Fr. Alexis Karakallinos (John Trader), a 1992 graduate of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary, recently completed his doctoral studies in theology at the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki where he received a Ph.D., summa cum laude. His ground-breaking doctoral dissertation was completed under the direction of Professor Anestis Keselopoulos, whose own work, Passions and Virtues According to St Gregory Palamas, Father Alexis had previously translated into English. The faculty of the theological school referred to his dissertation as an important advance in pastoral theology and one of the best works to ever pass through the University.
Fr. Alexis' doctoral research has recently been published by Peter Lang Publishers as part of their American University Studies series, under the title: Ancient Christian Wisdom and Aaron Beck's Cognitive Therapy: A Meeting of Minds. This work should prove to be an important contribution to the discussion of the relationship between ancient and contemporary approaches to healing and a useful tool for pastors who are guiding those whose striving for sanctification is challenged by unresolved psychological difficulties.
Fr. Alexis received a B.A. in Chemistry (cum laude) with a minor in Religious Studies from Franklin and Marshall College in 1987, an M.A. in Divinity from the University of Chicago in 1989 and an M.Div (summa cum laude) from St Tikhon’s Seminary in 1992. After entering St Tikhon's Monastery in 1988, Fr. Alexis was appointed Lecturer in patristics at the Seminary. In 1996, he went to the Monastery of Karakallou on the Holy Mountain of Athos. In 2005, he became the serving priest for the Monastery of Nea Kerdyllia, a dependency of Karakallou Monastery, where he continues to serve as a father confessor.
The Seminary administration, faculty, staff and board of trustees offer their heartfelt congratulations to Fr. Alexis on this great accomplishment.