During its most recent meeting, the Board of Trustees of St. Tikhon's Seminary voted unanimously to promote Dr. Christopher Veniamin, D.Phil. (Oxon.), to the rank of full Professor of Patristics, in recognition of his outstanding service to the Seminary for the past eleven years and his distinguished record of teaching, research, and publication.
In the area of teaching, Professor Veniamin has introduced the full range of pedagogical formats to Saint Tikhon’s, namely, lectures, seminars and one-on-one tutorials, based on the Oxbridge model, thereby taking full advantage of St. Tikhon's modest scale. The student response to all of these formats, and especially to the latter with its emphasis on personal attention, has always been positive, and has often resulted in significant contributions by them in the form of M.Div. theses.
But the real source of success in Professor Veniamin's teaching stems from his concerted efforts in the field of theological research. His intimate and long-standing relationship with Staretz Sophrony Sakharov and his Monastery, his foundational studies at the University of Thessalonica, his doctoral studies at Oxford under the expert supervision of Bishop Kallistos Ware, and his knowledge of languages, both ancient and modern, have given him the ability to investigate primary sources with great rigor, and the discernment with which to delve into the deeper meaning and ethos of the Church.
In addition to his teaching, the breadth and depth of his learning is of course also reflected in his publications, which range in subject from the Apocryphal works of the New Testament to Euthanasia, and which he has consistently and selflessly offered to St. Tikhon's for publication, in a conscious effort to enhance the Seminary's reputation. Moreover, deflecting the temptations of what he calls "academic inflation", Professor Veniamin has sought to apply himself to projects that he believes will stand the test of time. Hence, in addition to his numerous articles, he has in recent years devoted himself to a careful translation and thorough annotation of the sermons of Saint Gregory Palamas. At the same time, however, he has taken up what was once his doctoral dissertation on the Transfiguration in the Fathers of the Church and begun a substantial reworking of it.
Furthermore, Professor Veniamin's presence at St. Tikhon's has also attracted visits from such eminent theologians as Bishop Kallistos Ware and Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou, which has helped to enrich the life of the Seminary and raised its prestige in the wider Orthodox community and beyond.
For these reasons, and many more besides, Professor Veniamin is the first person, on a purely academic basis and since St. Tikhon's Seminary received full accreditation in 2004, upon whom the distinction of full professor has been bestowed.
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