Monday, November 23, 2020

Kiev Theological Academy Agreement - Program for Pastoral School Students


The Kiev Theological Academy has begun a remote lecture and consultation course for students in the United States of America. The online program is blessed by the school's Rector, His Grace Bishop Sylvester of Belogorodsk, as part of the Cooperation Agreement with the Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

The lectures and consultations will be held on the Zoom platform. Curating the program is Professor Archpriest Rostislav Snegirev, Assistant Rector for Foreign Students.

With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Peter of Chicago and Mid-America, parishioners of the Russian Church Abroad participating in the Pastoral School can also participate in the program.


Saturday, November 14, 2020

Thesis Ideas for Present & Future Students

Over the last few months many of you have shared ideas with me about theses that are needed by our society and the faithful. This is very helpful and I encourage you to continue to share. There is no limit to what we can accomplish if we do not care who gets the credit. If we keep this in mind, we will work collaboratively for the good of the Church and the faithful. Here are some of the good ideas that were shared with me that I think would be something good to tackle for a future Pastoral School thesis:

ONE - Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. This is a concept that Rod Dreher describes in his book “The Benedict Option.” He has also written about this outside that publication and you can find an article by him in this regard here.

How do we help our youth NOT to fall into this pit that our society has dug for them? How do we help our society to leave off this unhealthy spiritualism? How does the Church fight this heretical but wide-spread idea? This is a very important issue, but the Orthodox Church is just starting to scratch the surface. Your contribution will be very valuable to this major problem we need to face and to fight.

TWO – Divine Simplicity: the Orthodox vs. Roman Catholic concepts. St. Photios vs. Thomas Aquinas. The Nicean Creed vs. the Filioque. This may be a less “urgent” question than Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, but perhaps not. With the onset of the pandemic many Roman Catholic faithful have appeared at the doors of Orthodox parishes. The better we understand the errors of Roman Catholicism the better we can help Roman Catholics to come home to the Orthodox Church. Thus, maybe this really is quite an urgent question.

THREE - Does the acceptance of the canons of the Council of Carthage (419) as Ecumenical by the Fifth-Sixth Council necessitate the acceptance of the doctrine of Original Sin, as it is understood by Rome? Does this then leave no objection to the Immaculate Conception? What are the differences between Original sin in the Orthodox and Roman Catholic iterations of this idea? Or are there any differences? If there are – what are the repercussions? If not – what are the repercussions?

Thank you again to those who submitted these ideas! Please keep sharing for the good of our present and future students!

Fr. Gregory

Monday, September 7, 2020

Welcome to the New Academic Year!

Dear Pastoral School Faculty and Students,

I would like to welcome everyone to the first day our courses for this academic year! If you have not yet registered please do so as soon as reasonably possible – you'll want to get involved in the discussions in your classes right away!

If you have technical questions please reach out to our IT Lead, Deacon Joseph Appling:

We are very grateful for Fr. Joseph for his diligent work for our school – please remember him and his family in your prayers!

If you have any other questions please reach out to me – my contact information is below. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions whatsoever, or if I can be of any help to you whatsoever! Your feedback is always welcome.

Tonight following Vespers & Matins for Sts. Adrian & Natalia I will serve a moleben for the Beginning of Every Good Work at our parish in Ann Arbor. With the Lord's blessing I have great hope for a wonderful year together as an academic family - may the Merciful Lord grant us a spiritually profitable academic year!

With Love in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Fr. Gregory Joyce, Dean
Cell/SMS/Viber/What’s App: +1-734-649-5746

P.S. Please connect with us via Facebook (@orthodoxtheologicalschool), Instagram (@orthodox_theological_school), or the Dean’s List blog ( And please share the word about the Pastoral School – you are our best way to inform others about our programs!

Thursday, September 3, 2020

New Students Accepted

The Pastoral School Fall semester begins on September 7, 2020. We are pleased to announce that the following students have been accepted for the coming semester:

Blanchard, Joseph
Bornejko, Reader Kodratos
Cline, Christopher
Dalal, Nina
Eble, Helen
Harrison, Subdeacon Nektarios
Hayward, Christos
Hoort, Innocent
(Keller), Hieromonk Aidan
Kizziah, Michelle
Merritt, Subdeacon Andrew
(Milanovic), Hieromonk Peter
Mona, Tamara
Peter, Maximus
Petrov, Andrei
Purdef, Deacon Christopher
Reighard, Olga
Rimshas, Reader Jesse
Schuler, Nikhon
Sirko, Deacon Joseph

We congratulate these students on their acceptance to the Pastoral School! Many will be studying in the Pastoral Theology Program, others in the Catechist Program.

The next application deadline for the Pastoral School is February 1, 2021. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, so those who would like to apply are welcome to do so at any time for the next semester. The application form can be found here:


We welcome your application! If you have questions, please contact me.

Fr. Gregory Joyce, Dean
Cell/SMS/What's App/Viber: +1-734-649-5746

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Ordination of Pastoral School Graduate to the Deaconate

On the feast of the Holy Equal to the Apostles Great Prince Vladimir, July 15/28, 2020, Subdeacon Paul Kentigern Siewers was ordained to the deaconate by His Grace Luke, Bishop of Syracuse. May the Lord grant the newly-ordained many years of service in His Holy Church! 

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Academic Calendar 2020-21

Please find the Academic Calendar for 2020-21 at this link:


Faculty and students are asked to review the calendar and put the information from this calendar onto their own calendars so that important deadlines are not missed.

As always, please contact me with questions.

Fr. Gregory Joyce, Dean
Cell/SMS/What's App/Viber: +1-734-649-5746

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Pastoral School Graduation & Ordination 2020

On June 27, 2020 thesis review and defense, and comprehensive final examinations were held for graduating students of the Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America. This year, for the first time, due to the pandemic, a portion of the examination committee joined the activity remotely. All students were physically present, and all were from the Michigan Deanery. At this session three students defended their theses and passed their final examinations: Hierodeacon Alexei (Dixon), Subdeacon Colin Bower, and Subdeacon Micah Chisholm.

Fr. Alexei’s thesis was entitled: “A Proposal for Glorification: First First Hierarch of ROCOR Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky)”. Subdeacon Colin’s thesis was entitled: “Liturgical Language and Orthodox Evangelism”. And Subdeacon Micah’s thesis was entitled: “Forming Hearts for Mission: Cultivating Evangelical Zeal in 21st Century North America”.

All theses were accepted by the examination committee (made up of His Eminence Archbishop Peter of Chicago & Mid-America, President of the Pastoral School; Archpriest Andre Papkov, Vice President of the School; Archpriest Martin Swanson, Dean Emeritus of the School; Archpriest Gregory Joyce, Dean of the School; and Archpriest John Whiteford, Assistant Dean for Operations of the School), and all students passed their oral final examinations.

Later that day the Resurrectional Vigil was held in the Diocesan Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God in Des Plaines, IL. All graduates participated in the Divine Service. The next day (June 28, 2020) Divine Liturgy was held in the cathedral, at which Subdeacon Colin Bower was ordained a Deacon for service at St. Vladimir Church in Ann Arbor, MI. Following the Divine Liturgy His Eminence Archbishop Peter awarded the graduates their diplomas. We congratulate the new graduates and their families on their significant accomplishment. God willing the theses of the new graduates will soon be published for the edification of all.