Author Topic: In your opinion what Orthodox Seminary / Theological School would you choose ?  (Read 1713 times)

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Offline Jude1:3

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   In your opinion what Orthodox Seminary / Theological School would you choose from this list in America ?

I have been on a search for years on what Christian College I should goto and it has been such a challenge. Part of the frustration was knowing that most of modern Christinaty is watered down and counterfeit. Now that I've learned about Orthodoxy I have been interested in attending some kind of Orthodox School. I wanted to get all of your opinions on this. Thank you very much.


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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Your post is assuming that the Christianity taught at accredited Orthodox colleges is not also what you would call watered-down.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are

Offline Jude1:3

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Your post is assuming that the Christianity taught at accredited Orthodox colleges is not also what you would call watered-down.









 I guess that's true.

Hopefully there are some that are better than others though.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2016, 01:42:00 PM by Jude1:3 »

Offline Jude1:3

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Offline IreneOlinyk

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Hellenic Colleg/Holy Crosse Seminary.
Get your BA at Helenic College and then MDiv at Holy Cross: both on the same campus in Boston.

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Go to Jordanville for your BTh (four years, used to be five) and then to St. Vlad's or St. Tikhon's for your MDiv. I graduated from Jordanville so of course I am biased. With respect to other schools, you will find no other on this continent that is more integrated with the liturgical life.
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Offline DeniseDenise

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Well what do you intend on -doing- with this degree from an 'Orthodox school'????

in my opinion that's a much more important question for someone who is not yet Orthodox than 'which one of these'.....
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Offline gavaisky

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Well what do you intend on -doing- with this degree from an 'Orthodox school'????

in my opinion that's a much more important question for someone who is not yet Orthodox than 'which one of these'.....

This is a good point. Unless you have an interest in becoming a clergyman you should not go to seminary. St. Katherine's College in California I heard is an Orthodox college. There is of course Hellenic College in Boston. If you're not even Orthodox yet, become Orthodox and focus on being a normal person.
Let the mouth too fast from disgraceful speeches and railing. For what does it profit if we abstain from birds and fishes, and yet bite and devour our brethren? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother, and bites the body of his neighbor.
—St. John Chrysostom

Offline Jude1:3

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Well what do you intend on -doing- with this degree from an 'Orthodox school'????

in my opinion that's a much more important question for someone who is not yet Orthodox than 'which one of these'.....



  Christianity in general is The Only thing I have ever really wanted to study. All my other passions and pursuits have been fruitless and failures like music, art, etc.

  I want to be on the right path. I have no real job in mind, I just want to know The Absolute Truth and Correct Theology that I should be following.

   

Offline Agabus

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Well what do you intend on -doing- with this degree from an 'Orthodox school'????

in my opinion that's a much more important question for someone who is not yet Orthodox than 'which one of these'.....



  Christianity in general is The Only thing I have ever really wanted to study. All my other passions and pursuits have been fruitless and failures like music, art, etc.

  I want to be on the right path. I have no real job in mind, I just want to know The Absolute Truth and Correct Theology that I should be following.

 

Then seminary is not for you.
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Offline Jude1:3

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Well what do you intend on -doing- with this degree from an 'Orthodox school'????

in my opinion that's a much more important question for someone who is not yet Orthodox than 'which one of these'.....



  Christianity in general is The Only thing I have ever really wanted to study. All my other passions and pursuits have been fruitless and failures like music, art, etc.

  I want to be on the right path. I have no real job in mind, I just want to know The Absolute Truth and Correct Theology that I should be following.

 

Then seminary is not for you.


So an Orthodox College in general might be the right choice then instead of a seminary ?

Offline NicholasMyra

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Well what do you intend on -doing- with this degree from an 'Orthodox school'????

in my opinion that's a much more important question for someone who is not yet Orthodox than 'which one of these'.....



  Christianity in general is The Only thing I have ever really wanted to study. All my other passions and pursuits have been fruitless and failures like music, art, etc.

  I want to be on the right path. I have no real job in mind, I just want to know The Absolute Truth and Correct Theology that I should be following.

 

Then seminary is not for you.
+1 Sometimes people see bible colleges or seminaries as replacements for churches. Like seminary is where I'm going to find a Christian community and the right theology, etc. For those things you just go to a good parish.

As for finding your "vocation" in life, maybe the idea of a vocation has caused you grief and confusion. Maybe it would be a quiet and cool relief to abandon the idea of a vocation, intentional life, discipleship, etc. Then you can forgive yourself, God and the world for not providing those things. That sounds like a much more peaceful way to live.

Of course that's advice I'd like to take as well.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2016, 02:42:30 PM by NicholasMyra »
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Offline Jude1:3

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Thanks for the answers everyone.

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Hellenic college in Boston is the only Orthodox college I know of in the US. So that is my recommendation for college if you want a full Orthodox environment.

Usually, you only go to seminary if you want to be a priest or have some other specific Orthodox related career or serious labor, like being a deacon or theology teacher. After spending time at Hellenic you will probably know better what you want for a career.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2016, 02:50:28 PM by rakovsky »

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I am not suggesting that seminary is only for future priests.....


but  Nicholas is right, you can also learn about the correct theology etc at a parish, with good catechism. 

That's why I asked what you want to do with the education.  If it is to learn , then maybe convert, then start at a parish....its cheaper (read free) and will start you down the path.

i am making the assumption that you are in the 19-24 age bracket here......one in which many of us pick educational directions by 'interest' and ignore practicality of using said degree afterwards....
All opinions expressed by myself are quite tragically my own, and not those of any other poster or wall hangings.

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There are colleges with
    * theology classes taught by Orthodox professors in the US and
    * you can be involved in parish life and
    * join the Orthodox C.F. club for students,
    * study abroad a summer in an Orthodox region of the world (maybe even Alaska would count). [/li]

I would find that to be enough and that's more than enough for most Orthodox parishioners involved in our church lives.

If you want full immersion in the US, I can only think of Hellenic college.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2016, 02:57:31 PM by rakovsky »

Offline truthseeker32

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If you want to learn how to swing the censer, go to St. Tikhon's.

If you want to learn why you swing the censer, go to St. Vladimir's.

If you want to be able to afford the censer, go to Holy Cross.


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I would add Holy Trinity to the list of affordable seminaries, Inthinkntheynhave the most beautiful liturgics program,  albeit requiring some knowledge of Russian; there is also the ACROD seminary to consider.  but if you go to a seminary with the blessing of your bishop, you will very likely benefit from substantial scholarship / tuition assistance (bishops can send seminarians to SVS in such a way so that the seminarian pays nothing), and going to a seminary without the blessing of a bishop is inadvisable.

In other churches with shortages of clergy, it may well be that if you go to their seminary, pay the money and pass, and do not commit any moral outrage, you are assured of ordination, but in Orthodoxy you might run the risk of simply accumulating student debt.

Also, remember, student loans cannot be discharged through bankruptcy and the "non profits" that collect student debt employ debt collectors who make up to $450,000/year and who are utterly ruthless, who can garnish your wages, place liens on your bank accounts, and attach to your personal property.

I am very thankful I have no student debt.   Both my parents were PhDs but I decided to start a business instead where a degree was not neccessary, and I was blessed with success.

On that note, not all jurisdictions require a seminary education, and some, like the Mid America diocese of ROCOR, have an online based certificate program.

It has been imparted to me the process should be to talk to your priest and maybe talk to some monastics, work on discerning your vocation, perhaps help the priest by working as a reader and learning to lead reader services so you can conduct Vespers or the Typika is he is sick or out of town, or lead an Akathist and so on, and then if the vocation is there the possibility will exist to talk to your bishop.

Discernment is also viable.  We are all priests in a sense and are all ministers; the sacramental priesthood is challenging and being a parish priest can be brutal.  To be ordained is to make a fearsome sacrifice of yourself and your personal ambition to God.
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You may want to consider a college that is close to an active, praying Orthodox Church. Pick a major that will result in some skills that will make you employable after graduation; accounting, finance, nursing are all good in that respect. Being in a good Orthodox parish will teach you a lot about living a Christian life. Of all these possibilities, the most beneficial and consequential may well be a wholehearted involvement in an Orthodox parish.

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If you want to learn how to swing the censer, go to St. Tikhon's.

If you want to learn why you swing the censer, go to St. Vladimir's.

If you want to be able to afford the censer, go to Holy Cross.

The variant I'm used to ends with "If you want to know where to get the best deal on a censer, go to Holy Cross". 
I'm making a firm decision to stay with the Orthodox Church.

Offline mike

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If you want to learn how to swing the censer, go to St. Tikhon's.

If you want to learn why you swing the censer, go to St. Vladimir's.

If you want to be able to afford the censer, go to Holy Cross.

The variant I'm used to ends with "If you want to know where to get the best deal on a censer, go to Holy Cross". 

If you want to get to know why the others cense wrong, go to Jordanville.
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Offline gavaisky

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If you want to learn how to swing the censer, go to St. Tikhon's.

If you want to learn why you swing the censer, go to St. Vladimir's.

If you want to be able to afford the censer, go to Holy Cross.

The variant I'm used to ends with "If you want to know where to get the best deal on a censer, go to Holy Cross". 

If you want to get to know why the others cense wrong, go to Jordanville.

+1
Let the mouth too fast from disgraceful speeches and railing. For what does it profit if we abstain from birds and fishes, and yet bite and devour our brethren? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother, and bites the body of his neighbor.
—St. John Chrysostom

Offline gavaisky

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I would add Holy Trinity to the list of affordable seminaries, Inthinkntheynhave the most beautiful liturgics program,  albeit requiring some knowledge of Russian; there is also the ACROD seminary to consider.  but if you go to a seminary with the blessing of your bishop, you will very likely benefit from substantial scholarship / tuition assistance (bishops can send seminarians to SVS in such a way so that the seminarian pays nothing), and going to a seminary without the blessing of a bishop is inadvisable.

All courses at Jordanville are now in English, with required courses in Russian and Church Slavonic. There are also substantial scholarships. I paid very little out-of-pocket because most of my tuition and board was covered by scholarships and work-study.
Let the mouth too fast from disgraceful speeches and railing. For what does it profit if we abstain from birds and fishes, and yet bite and devour our brethren? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother, and bites the body of his neighbor.
—St. John Chrysostom

Offline David Young

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   In your opinion what Orthodox Seminary / Theological School would you choose ...?

Durrës. (Sorry - not in USA)
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline JamesRottnek

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   In your opinion what Orthodox Seminary / Theological School would you choose ...?

Durrës. (Sorry - not in USA)

The Albanians have a seminary?
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   In your opinion what Orthodox Seminary / Theological School would you choose ...?

Durrës. (Sorry - not in USA)

The Albanians have a seminary?


They have autocephaly. It would be pointless (if not impossible) to have one without a school.
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Offline JamesRottnek

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   In your opinion what Orthodox Seminary / Theological School would you choose ...?

Durrës. (Sorry - not in USA)

The Albanians have a seminary?


They have autocephaly. It would be pointless (if not impossible) to have one without a school.

True, I assumed they have some sort of pastoral school.  But the fact that David Young mentioned it suggests it's a somewhat academic environment. 
"Homosexuality has been a popular topic, but not Satanic trances."

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Offline mike

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   In your opinion what Orthodox Seminary / Theological School would you choose ...?

Durrës. (Sorry - not in USA)

The Albanians have a seminary?


They have autocephaly. It would be pointless (if not impossible) to have one without a school.

True, I assumed they have some sort of pastoral school.  But the fact that David Young mentioned it suggests it's a somewhat academic environment. 

Theology schools are on academic level, they are not grade schools. I'm still surprised about your surprise.
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Offline JamesRottnek

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   In your opinion what Orthodox Seminary / Theological School would you choose ...?

Durrës. (Sorry - not in USA)

The Albanians have a seminary?


They have autocephaly. It would be pointless (if not impossible) to have one without a school.

True, I assumed they have some sort of pastoral school.  But the fact that David Young mentioned it suggests it's a somewhat academic environment. 

Theology schools are on academic level, they are not grade schools. I'm still surprised about your surprise.

But there are theology schools, and then there are theology schools.  I mean, the Alaskans have St. Herman's Seminary, but it's not usually among the first people mention when the topic of Orthodox theology schools comes up.
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Offline David Young

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Yes, the seminary in Albania is in Durrës, and a quick google search will tell you about it. I have never personally been there, but I have enjoyed coffee, or raki, or whatever it was (I forget now), with one of the lecturers in a hotel in Tirana. One reason I like it is its more friendly attitude towards us Evangelicals than is found among some Orthodox. When we, i.e. the Albanian Evangelical Mission, published a translation of Athanasius's De Incarnatione Verbi Dei they were happy to receive copies for the use of trainee priests.
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When we, i.e. the Albanian Evangelical Mission, published a translation of Athanasius's De Incarnatione Verbi Dei ...

Every time you write something like this, I marvel at how different the English Baptists are from those of my own patrimony.
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When we, i.e. the Albanian Evangelical Mission, published a translation of Athanasius's De Incarnatione Verbi Dei ...

Every time you write something like this, I marvel at how different the English Baptists are from those of my own patrimony.
;D

So true. These English Baptists would be quickly run out of most Baptist churches here in the US.
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Offline JamesRottnek

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When we, i.e. the Albanian Evangelical Mission, published a translation of Athanasius's De Incarnatione Verbi Dei ...

Every time you write something like this, I marvel at how different the English Baptists are from those of my own patrimony.

Haha, yes.  I'd be genuinely interested in knowing what went wrong with the American Baptists, and why they are so utterly different than David Young.
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Offline David Young

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These English Baptists would be quickly run out of most Baptist churches here in the US.

Very true. A lot of American Baptist ministers come to Britain to be pastors of English Baptist churches or to plant new churches. I am told most leave after a couple of years and return to the USA, as they cannot fit in. I have a friend from southern California who has been here for maybe 30 years, and now pastors the church where I was minister in the 1980s. He has adapted well to our culture, both British and British Evangelical, and I still often preach in his church; but he says I would NOT be acceptable among his home churches in the USA. I knew another in Scotland who was here for many years - perhaps still is. I also knew a military officer who started a Baptist church in the town where he was stationed, which I believe is still going after many years: one used to enjoy imported American wine (from the special military shops they enjoy) at his table! And another, recently arrived, who took me out to dinner after I preached at his church, and was actually going to buy my ale- but I didn't let him do that, of course, in respect for his own convictions. But I think such men are exceptions. (I have of course lost touch with some after retiring and not travelling around England, Wales and Scotland so much.)

Conversely, I always preach from the 1611 King James Bible when I preach in their churches, out of courtesy for their convictions about the English Bible.

I do not think the more strident exclusiveness and uncompromising stances of American Baptists is so much a Baptist thing as a transatlantic cultural thing. Americans (dare I say it?: like the Dutch and northern Irish) seem generally more inclined to that kind of modus operandi.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2016, 03:30:26 PM by David Young »
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

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I would add Holy Trinity to the list of affordable seminaries, Inthinkntheynhave the most beautiful liturgics program,  albeit requiring some knowledge of Russian; there is also the ACROD seminary to consider.  but if you go to a seminary with the blessing of your bishop, you will very likely benefit from substantial scholarship / tuition assistance (bishops can send seminarians to SVS in such a way so that the seminarian pays nothing), and going to a seminary without the blessing of a bishop is inadvisable.

All courses at Jordanville are now in English, with required courses in Russian and Church Slavonic. There are also substantial scholarships. I paid very little out-of-pocket because most of my tuition and board was covered by scholarships and work-study.

The main problem is of course the required courses in Russian and Church Slavonic, which require a certain linguistic ability; someone who is a hardened monoglot would likely fail them.   But there is tje ROCOR distance learning system, and also perhaps if one joined up or lived for an extended time at Holy Trinity Monastery the Russian / Church Slavonic aspect would be easier.
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The main problem is of course the required courses in Russian and Church Slavonic, which require a certain linguistic ability; someone who is a hardened monoglot would likely fail them.

Is there an Orthodox theological school or seminary that doesn't require mandatory Greek courses, or at least passing a test showing a solid (if limited) understanding of the language?

Offline JamesRottnek

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These English Baptists would be quickly run out of most Baptist churches here in the US.

Very true. A lot of American Baptist ministers come to Britain to be pastors of English Baptist churches or to plant new churches. I am told most leave after a couple of years and return to the USA, as they cannot fit in. I have a friend from southern California who has been here for maybe 30 years, and now pastors the church where I was minister in the 1980s. He has adapted well to our culture, both British and British Evangelical, and I still often preach in his church; but he says I would NOT be acceptable among his home churches in the USA. I knew another in Scotland who was here for many years - perhaps still is. I also knew a military officer who started a Baptist church in the town where he was stationed, which I believe is still going after many years: one used to enjoy imported American wine (from the special military shops they enjoy) at his table! And another, recently arrived, who took me out to dinner after I preached at his church, and was actually going to buy my ale- but I didn't let him do that, of course, in respect for his own convictions. But I think such men are exceptions. (I have of course lost touch with some after retiring and not travelling around England, Wales and Scotland so much.)

Conversely, I always preach from the 1611 King James Bible when I preach in their churches, out of courtesy for their convictions about the English Bible.

I do not think the more strident exclusiveness and uncompromising stances of American Baptists is so much a Baptist thing as a transatlantic cultural thing. Americans (dare I say it?: like the Dutch and northern Irish) seem generally more inclined to that kind of modus operandi.

Just to clarify, when you say American Baptists, are you referring to members of the American Baptist Churches USA, or to Americans who are Baptists?  Because, I would think, most American Baptists (as in, the denomination) would fit in well with your churches.
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Offline David Young

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Just to clarify, when you say American Baptists,...

I guess I mean the "Bible Baptists" (as that is the group from which my friend, who has adapted well in Britain, comes and who has spoken about them; about many of the "Southern Baptists" if what you good people write about them is accurate; and about another group whose title I do not know but from which another man has come to this locality and seems unable to fit in.
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Offline howdydave

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I would choose St. Vladimir's based on non-theological grounds.

Since I don't drive and St. Vlad's is in Westchester county with easy access to public transit to NYC, my choice is purely a matter of accessability.

I went to school at Concordia (also in Westchester Co.) where St. Vlad's sent it's students who needed a bachelor's degree. (Concordia is a Lutheran College that has a Pre-Theo degree program.)
« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 05:38:38 PM by howdydave »
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