Friday, July 5, 2019

Pastoral School Graduation Spring 2019

On June 9/22, 2019 the Pastoral School of Chicago and Mid-America marked its thirteenth annual graduation. Before the Divine Liturgy second year student Micah Chisholm was tonsured a Reader and elevated to Subdeacon. Following the Divine Liturgy at the Diocesan Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God in Des Plaines, IL three students received their diplomas in Pastoral Studies (title of thesis in parentheses):

Priest Ioan Comenescu (“The Calendar – Strength in the Faith”)

Deacon Nicholas Esterhuizen (“The Martha-Maria Convent and its Synthesis of Western European Nursing and Orthodox Monasticism”)

Deacon Pavel Baksheev (“History of the Church of our Lady’s Dormition Parish Dandenong – the Formative Years”)

On the day previous the students had defended their theses and successfully passed oral exams before a board consisting of His Eminence Archbishop Peter of Chicago & Mid-America (President of the School), Archpriest Andre Papkov (Vice President of the School), Archpriest Martin Swanson (Dean Emeritus of the School) and Archpriest Gregory Joyce (Dean of the School).

This year the Pastoral School had 104 students participating in its distance learning format courses.  The distance learning format allows students and instructors to participate in regular and lively classroom discussions on-line.  Many public and private universities use this format which engages the students in almost constant interaction and learning.  Distance learning provides the student with a full complement of resources which are available at any time and at any place. For more information on the Pastoral School please VISIT THE SCHOOL'S WEB SITE.

The application period for the fall semester is now open. Students must apply not later than September 1 to be considered for admission. Please note that Pastoral Theology majors’ wives may register at a discounted rate for the Orthodox Studies major. Students may wish to apply before the September 1 deadline so that they can take advantage of the need-based scholarships available to incoming students (applications for scholarship are due August 15).  MORE INFORMATION ON ADMISSIONS MAY BE FOUDN HERE.


Please note the Catechist Certificate program which is also accepting applications. The Catechist Program is modeled on the program outlined by the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church held in 2013.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

First Successful Defense of Theology Doctorate at St. Petersburg State University Since 1918

The successful defense of the first Doctoral Dissertation in Theology at St. Petersburg State University since the Theological Faculty was closed in 1918 (the university was previously called St. Petersburg Imperial University) took place on July 1, 2019. More information in Russian (an English translation will be provided here as soon as possible) can be found here:

The successful candidate is Reader Alexandr Andreev, 2013 graduate of the Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America. “This is a very significant accomplishment for Alexandr and something that our Pastoral School can be thankful for – that one of our graduates was prepared adequately to go on to pursue higher theological education within the structure of the Russian Orthodox Church and to be so successful in that pursuit”, said Archpriest Gregory Joyce, Dean of the Pastoral School. “It is our hope that our students will continue to take what they have learned in the Pastoral School – that rigorous and solid foundation of theological education that we provide – and build on that as clergy, educators, and academics in service to the Holy Church.” It is hoped that Alexandr will eventually return to the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America to use the skills he has acquired in Russia for the good of our the faithful of the diocese.