St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary 60 Joint Seminary Celebration of OCA Chancery Patronal Feast Day Sat, 24 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p>Students, faculty, and administrators from both St. Vladimir&rsquo;s Seminary and St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary gathered at our national chancery in Syosset on Saturday, September 24<sup>th</sup> to celebrate the Chapel Patronal Feast Day of St. Sergius of Radonezh. This celebration was hosted by chancery staff, began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, and was followed by a luncheon.&nbsp; Archbishop Michael, St Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary Rector, preached during the Divine Liturgy.&nbsp;</p> <p>Photos of the day&rsquo;s events viewed here were taken by St. Tikhon's seminarians.</p> <p>Please also see the complete coverage of the day&rsquo;s events on our OCA website by clicking <span style="color: #ff00ff;"><a href=""><span style="color: #ff00ff;">here</span></a></span>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary St. Tikhon's Seminary announces 2016 Fall Lecture Series Mon, 03 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p>The annual Fall Lecture Series at Saint Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary, featuring four public lecture on Tuesdays throughout the month of October, will begin this&nbsp;<span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_2066695770"><span class="aQJ">Tuesday, October 4</span></span>. &nbsp;Please note the time for each lecture as they are not all evening presentations.<br /><br />Weekly topics and speakers include the following.<br /><br /><strong><span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_2066695771"><span class="aQJ">October 4 at 7 PM</span></span>&nbsp;&mdash; &ldquo;Understanding Today&rsquo;s College Students from an Orthodox Street Preacher&rsquo;s Perspective&rdquo;</strong><br />Gary Cattell, also known as &ldquo;The Willard Preacher,&rdquo; began preaching and dialoguing with students at Penn State as a Protestant in November of 1982. In the spring of 1999, he became an Orthodox Christian. He now ministers to Penn State students from the perspective of the Orthodox faith. He is married to Karen, his wife for more than thirty years, and has four grown children and four grandchildren.<br /><br /><strong><span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_2066695772"><span class="aQJ">October 11 at 7 PM</span></span>&nbsp;&nbsp;&mdash; &ldquo;Identity and Knowledge: A Reflection on Leading Reading Groups on the Church Fathers&rdquo;</strong><br />Dr. Timothy Becker, PhD, teaches at the Center for Orthodox Thought and Culture at Eastern University in Philadelphia, where he also leads a popular reading group for anyone interested in the Church Fathers and Orthodoxy. Dr. Becker will reflect on why and how participation in this communal activity has been transformative for students and others.<br /><br /><strong><span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_2066695773"><span class="aQJ">October 18 at Noon</span></span>&nbsp;&mdash; &ldquo;Vocation &amp; Ministry in the Orthodox Church&rdquo;</strong><br />Sr. Vassa Larin, PhD, is host of the popular YouTube show &ldquo;Coffee with Sr. Vassa,&rdquo; the author of various scholarly and popular works, and a professor of liturgical studies at the University of Vienna in Austria. Sr. Vassa will explore the intriguing concepts of &ldquo;ministry&rdquo; and &ldquo;vocation&rdquo; in the context of our post-modern, globalized world. Have these concepts &ldquo;changed" in the Internet-Age &mdash; an Age of Fluidity?&nbsp;<br /><br /><strong><span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_2066695774"><span class="aQJ">October 25 at 7 PM</span></span>&nbsp;&mdash; &ldquo;Money to Burn: A New (Old) Approach to Christian Stewardship&rdquo;</strong><br />Dr. Andy Geleris, MD, completed medical school and a neurology residency at UCLA, and has been a practicing neurologist for 33 years in southern California. He and his family became Orthodox as part of St. Peter's in Pomona, a Protestant church that converted to Orthodoxy in 1996. In his talk, Dr. Geleris will examine how embracing a biblical and patristic vision of generosity can revitalize one's spiritual life and the Church's witness to the world.<br /><br />The general public is encouraged to attend. Admission for the entire lecture series is $10 per person. Refreshments will be provided. Please direct questions and RSVP to Teresa Vaux-Michel, Administrative Assistant to the Dean, at&nbsp;<a href="tel:570-561-1818%20ext.%20101" target="_blank">570-561-1818 ext. 101</a>&nbsp;or<a href="" target="_blank"></a>. &nbsp;Please click <span style="color: #ff00ff;"><a href="/files/Fall-Lecture-Series/2016_Fall_Lecture_Series.pdf"><span style="color: #ff00ff;">here</span></a></span> for a flyer that you can post.</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary St. Tikhon’s Seminary Prepares for ATS Site Visit: Comments Invited Sun, 18 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p><span style="line-height: 18.2px;">St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Orthodox Theological Seminary will be receiving an evaluation committee from the Association of Theological Schools November 20-23</span><sup style="line-height: 18.2px;">rd</sup><span style="line-height: 18.2px;">. You are invited to forward comments related to this evaluation to either to the ATS Commission on Accrediting or to our Seminary Accreditation Leadership Team.&nbsp; Comments are particularly welcome regarding the </span><em style="line-height: 18.2px;"><a href="">General Institutional Standards</a></em><span style="line-height: 18.2px;">, the </span><a style="line-height: 18.2px;" href=""><em>Educational</em></a><a style="line-height: 18.2px;" href=""> <em>Standard</em></a><em style="line-height: 18.2px;">s</em><span style="line-height: 18.2px;">, and </span><a style="line-height: 18.2px;" href=""><em>Degree Program Standards</em></a><span style="line-height: 18.2px;">.</span></p> <p>Please email comments directly to the <a href="">director of accreditation services</a>,</p> <p>or to our seminary&rsquo;s dedicated e-mail address: <a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>or send comments by mail to the Commission or the Seminary:</p> <p><strong>Director of Accreditation Services</strong>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; <strong>STOTS&nbsp;ATS Accreditation Leadership Team</strong></p> <p>The Association of Theological Schools&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 10 Summit Park Drive &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; P.O. Box 130</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Pittsburgh, PA 15275-1110&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; South Canaan, PA 18459</p> <p>Please watch for a further announcement of a session to be held at the seminary that you may attend.</p> <p>(Photo from ATS Focused Visit at St. Tikhon's Seminary in 2012)</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Fall Lecture Series Continues with Lecture on Patristic Reading Groups Tue, 11 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><div>The Seminary's Fall Lecture Series continued on October 11 with a talk by Dr. Timothy Becker, entitled "Identity and Knowledge: A Reflection on Leading Reading Groups on the Church Fathers."</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Dr. Becker, who teaches at the Center for Orthodox Thought and Culture at Eastern University in Philadelphia, discussed his years of experience in leading patristic reading groups in several contexts, including at Eastern University.</div> <p>"We were impressed with Dr. Becker and his warm, insightful presentation.&nbsp; He really opened up for us greater possibilities for reading groups as a means for evangelistic outreach as well as spiritual growth," observed Drs. David and Mary Ford.</p> <div>Dr. Becker described how his groups adopt common spiritual practices (e.g. waking at&nbsp;<span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_1139294898"><span class="aQJ">2 AM</span></span>&nbsp;for the&nbsp;<span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_1139294899"><span class="aQJ">Midnight</span></span>&nbsp;Office on the day of their meeting), and how he encourages open conversation that attends to life application.</div></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Scranton District Dental Society Honors St. Tikhon's Board Emeritus Member, Dr. Eli Stavisky Mon, 10 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; (Scranton, PA) The Scranton District Dental Society (SDDS) honored Dr. Eli Stavisky for his years of dedication and service to the field of dentistry with a dinner on September 9, 2016 at Fiorellis.&nbsp; In attendance were members of the SDDS, family, and friends, along with featured speakers Judge A. Richard Caputo, United States Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania; Archbishop Michael Dahulich, Bishop of New York and New Jersey; Dr. Amid L. Ismail, Dean of the Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple Dental; Camille Kostlac-Cherry, Esquire, Chief Executive Office of the Pennsylvania Dental Society; Dr. Mary Sewatsky, Chief medical officer at Moses Taylor Hospital; Dr. Linda Himmelberger; Dr. Albert Giallorenzi ; Dr. John Erhard, Chairman of the Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry; and Dr. Justin Burns.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Dr. Eli Stavisky served for over thirty years as a Board Member of St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary.&nbsp; Upon his retirement, he was given Board Emeritus status, and awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters by the seminary during Graduation Exercises in May, 2014 for his decades of dedicated service.&nbsp; Dr. Eli provided for the dental care of many seminarians during his years of service on the board.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Born and raised in Old Forge, Pennsylvania, Dr. Stavisky graduated from Lycoming College (Williamsport, PA); Temple University School of Dentistry (Philadelphia, PA); New York University (New York, NY); and served in the United States Air Force as a Captain. &nbsp;He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral &amp; Maxillofacial Surgeons, Fellow of the International College of Dentists, Fellow of the American College of Dentists, and Fellow of the Pierre Fauchard Academy.&nbsp;&nbsp; Among Dr. Stavisky&rsquo;s numerous honors are Pierre Fauchard, Pennsylvania Section (Distinguished Dentist citation); St. Tikhons Theological Seminary, Doctor of Humane Letters (Honorius Cusa) and Trustee Emeritus; Angela R. Kyle Award, Lycoming College (given for a lifetime of service to humanity and whose life exemplifies those qualities encouraged and fostered at Lycoming College and by its predecessor institutions);&nbsp; The Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) Annual Award (the highest award given by the PDA); and Temple University School of Dentistry Founder&rsquo;s Award.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Dr. Stavisky has held several positions throughout the field of dentistry and medicine including: Pennsylvania State Dental Council and Examining Board, where he served as Chair for 10 years; President of the American College of Dentists, Philadelphia; Chair of the Board of Distinguished Temple University Dental Advisors; Examiner for the North East Regional Board of Dental Examiners for 35 years; Examiner for the North East Regional Board, Specialty Examination in Oral Surgery; Trustee of the Pennsylvania Dental Association; Delegate to the American Dental Association Annual Meeting; and member of the Executive Committee of Moses Taylor Hospital.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; One of Dr. Stavisky&rsquo;s most notable achievements is the fact that he personally mentored sixty pre-dental students throughout his career and assisted them in their journey into and through dental school.&nbsp; These former students are now successful dentists serving patients all over the country.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The SDDS is a voluntary organization comprising approximately 150 local member dentists. It is a constituency of the American Dental Association, the largest and oldest national dental society in the world, and the Pennsylvania Dental Association. The SDDS oversees activities like National Children&rsquo;s Dental Health Month (NCDHM), public education, school visitation, and continuing education for dentists.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The mission of the SDDS is to provide dentists with a forum to discuss pertinent issues that relate to the practice and regulation of dentistry as it pertains to the health and general well-being of the communities they serve.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; For more information on the SDDS, please visit: <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>###</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>PHOTO</strong>:&nbsp; L to R: Judge A. Richard Caputo, United States Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania; Dr. Linda Himmelberger; Archbishop Michael Dahulich, Bishop of New York and New Jersey, Rector of St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary; Dr. Eli Stavisky; Dr. John Erhard and Dr. Amid L. Ismail, Dean of the Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple Dental.</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Concert on November 6 in Philadelphia to Explore Biblical Foundations of Orthodox Christian Liturgy Fri, 07 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="m_-5482991356800622538gmail-im"><span class="m_-5482991356800622538gmail-m_3947794316758163534gmail-m_-3716636787465157687gmail-im">South Canaan, Pa. &mdash;&nbsp;St. Tikhon's Seminary has partnered with the newly launched Center for Orthodox Thought and Culture to hold a benef</span>it concert in Philadelphia on&nbsp;<span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_990004177"><span class="aQJ">Sunday, November 6 at 4:00 PM</span></span>&nbsp;in the McInnis Auditorium on Eastern University's campus, located in St. Davids, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia.</span></div> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span class="m_-5482991356800622538gmail-im">The performance, entitled &ldquo;Psalms &amp; Hymns,&rdquo; will feature Russian Orthodox sacred music in English that highlights the biblical foundations of Orthodox Christian liturgy. &nbsp;An ensemble made up of select singers from the St. Tikhon's Seminary choir and a group of professional vocalists from the Chamber Choir of Saint Tikhon&rsquo;s Monastery will perform the program under the direction of Benedict Sheehan. &nbsp;The performance is the third public concert featuring the highly regarded Chamber Choir of St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Monastery, which celebrated the release of its inaugural CD with a concert in New York City last year.<br /><br />&ldquo;While the liturgical life of the Orthodox Church has certainly evolved and deepened over the course of two millennia, spanning as it has a multitude of cultures and languages, it continues to, as it were, breathe the air of Holy Scripture,&rdquo; says Sheehan, who teaches liturgical music at St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary in addition to directing the choirs. &ldquo;The Psalms remain the core of Orthodox services, and likewise the rich body of hymnography that we now possess in Orthodoxy grows entirely out of an original foundation of psalmody. Psalms and hymns interact seamlessly within our services, and the language of psalms, and of Scripture in general, is vividly mirrored in the words of the hymns.&rdquo;<br /><br />The music in the program will draw on the thousand-year-old tradition of monastic singing in Russia, as still practiced today at St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Monastery. Znamenny Chant from medieval Russia will be featured alongside more recent arrangements by composers from the Moscow Synodal School and the Trinity-St. Sergius Monastery. Also included on the program will be arrangements by the late Deacon Sergei Trubachev (1919-1995), as well as an original work by Benedict Sheehan, based on medieval znamenny chant. All selections will be sung in English.<br /><br />Joining the choir as canonarch&mdash;a liturgical soloist in Orthodox monastic practice&mdash;will be Hierodeacon Herman (Majkrzak) of St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Monastery brotherhood and teacher of liturgics at St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary.&nbsp;<br /><br />McInnis Auditorium is located on the main campus of Eastern University at 1300 Eagle Road&nbsp;Saint Davids, PA 19087. A&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl=";q=;source=gmail&amp;ust=1475951357653000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFdYpyhZPMo7FlbN8oKTDo9Me_NYg">campus map is available for download</a>. &nbsp;Seating is limited, so please write to&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"></a><wbr />&nbsp;to express interest and reserve tickets for pick up at the event. &nbsp; You can click <span style="color: #ff00ff;"><a href="/files/2016-Event-Files/Nov-2016-Concert-flyer.pdf"><span style="color: #ff00ff;">here</span></a></span> to access a flyer to post for the event as well.<br /><br />Proceeds from the event will benefit St. Tikhon's Theological Seminary and the Orthodox Center at Eastern University. Tickets will be available at the door and are $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for students. Direct donations above that level are most welcome.&nbsp;</span></p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: justify;"><span class="m_-5482991356800622538gmail-im"><span class="m_-5482991356800622538gmail-im">++++</span></span> <div style="text-align: justify;"><br /><strong>More about the Center&nbsp;</strong><br />The Center for Orthodox Thought and Culture is a new academic program offered by the Agora Institute of Eastern University in Philadelphia. Students at the Center benefit from a rigorous education in the Great Books of Eastern Christianity, a regular cycle of Orthodox worship, and are able to pursue accredited degrees in 35+ different fields through the Templeton Honors College and Eastern University. Eastern University&rsquo;s scenic 90+ acre campus is located on a former estate in the historic &ldquo;Main Line&rdquo; area of suburban Philadelphia, close to the St. David&rsquo;s train station (5 minutes) and a brief (20 minute) train ride into downtown Philadelphia. Contact&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">orthodox@agorainstitut<wbr /></a>&nbsp;for more information.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><strong>More about the Chamber Choir&nbsp;</strong></div> The Chamber Choir of St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Monastery is a professional vocal ensemble under the auspices of St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Monastery in Pennsylvania, America&rsquo;s oldest Orthodox monastery. Founded in 2015 by artistic director, Benedict Sheehan, and Archimandrite Sergius, abbot of St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Monastery, the Chamber Choir&rsquo;s mission is to explore, promote, and build up the tradition of Orthodox sacred music in America, and to bring people of today&rsquo;s world into contact with the living tradition of ancient Christianity through vibrant and inspiring choral singing. The group is comprised of some of the finest solo and ensemble singers in the New York area and around North America.&nbsp;</div></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary STOTS to Host Fall Vocations Retreat, "St. John Chrysostom: Champion of the Priesthood" Fri, 07 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p>Saint Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary will host a Fall Vocations Retreat&nbsp;on Friday&nbsp;and&nbsp;Saturday, November 11-12, 2016.&nbsp; The theme will be &ldquo;St. John Chrysostom: Champion of the Priesthood."&nbsp;</p> <p>"We look forward to celebrating the feast of St. John Chrysostom this year by welcoming to campus men and women from throughout the country who are interested in exploring the teachings of this great Church Father," Archpriest Dr. Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, said. &nbsp;"His vision of the priesthood is inspiring to anyone who is thinking seriously about serving the Church in some capacity."</p> <p>During the retreat, participants will have the opportunity to join with the seminary community and monastery brotherhood in prayer, tour the monastery and seminary grounds, hear talks and join in discussions about ministry and St. John Chrysostom, and meet the seminary&rsquo;s Dean, faculty, and students.&nbsp; Both women and men are encouraged to attend.</p> <p>There is no cost to participate in the retreat, which begins at&nbsp;6:00 PM&nbsp;on Friday, November 11 and ends at&nbsp;4:00 PM&nbsp;on&nbsp;Saturday, November 12.&nbsp; Food and accommodations are available at the Seminary, and participants are welcome to extend their stay through the weekend to attend&nbsp;Saturday&nbsp;evening's Vigil and&nbsp;Sunday's&nbsp;Divine Liturgy if their schedule allows.&nbsp; To register or to obtain more information, please contact the seminary at&nbsp;570-561-1818, ext 101 or&nbsp;<a href=""></a>. &nbsp;</p> <p>A PDF poster that parishes may download and distribute is also available for download <span style="color: #ff00ff;"><a href="/files/2016-Event-Files/Vocations-Retreat/Fall-VocRetreat2016.pdf"><span style="color: #ff00ff;">here</span></a></span>. &nbsp;You can also register on the form below.</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Fall Lecture Series Begins at St. Tikhon's with Gary Cattell, "The Willard Preacher" Tue, 04 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">Gary Cattell, also known as &ldquo;The Willard Preacher,&rdquo; at Penn State University, presented the first Lecture on Tuesday, October 4<sup>th</sup>, entitled: &ldquo;Understanding Today&rsquo;s College Students from an Orthodox Street Preacher&rsquo;s Perspective&rdquo;.&nbsp; During his presentation Gary outlined how he recently needed to change his approach to reach out to today&rsquo;s college students, while similarly sharing his perspectives concerning how they view themselves and our cultural context today. Seminarians present connected with the value of his sharing in preparing them to interact with young people in parish and college contexts alike.&nbsp; Gary encouraged all present to similarly reach out to others, not copying his approach, but utilizing the unique gifts that each of us are given.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Gary began preaching and dialoguing with students at Penn State as a Protestant in November of 1982. In the spring of 1999, he became an Orthodox Christian. He now ministers to Penn State students from the perspective of the Orthodox faith. He is married to Karen, his wife for more than thirty years, and has four grown children and four grandchildren.</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Professor David Ford speaks at the OTSA Annual Meeting about St. Photios the Great Fri, 30 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">SOUTH CANAAN, PA &mdash; On Sept. 29 and 30, 2016, Dr. David and Dr. Mary Ford represented St. Tikhon's Seminary in attending the annual meeting of Orthodox Theological Society of America (OTSA), held at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, in Brookline, Mass.&nbsp; The theme of the conference was "Conciliarity and the Council of Crete."<br /><br />"It was a very good experience to be at the meeting," Dr. David Ford said, "where several interesting first-hand reports were given about the recent council in Crete.&nbsp; The keynote address was given by Dr. Elizabeth Perdromou, a trained political scientist, on some of the geo-political realities that inevitably influenced that council and the various back-stories behind it."<br /><br />Dr. David gave a talk at the conference entitled "St. Photios the Great, the Photian Council, and Relations with the Roman Church," in which he recounted the enthralling story of the high-level controversy between St. Photios the Great and Pope Nicholas I of Rome in the 860s, when Nicholas attempted to declare who was the legitimate patriarch of Constantinople &mdash; Photios, or his predecessor Ignatius, who had resigned.&nbsp; In addition to solving this controversy, the Photian Council of 879-880, which was accepted by the Papacy for the next 200 years, outlawed any changes to the Nicene Creed, thus forbidding the Filioque clause added to the Creed in the West; and it also repudiated Roman claims to have jurisdiction over the Eastern Churches. &nbsp;<br /><br />"A number of Orthodox theologians have emphasized the ecumenical authority of the Photian Council of 879-880," Dr. David observed. "In fact, I began my talk with a quote written in 1996 by Alexander Golitzin, now His Grace Bishop Alexander of the South and the Bulgarian Diocese of the OCA: 'Given the convocation of another ecumenical council, the Orthodox Church would almost certainly recognize the synod of 879 as the Eighth Ecumenical.'"<br /><br />Dr. David's talk proceeded to make a case for the Photian Council to be recognized as the Eighth Ecumenical Council &mdash; with the Palamite Councils of 1341-1351 then being recognized as the Ninth Ecumenical Council. &nbsp;<br /><br />"This would make it even more clear to everyone that the Orthodox Church will never recognize any change to the Nicene Creed, and will never allow Papal authority over Her; and that She holds the crucial distinction between God's Essence and His Energies, which was articulated and proclaimed in the Palamite Councils, at the level of unchanging, dogmatic, eternal Truth," Dr. David concluded.</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary