Saint Tikhon’s Seminary here opened the 2016-2017 academic year by welcoming 14 new Master of Divinity students. According to Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Dean, eight students are from the Orthodox Church in America, while two students are from the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America and two additional students are from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The Bulgarian Patriarchate and the Eritrean Church each have one student beginning their studies. In addition, several other OCA students are beginning special programs of study.
The new academic year began on September 1 with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at which Father Steven presided. Concelebrating were Priests Patrick Burns, SVOTS 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 ecclesiastical year, and new students were blessed to wear their cassocks.
Alumni came together for a continuing education program with the new and returning seminarians.
“This initiative came from the alumni,” said Father Steven. “Presentations were offered by Father Andrew Stephen Damick (STOTS, 2007), Pastor of Saint Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church, Emmaus, PA, and Archimandrite Sergius, Abbot of Saint Tikhon’s Monastery Igumen (STOTS, 2005). Alumni and seminarians alike expressed how meaningful it was to have spent almost two days together.
“With special thanks to the work of many during this past week, especially Fathers Ignatius and Patrick, who spent most of the week at the seminary, we are off to a very good start for the new year,” Father Steven concluded.