishop Michael, St. Tikhon's Seminary Rector, and His Grace, Bishop Dimitrios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, His Grace, Bishop John of Brooklyn of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, and His Eminence Mor Titus Yeldho. Archbishop of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America and Canada in chanting a Service of Prayer for the Victims of Abortion before the march stepped off. Archpriest Chad Hatfield, President of St. Vladimir's Seminary, and Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Dean of St. Tikhon's Seminary, were also present. According to Hierodeacon Herman (Majkrzak): "over thirty seminarians and faculty from four Orthodox seminaries: St. Vladimir’s and St. Tikhon’s, as well as Holy Trinity Seminary, Jordanville, New York, and Christ the Savior Seminary, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, participated in the March."
Later all the seminarians gathered at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington D.C. for a dinner hosted by the parish. Thank you to Hieromonk Herman for coordinating the seminarians participation in the services and the march, and to all who came together to witness to our Orthodox Faith in support of the right to life!
Photos by Seminarian Robert West.