Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Giving Tuesday

Today is Giving Tuesday. This is a time when we consider our charitable giving and by the Lord's providence today is also the beginning of the Nativity Fast. Given the Holy Church's very strong tradition of adding almsgiving to fasting, we would ask that you remember the Pastoral School in your charitable giving donations this year. Other charities are important too, but very few of them will help in the formation of new clergy for your parish. The Pastoral School will! Thank you for your consideration. Please visit this page to learn more:


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Acquire Dogmatic Theology Textbook before Classes Begin

I will be teaching Dogmatic Theology this fall semester and I am very much looking forward to it. The class is rather fast-paced, and the students should have the main textbook, Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, in hand before the course begins. The book is available from all major Orthodox book stores, including Archangels Books, with whom the Pastoral School has a cooperative relationship:


The book is also available on line, but if possible, it would be ideal for the students to have this very important book in their personal library. On line versions can be found with a simple search. The other book that will need to be purchased is The Truth of our Faith Volume II – On the Christian Mysteries by Elder Clopa. That one comes later in the semester, but it is not a bad idea to pick it up now, when you are purchasing the Pomazansky book. Here is the link at Archangels Books:


Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions or concerns.

Fr. Gregory Joyce, Dean

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Acquire Canon Law Textbook BEFORE Classes Begin

Fr. Patrick Viscuso, our new Canon Law instructor, would like to have the students who register for the canon law class purchase the textbook for the course by the first day of classes.

The textbook is Patrick Viscuso, Orthodox Canon Law: A Casebook for Study. Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2011, 2nd Edition.

It is available through the http://store.antiochianvillage.org, amazon.com, and other book sellers.

Classes begin September 11, 2017.

Fr. Gregory Joyce, Dean

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Ordination of Pastoral School Student to the Deaconate

On Sunday June 19/July 2, 2017 Subdeacon David Carder was ordained to the deaconate at the Holy Virgin Protection Diocesan Cathedral in Des Plaines, IL. Deacon David is a Senior in the Pastoral School and plans to graduate in the spring of 2018. Archbishop Peter of Chicago & Mid-America, President of the Pastoral School, performed the ordination. Please join me in congratulating Deacon David, his parish (All Saints of America in DeQueen, Arkansas), and his family with his ordination! May the Lord grant him many years of fruitful service in His Vineyard!

Priest Gregory Joyce, Dean

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Church Slavonic Courses this Summer and Fall

For various reasons we were unable to start the Church Slavonic Course this summer on June 19. Thus, we are offering two options for those who need to/would like to take this course this year:

1. The full course starting July 24 and ending September 9

2. The full course starting on September 25 and ending on November 11

This is an opportunity that may not come again – two options for Church Slavonic at times that we do not usually offer the course. We hope that this works for you – and that you will register for the course, whether you are a Pastoral School student or not. This is one of those rare courses, normally only offered in the Summer Semester, that is open to non-students.

Register by August 1 for the July 24 course at the latest. Immediately would be better. You can do that here if you are not already a student in the Pastoral School:


For the September 25 course:

1. Students of the Pastoral School can register for the course as they do for their other courses

2. Non-Pastoral School Students should contact me (fr.gregory.joyce@orthodoxtheologicalschool.org)

Fr. Gregory

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Pastoral School Student Ordained to the Priesthood

On the Sunday 12/25 June, 2017 Deacon Daniel Franzen was ordained to the priesthood at the Holy Virgin Protection Diocesan Cathedral in Des Plaines, IL. Metropolitan Phillip of Poltava & Mirgorod, who was visiting the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America at the time, performed the ordination. Please join me in congratulating Fr. Daniel with his ordination! The newly-ordained Priest will soon be commissioned an officer in the United States armed forces and will serve as a military chaplain. May the Lord grant him many years of fruitful service in His Vineyard!

Priest Gregory Joyce, Dean

Monday, June 19, 2017

Summer Semester Begins Today

Today marks the beginning of the Summer Semester. Late registration runs through July 2, but honestly, it is important to register early for summer classes. The courses are condensed by about ½, which means that the instructional cadence is about twice as fast as fall and spring classes. So register today if you have not already! Please contact me with questions.

Fr. Gregory

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Instructor in the Pastoral School Offers Subscription to this Lectures

Opportunity to Deepen Your Orthodox Education

Deacon Andrei Psarev offers a subscription to his lectures: History of the Russian Church Abroad, History of the Russian Church, Canon Law and History of the Byzantine Empire. Deacon Andrei has a Master in Theology degree and is a Ph. D. candidate at Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is the founder and the editor of www.RocorStudies.org. Since 1995 he has been teaching at  Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, and since 2014 in the Pastoral School. You can subscribe to his courses here:


Возможность для углубления православного образования

Диакон Андрей Псарев, предлагает подписку на свои лекции по истории Русской Зарубежной Церкви, истории Русской Церкви, церковному праву и истории Византийской империи. Диакон Андрей, имеет степень магистра богословия и является докторантом королевского университета в Северной Ирландии и редактором интрент-узла www.rocorstudies.org С 1995 г. он преподает в Свято-Троицкой Семинарии в Джорданвилле, и с 2014 г. в нашей Пастырской Училище. Подписаться на его курсы можно здесь:


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Ideas for Future Theses

There are several manuscripts that have recently become available of the Liturgy of St. James, Brother of the Lord. An interesting senior thesis would be to compare and contrast these manuscripts and to then continue the work of Phillip von Gardner, who first prepared this service in Church Slavonic for use in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

The Western Rite movement within Orthodoxy Christianity has a very interesting history. It also has a complex and somewhat controversial liturgical expression. The Western Rite exists in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, the Antiochian Orthodox Church, and in other canonical and non-canonical varieties. An interesting senior thesis would be to examine the history of the Western Rite, its liturgical claims, its contemporary liturgical expression, and whether it has been an efficacious vehicle in bringing those to Orthodoxy who otherwise would not have become Orthodox Christians.

If you are interested in either of these projects please contact me privately.

Priest Gregory Joyce

Friday, June 9, 2017

Graduation Symposium 2017 Speakers Announced

We are pleased to announce the speakers for our initial Pastoral School Graduation Symposium. The symposium is set for Sunday, June 25, at the Diocesan Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God, 1800 Lee St., Des Plaines, IL 60018 during the meal following the Divine Liturgy that day. The speakers and their topics of discussion are:

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Metropolitan Philip of Poltava and Mirgorod: “The Work of the Department of Religious Education, Catechism, and Missionary Endeavor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church”

FACULTY SPEAKER: Archpriest Gregory Joyce: “Russian Orthodox Clergy Attitudes towards Practitioners of other Religions: Implications for Orthodox Clerical Formation in the 21st Century”

STUDENT GRADUATE SPEAKER: Deacon Daniel Franzen: “The Maladies of Modernity and Orthodox Praxis According to the Homilies of St. Gregory Palamas”

Please plan to join us in person if you are able. We intend to broadcast the symposium on Facebook Live, as well as record the proceedings – both audio and video. These recordings will be posted after editing on our Pastoral School blog, The Dean’s List.

Priest Gregory Joyce

Thursday, June 8, 2017

January Graduation Cycle Added

With the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Peter of Chicago & Mid-America, President of the Pastoral School, we are pleased to announce that in addition to our usual spring cycle of comprehensive examinations, thesis defense, and graduation, an addition cycle will be added to the school calendar beginning in January 2018 and each January thereafter. This cycle will be centered around the patronal feast day of our school, which falls on December 20/January 2 each year. More information will be forthcoming. Please contact me if you would like to learn more. We already have two graduates scheduled for January 2018!

Priest Gregory Joyce, Dean

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Pastoral School Instructor Ordained to the Priesthood

On the great feast of Pentecost our instructor in the Catechist Program and Homiletics, Deacon Joshua Genig, was ordained to the priesthood by His Grace Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk at the St. Nicholas cathedral in New York City. Please join me in congratulating Fr. Joshua with his ordination! Fr. Joshua asks the prayers of all as he undertakes his ministry as a servant of the holy altar.

Priest Gregory Joyce, Dean

Left to Right: Archpriest Roman Star, Bishop John, Priest Joshua Genig

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Independent Study this Summer - the Church and the Layworker

The Summer Semester begins on June 19, 2017. One of our seniors graduating next year will be conducting an independent study of the course “The Church and the Layworker”. This is the capstone course of the school for those pursuing the Orthodox Studies track. If others would like to join this independent study that would be welcome. Please contact me with questions or to sign up.

Priest Gregory Joyce, Dean

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Archbishop Peter Meets with Students of the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary

On 4/17 May, 2017, His Eminence Archbishop Peter, Rector of the Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America, met with some of the students of the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary following their end of year examinations. The discussion, which lasted more than one hour, touched on a wide range of subjects from parish life in America, to St. John of Shanghai & San Francisco, to other topics. Both Archbishop Peter and the students were very engaged – the discussion likely could have lasted for hours longer if Vladyka did not have to move on to other business already arranged at the Caves Monastery where the Academy and Seminary are located. Later that day Archbishop Peter met with Metropolitan Anthony, Rector of the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary, about which more will be said here in the near future. Archbishop Peter is pictured in the photos below with the students as well as Fr. Rostislov Snigerev, a member of the faculty of the Academy and Seminary.

You can hear the students present pray at the end of the meeting with Archbishop Peter HERE.

Call for Proposals – Faculty

We are seeking a faculty member to make a presentation at the first of what we hope will be an annual Graduation Symposium for our school on June 12/25, 2017. We have a guest speaker and a student speaker (both soon to be announced), but we do not have a faculty speaker yet. Please contact me as soon as possible to reserve you spot as THE faculty speaker at this event! Go down in history as the first faculty member to present at our annual Graduation Symposium!

Fr. Gregory

Monday, May 1, 2017

Summer Course Offerings Announced

Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America to Offer Summer Courses

With Archbishop Peter's blessing, this year summer courses will again be offered in the Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America.  The following courses will be offered this year – dates for the courses are June 19 – August 5, 2017 (Liturgics and Advanced Byzantine Canon Law are slightly longer in duration):

  • Liturgics
  • Church Slavonic
  • Parish Management and Operations
  • Thesis Writing Workshop
  • Homiletics
  • New Testament Greek
  • New Testament Latin
  • Advanced Byzantine Canon Law - NEW

All Pastoral School summer courses are available to the general public without the need for a formal application to our complete Diploma program.  To register please visit the following link:


To learn more about the summer courses and all the offerings of the Pastoral School please visit this link:


For more information or with questions please contact the Dean of the Pastoral School, Archpriest Gregory Joyce (fr.gregory.joyce@orthodoxtheologicalschool.org).

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Update on Juliana Gedney

Christ is Risen!

It has been some time since we gave you an update on Juliana Gedney, wife of our Pastoral School student Subdeacon Adam Gedney.

Subdeacon Adam reports the following:

Thank God, Juliana is doing well. She's a little over half way through her chemo treatments. She is more tired these days and in general her energy doesn't last long. Of course, all her hair is gone now as well. She recovered well from the double mastectomy though. According to the doctors everything is going well and as planned. Just a couple more treatments and she'll be done with chemo then she begins radiation.

Radiation treatment is a 6 week process where she’ll go everyday to be radiated in some targeted locations on the chest and under the arms. Juliana’s spirits are good. She is seeing this all in its spiritual context and she says the akathist to St. Panteleimon daily. Please keep Juliana and our 7 month old daughter Militsa in your prayers.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Spring Semester 2017 Begins

Today we begin our Spring 2017 Semester. We are pleased to welcome students from St. Petersburg Theological Academy based on our newly-signed Partnership Agreement. More information about this significant achievement can be found HERE.

We are pleased to welcome Professor Nicholas Ganson of Helenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology to our faculty! Professor Ganson, a graduate of the Pastoral School, will be teaching “The Orthodox Church in the 20th & 21st Century”.

This semester we also welcome our first Spanish language students. We begin with an initial cadre of 7 students, which is frankly more than we had hoped for! :) Thank you to Archpriest Peter Jackson, Associate Dean for Spanish Instruction, and the other dedicated staff and faculty that have worked so hard to get us to this day. We have compiled the first comprehensive Orthodox seminary program in Spanish in the history of the Church. Let us thank the Lord for this, and do our best to live up to the significant responsibility that such a program places on us. We ask the prayers of our Pastoral School students, faculty, staff, and friends for the success of this important program!

May the merciful Lord grant us all a spiritually and academically fruiful semester!

Fr. Gregory Joyce, Dean

Graduation Weekend is June 24-25, 2017

Please note that graduation weekend will be June 24-25, 2017. On June 24 (and perhaps on June 23 as well, if there are enough graduating seniors) final comprehensive examinations and thesis defenses will be held at the Diocesan Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God in Des Plaines, Illinois. On June 25 the graduation symposium will be held. Graduating seniors are expected to be present at the activities on June 24 and 25. Flights out of O'Hare should not be scheduled before 6:00 p.m. on June 25. Please contact me with questions or concerns.

Fr. Gregory Joyce, Dean

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Reminder: Application Deadline for Spring Semester is February 1

Please spread the word to friends, loved ones, fellow parishioners, and everyone that you know or suspect would like to join us for the Spring Semester!

Application in English

Solicitud en español

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Prayer Request for Student Family

We are asking prayers for the wife our Pastoral School Subdeacon Adam Gedney. His young wife Julianna was very unexpectedly diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer and will be undergoing major surgery on the feast of the Lord’s Theophany, January 19. Please remember Subdeacon Adam, Julianna, and their young daughter Militsa in your prayers.

In addition to being a member of the Pastoral School family Adam runs the orthodoxquoteoftheday.com email list.

We will update you here as we learn more.

Fr. Gregory