Committee for Theological Education Convenes Seminaries & other Orthodox Theological Institutions

Friday, July 29, 2022

South Canaan, PA — The Committee for Theological Education of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA met at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary on July 28-29, 2022. The meeting was hosted by Archbishop Michael, Rector of the Seminary. Seven Orthodox theological institutions were represented in this historic meeting. 

The Committee is chaired by Bishop Maxim of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The three other committee members – Archbishop Michael (OCA), Archbishop Alexander (OCA) and Bishop John (AOCA) – were in attendance. Also participating were representatives from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, St. Tikhon’s Seminary, Christ the Saviour Seminary, St. Sava Serbian Orthodox School of Theology, Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary, Antiochian House of Studies, and St Vladimir’s Seminary. 

The meeting convened with Bishop Maxim sharing his remarks on the current model of seminary education, reflecting upon a paper authored by Archbishop Alexander previously circulated to the participants. Discussion followed on possible approaches to achieve a more holistic and experiential form of theological education geared to worship in the Church, particularly integrating Scriptures, New Testament, the Fathers, and spirituality. After the first day’s session, participants gathered at the grave of Fr. Alexander Schmemann to offer a panikhida. Later, they enjoyed a reception in the home of Fr. John Parker, Dean of St. Tikhon’s. 

The second day began with the Divine Liturgy in the church of St. Tikhon’s Monastery.  During the morning meeting, each participant shared an overview of his respective institution’s vision, goals, issues, and learnings. It was clear to all that, although differences in foundational vision and practical circumstances exist, the overriding objective of service to the Church and the mission of educating clergy and lay leaders was common and paramount.

According to Bishop Maxim: “Each of the participants brought remarkable insights into the present and future of our theological institutions in inspiring ways. We hope that everyone took with himself the core sense of the central theme we dwelt upon at the meeting: celebrate and learn!

The participants agreed to meet again in 2023, with the blessing of the Assembly’s Executive Committee, to be hosted by one of the participating institutions.