Author Topic: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.  (Read 7880 times)

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Offline SolEX01

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SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« on: January 11, 2009, 11:13:25 PM »
This topic has been split off from the discussion "Consecration of the Gifts":

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19202.0.html

- Cleveland, Global Moderator


Serbski, I hate to burst your bubble, but I spoke with my proistamenos, who took Liturgics, Sacramental Theology, and Teleturgics from Calivas, and Calivas told them that only the Amnos is the Body of Christ; in fact, in the context of the conversation, he suggested that Fr. Alkiviadis would be greatly troubled hearing that a teleturgics professor at the school was teaching that all particles are the Body of Christ.

My how things change in just 25-50 years (1 or 2 generations):

Generation 1: The Amnos is the Body of Christ (since the Last Supper).
Generation 2: Everything is the Body of Christ (allegedly according to modern teaching at HCHC Seminary).
Generation 3: Ritz Crackers are the Body of Christ.

Academic freedom is so wonderful; Our Churches will look like non-denominational Protestant ones by around 2025.   :-[
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 10:27:54 AM by cleveland »

Offline serb1389

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2009, 11:19:56 PM »
Serbski, I hate to burst your bubble, but I spoke with my proistamenos, who took Liturgics, Sacramental Theology, and Teleturgics from Calivas, and Calivas told them that only the Amnos is the Body of Christ; in fact, in the context of the conversation, he suggested that Fr. Alkiviadis would be greatly troubled hearing that a teleturgics professor at the school was teaching that all particles are the Body of Christ.

My how things change in just 25-50 years (1 or 2 generations):

Generation 1: The Amnos is the Body of Christ (since the Last Supper).
Generation 2: Everything is the Body of Christ (allegedly according to modern teaching at HCHC Seminary).
Generation 3: Ritz Crackers are the Body of Christ.

Academic freedom is so wonderful; Our Churches will look like non-denominational Protestant ones by around 2025.   :-[

Maybe you should go to seminary and try to argue with these guys?  I don't know about you but i'm way better at writing something down and working things out on paper and being organized than I am at arguing in person...even though i'm pretty handy in a verbal argument as well... ;)

Offline SolEX01

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2009, 11:31:15 PM »
Maybe you should go to seminary and try to argue with these guys?


Hey, if I tried to argue with these guys, they will throw me out.  We can also have this discussion at Cask & Flagon across from Fenway Park (I went to school in Boston).   ;)

I don't know about you but i'm way better at writing something down and working things out on paper and being organized than I am at arguing in person...even though i'm pretty handy in a verbal argument as well... ;)

I'm the master of circular logic on paper and in rhetoric; People get tired of arguing with me and either ignore me or throw me out.   ;)

Offline serb1389

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2009, 11:51:53 PM »
Maybe you should go to seminary and try to argue with these guys?


Hey, if I tried to argue with these guys, they will throw me out.  We can also have this discussion at Cask & Flagon across from Fenway Park (I went to school in Boston).   ;)

I don't think many of them would join you... ;)  Actually maybe they would. 

I don't know about you but i'm way better at writing something down and working things out on paper and being organized than I am at arguing in person...even though i'm pretty handy in a verbal argument as well... ;)

I'm the master of circular logic on paper and in rhetoric; People get tired of arguing with me and either ignore me or throw me out.   ;)

Yah...I never was that quick on my feet. I follow a linear progression, and some of the professors don't really "get" where I'm going and etc.  I don't want to get into it b/c its not right for me to misrepresent someone.  Hence why I said you should go and do it yourself.... ;) ;D

Offline Fr. George

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2009, 12:04:41 AM »
Serbski, I hate to burst your bubble, but I spoke with my proistamenos, who took Liturgics, Sacramental Theology, and Teleturgics from Calivas, and Calivas told them that only the Amnos is the Body of Christ; in fact, in the context of the conversation, he suggested that Fr. Alkiviadis would be greatly troubled hearing that a teleturgics professor at the school was teaching that all particles are the Body of Christ.

My how things change in just 25-50 years (1 or 2 generations):

Generation 1: The Amnos is the Body of Christ (since the Last Supper).
Generation 2: Everything is the Body of Christ (allegedly according to modern teaching at HCHC Seminary).
Generation 3: Ritz Crackers are the Body of Christ.

Academic freedom is so wonderful; Our Churches will look like non-denominational Protestant ones by around 2025.   :-[ 

Right - everything will move in the direction of the totally absurd in such a short time.  I'm sure pundits in the 4th century said the same thing after hearing a pro-Arian sermon...
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Offline SolEX01

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2009, 12:23:30 AM »
Right - everything will move in the direction of the totally absurd in such a short time.  I'm sure pundits in the 4th century said the same thing after hearing a pro-Arian sermon...

So, the major differences between what you learned at Seminary and what serb1389 is learning at Seminary is not a reason for concern?

Offline Fr. George

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2009, 12:31:10 AM »
So, the major differences between what you learned at Seminary and what serb1389 is learning at Seminary is not a reason for concern?

Well, let's see:

1. There aren't too many contradictory things that we've been taught, considering the relative amount of stability in the faculty;
2. The subject that we're speaking about only has contradictory things because I was studying at a transition time for the Liturgics professorship (I had 1 professor for Liturgics; another for Holy Week Seminar; another for Teleturgics 1; and another for Sacramental Theology & Teleturgics 2; mind you, all 5 of those classes are supposed to be taught by the same person).
3. I'm cutting the professor in question a lot of slack, because when I took his Teleturgics 2 class, it was the first time he had ever taught the subject.
4. I wouldn't call this a major difference, considering there are differences in rubrics and interpretation on the subject between all the Orthodox jurisdictions that are not viewed as points of division, but rather as points of diversity.
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Offline SolEX01

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2009, 03:35:17 AM »
Well, let's see:

1. There aren't too many contradictory things that we've been taught, considering the relative amount of stability in the faculty;

The Seminary has 14 faculty at last check.  If one of them encounters a sudden change in beliefs (e.g. Orthodox-Catholic unity is acceptable), then the quality of the graduates is likely to be compromised.  Academic freedom allows a faculty member to express a change in view even if it conflicts with accepted Orthodox teachings.

2. The subject that we're speaking about only has contradictory things because I was studying at a transition time for the Liturgics professorship (I had 1 professor for Liturgics; another for Holy Week Seminar; another for Teleturgics 1; and another for Sacramental Theology & Teleturgics 2; mind you, all 5 of those classes are supposed to be taught by the same person).

Is it a good idea for one person to teach 5 important classes?  In earning my Engineering Degree, I'm hard pressed to think of a Professor which I had more than once....

3. I'm cutting the professor in question a lot of slack, because when I took his Teleturgics 2 class, it was the first time he had ever taught the subject.

What is teleturgics for I was unable to find a suitable definition online?

4. I wouldn't call this a major difference, considering there are differences in rubrics and interpretation on the subject between all the Orthodox jurisdictions that are not viewed as points of division, but rather as points of diversity.

Using your earlier example of a fly falling into the Body and Blood of Christ, I suppose the fly could be distributed without any ill effect and yet there are people who refuse to receive Communion via spoon, separating themselves from the Church for no logical reason.   ???

Offline Fr. George

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2009, 10:20:45 AM »
The Seminary has 14 faculty at last check.  If one of them encounters a sudden change in beliefs (e.g. Orthodox-Catholic unity is acceptable), then the quality of the graduates is likely to be compromised.  Academic freedom allows a faculty member to express a change in view even if it conflicts with accepted Orthodox teachings.

Lol.  Thankfully, academic freedom is curtailed by administration oversight, interview processes, and the ever-present scrutiny of former faculty.  The quality of graduates is frequently compromised when (a) hierarchs allow guys to modify their programs to get out earlier; (b) the pressure to "graduate more priests" allows sub-standard candidates to finish and get ordained.  However, I seriously doubt that the teaching itself has led to sub-standard candidates.

Is it a good idea for one person to teach 5 important classes?  In earning my Engineering Degree, I'm hard pressed to think of a Professor which I had more than once....

Well, consider: (a) the Theological School does not have enough students attending to support multiple faculty members in one field; (b) I've finished two degrees and attended, in full or in part, three academic institutions with populations ranging from 16,000 to 200, and in each specialty field I've had at least one professor twice or more.

What is teleturgics for I was unable to find a suitable definition online?

Teleturgics is a practical application class - essentially a Liturgy Lab, teaching students how to perform the divine services before they are ordained.

Using your earlier example of a fly falling into the Body and Blood of Christ, I suppose the fly could be distributed without any ill effect and yet there are people who refuse to receive Communion via spoon, separating themselves from the Church for no logical reason.   ???

I should rightfully call their belief superstitious, for while their apprehension may be well-founded in logic, it is certainly not borne out in practice, and they have yet to find actual support that communing via spoon will actually lead to illness.
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Offline serb1389

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2009, 10:43:11 AM »
Cleveland seems to be doing pretty well answering your questions Sol.  I would only add that there is a HUGE amount of diversity in the faculty.  Even the more "ecumenical" professors are EXTREMELY well read, and when they teach their course, they are MORE than happy to entertain discussion from other viewpoints, as LONG AS YOU HAVE A WELL FOUNDED STATEMENT and can back up what you're going to say.  in other words, standard academic practice. 

The problem is that this particular professor, as Cleveland mentioned, has not been teaching for very long, so the lectures arn't as well synthesized, etc.  So when you bring up a counter argument the professor doesn't really react very well, so its not a learning process per say, just take it as I say it kind of stuff.  Makes it very hard to actually learn about the topics presented.  Hence part of the confusion....



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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2009, 10:45:45 AM »
Cleveland seems to be doing pretty well answering your questions Sol.  I would only add that there is a HUGE amount of diversity in the faculty.  Even the more "ecumenical" professors are EXTREMELY well read, and when they teach their course, they are MORE than happy to entertain discussion from other viewpoints, as LONG AS YOU HAVE A WELL FOUNDED STATEMENT and can back up what you're going to say.  in other words, standard academic practice.  

There's another counterbalance involved, and that's the students, who frequently are well-read themselves, and are most certainly more conservative on a lot of fronts than the Professors are (politically, theologically, etc.).
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Offline serb1389

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2009, 10:47:48 AM »
Cleveland seems to be doing pretty well answering your questions Sol.  I would only add that there is a HUGE amount of diversity in the faculty.  Even the more "ecumenical" professors are EXTREMELY well read, and when they teach their course, they are MORE than happy to entertain discussion from other viewpoints, as LONG AS YOU HAVE A WELL FOUNDED STATEMENT and can back up what you're going to say.  in other words, standard academic practice.  

There's another counterbalance involved, and that's the students, who frequently are well-read themselves, and are most certainly more conservative on a lot of fronts than the Professors are (politically, theologically, etc.).

yah but none of them say anything.  or at least, very rarely.  usually students just shut up and don't listen to the professor at all, if they don't agree with their line of thinking, walking away with no education from that professor, only more vindicated in what they already "know"....so...that's usually what i've been seeing. 

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2009, 10:51:17 AM »
Cleveland seems to be doing pretty well answering your questions Sol.  I would only add that there is a HUGE amount of diversity in the faculty.  Even the more "ecumenical" professors are EXTREMELY well read, and when they teach their course, they are MORE than happy to entertain discussion from other viewpoints, as LONG AS YOU HAVE A WELL FOUNDED STATEMENT and can back up what you're going to say.  in other words, standard academic practice.  

There's another counterbalance involved, and that's the students, who frequently are well-read themselves, and are most certainly more conservative on a lot of fronts than the Professors are (politically, theologically, etc.).

yah but none of them say anything.  or at least, very rarely.  usually students just shut up and don't listen to the professor at all, if they don't agree with their line of thinking, walking away with no education from that professor, only more vindicated in what they already "know"....so...that's usually what i've been seeing.  

Even if I didn't accept what the professor said, the readings they assigned were 90% of the time quite useful and informational - which fits the model, that we are in Graduate School to educate ourselves.
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Offline serb1389

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2009, 11:18:38 AM »
Cleveland seems to be doing pretty well answering your questions Sol.  I would only add that there is a HUGE amount of diversity in the faculty.  Even the more "ecumenical" professors are EXTREMELY well read, and when they teach their course, they are MORE than happy to entertain discussion from other viewpoints, as LONG AS YOU HAVE A WELL FOUNDED STATEMENT and can back up what you're going to say.  in other words, standard academic practice.  

There's another counterbalance involved, and that's the students, who frequently are well-read themselves, and are most certainly more conservative on a lot of fronts than the Professors are (politically, theologically, etc.).

yah but none of them say anything.  or at least, very rarely.  usually students just shut up and don't listen to the professor at all, if they don't agree with their line of thinking, walking away with no education from that professor, only more vindicated in what they already "know"....so...that's usually what i've been seeing.  

Even if I didn't accept what the professor said, the readings they assigned were 90% of the time quite useful and informational - which fits the model, that we are in Graduate School to educate ourselves.

what about in Teleturgics?  How were the readings there? 

In Sacramental theology here were the recommended books:  (which I think are insufficient, especially considering our discussion)

Schmemann -  "The Eucharist"
Zizioulas - "Eucharist and the Kingdom of God"
Schmemann - "The Eucharist" in "For the Life of the World"
"Symbols and Symbolism in Orthodox Liturgy" in "Orthodox Theology and Diakonia"
Clapsis - "Eucharist as a Missionary Event in a Suffering World"

None of these books cover what we talked about here.  So in terms of educating myself...how exactly do I start?  Where would one begin to look up the details of what it is that we are speaking to? 

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2009, 12:10:50 PM »
what about in Teleturgics?  How were the readings there? 

Well, the Ieratikon in Greek is useful; the Liturgikon from the Antiochian Archdiocese is also good.  The Ieratikon from Simonopetra Monastery has a forward by Professor Fontoulis (whose books, in Greek only unfortunately, are considered some of the best on the subject of Liturgics).

In Sacramental theology here were the recommended books:  (which I think are insufficient, especially considering our discussion)

Schmemann -  "The Eucharist"
Zizioulas - "Eucharist and the Kingdom of God"
Schmemann - "The Eucharist" in "For the Life of the World"
"Symbols and Symbolism in Orthodox Liturgy" in "Orthodox Theology and Diakonia"
Clapsis - "Eucharist as a Missionary Event in a Suffering World"

None of these books cover what we talked about here.  So in terms of educating myself...how exactly do I start?  Where would one begin to look up the details of what it is that we are speaking to?  

Well, for Sacramental Theology a diversity of opinion is useful; reading Cabasilas and Germanus is important (but I know you have already done so); Calivas has a lot of good stuff in his books; but your background in patristics should lead you to the Fathers of the Church for your most important information.  If you're looking for other perspectives on the services and their development from reputable sources, try Taft (preeminent in the field, but sadly retired by now) and Wybrew.  My books are at work, but I can give you more specifics.
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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2009, 12:49:20 PM »
Fr. Seraphim Rose was decrying the state of seminaries 30 years ago (except for Jordanville of course), you mean we haven't gone completely modernized-heretical yet? What's taking you guys so long?  :P

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2009, 01:11:23 PM »
Fr. Seraphim Rose was decrying the state of seminaries 30 years ago...

Was he excited about anything?

Offline serb1389

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2009, 01:17:26 PM »
what about in Teleturgics?  How were the readings there? 

Well, the Ieratikon in Greek is useful; the Liturgikon from the Antiochian Archdiocese is also good.  The Ieratikon from Simonopetra Monastery has a forward by Professor Fontoulis (whose books, in Greek only unfortunately, are considered some of the best on the subject of Liturgics).

In Sacramental theology here were the recommended books:  (which I think are insufficient, especially considering our discussion)

Schmemann -  "The Eucharist"
Zizioulas - "Eucharist and the Kingdom of God"
Schmemann - "The Eucharist" in "For the Life of the World"
"Symbols and Symbolism in Orthodox Liturgy" in "Orthodox Theology and Diakonia"
Clapsis - "Eucharist as a Missionary Event in a Suffering World"

None of these books cover what we talked about here.  So in terms of educating myself...how exactly do I start?  Where would one begin to look up the details of what it is that we are speaking to?  

Well, for Sacramental Theology a diversity of opinion is useful; reading Cabasilas and Germanus is important (but I know you have already done so); Calivas has a lot of good stuff in his books; but your background in patristics should lead you to the Fathers of the Church for your most important information.  If you're looking for other perspectives on the services and their development from reputable sources, try Taft (preeminent in the field, but sadly retired by now) and Wybrew.  My books are at work, but I can give you more specifics.

I have all of Calivas' books, as well as some stuff from Taft AND Wybrew, so i'm good there.  But anything else would be great.  I also have the Greek Ieratikon, the Liturgikon (Narthex), Antiochian Liturgikon, as well as the Typikon, the Mega Typikon, and the Typikon in Serbian (Serbian Patriarchate). 

I think I have the resources, but they were NEVER recommended to me in class, and I got all of them on my own.  So...like I said, what's the point of going to class if i'm going to do all the work myself? 

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2009, 01:18:07 PM »
Fr. Seraphim Rose was decrying the state of seminaries 30 years ago (except for Jordanville of course), you mean we haven't gone completely modernized-heretical yet? What's taking you guys so long?  :P

Yah cuz he was the greatest thing since sliced bread right?   ;) ;D

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2009, 01:23:52 PM »
I think I have the resources, but they were NEVER recommended to me in class, and I got all of them on my own.  So...like I said, what's the point of going to class if i'm going to do all the work myself?  

Hey - if every pupil learned 100% from their professor and was indoctrinated, we'd never have any variety, no? lol.
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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2009, 02:03:17 PM »
I think I have the resources, but they were NEVER recommended to me in class, and I got all of them on my own.  So...like I said, what's the point of going to class if i'm going to do all the work myself?  

Hey - if every pupil learned 100% from their professor and was indoctrinated, we'd never have any variety, no? lol.

LOL. well, to be fair, there would be variety b/c of the variety of professors.  They actually contradict each other all the time.  So yah...there would be a lot of variety.  What i'm seeing with some professors is an academic standard, which is just too low.  I don't know about you but why am I sitting in that class if every time you ask a question not only can the professor provide you with no resources, but they get defensive and do not answer your questions in a calm and collected manner?  What's the point...? 

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2009, 02:34:27 PM »
I think I have the resources, but they were NEVER recommended to me in class, and I got all of them on my own.  So...like I said, what's the point of going to class if i'm going to do all the work myself?  

Hey - if every pupil learned 100% from their professor and was indoctrinated, we'd never have any variety, no? lol.

LOL. well, to be fair, there would be variety b/c of the variety of professors.  They actually contradict each other all the time.  So yah...there would be a lot of variety.  What i'm seeing with some professors is an academic standard, which is just too low.  I don't know about you but why am I sitting in that class if every time you ask a question not only can the professor provide you with no resources, but they get defensive and do not answer your questions in a calm and collected manner?  What's the point...?  

I don't know.  I personally think they dropped the ball with that one appointment, in all fairness.  The other recent hires (within the last 8-10 years they've hired new profs for Ethics, Rel. Studies - you know which one I'm talking about - Mr. Patristics, Old Testament, and Pastoral Theology) have all been fair to good (with the exception of PAST, whom I had many disagreements with on his methodology).
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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2009, 02:37:55 PM »
I think I have the resources, but they were NEVER recommended to me in class, and I got all of them on my own.  So...like I said, what's the point of going to class if i'm going to do all the work myself?  

Hey - if every pupil learned 100% from their professor and was indoctrinated, we'd never have any variety, no? lol.

LOL. well, to be fair, there would be variety b/c of the variety of professors.  They actually contradict each other all the time.  So yah...there would be a lot of variety.  What i'm seeing with some professors is an academic standard, which is just too low.  I don't know about you but why am I sitting in that class if every time you ask a question not only can the professor provide you with no resources, but they get defensive and do not answer your questions in a calm and collected manner?  What's the point...?  

I don't know.  I personally think they dropped the ball with that one appointment, in all fairness.  The other recent hires (within the last 8-10 years they've hired new profs for Ethics, Rel. Studies - you know which one I'm talking about - Mr. Patristics, Old Testament, and Pastoral Theology) have all been fair to good (with the exception of PAST, whom I had many disagreements with on his methodology).

I'm not gona get into it online, and in this public of a forum.  I think there are a great many things that can and should be changed, but that's not up to me.  I just don't like when you can't have a civil conversation, and when everyone just buys what the professor is saying, and even uses the same arguments themselves.  You, Cleveland, were the first person to take a critical look at the question, and give me an alternative way to think.  that's sad. 

The main argument was X, and when I presented Y they just asked X again, as if I didn't refute it with enough.  That's what we're being taught by the professors, who are using the selfsame reasoning.  Not good....

Offline Fr. George

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2009, 03:17:34 PM »
No, certainly not good.  You should approach this professor in private to ask the question; unfortunately, he has a habit of bringing up private conversation in public places, in a defensive manner.
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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2009, 03:25:10 PM »
What i'm seeing with some professors is an academic standard, which is just too low.  I don't know about you but why am I sitting in that class if every time you ask a question not only can the professor provide you with no resources, but they get defensive and do not answer your questions in a calm and collected manner?  What's the point...? 

Perhaps it may help to take some courses, via Consortium, at another University's School of Theology to gain non-Orthodox perspectives.  I know my alma mater has a highly regarded School of Theology which has graduated a good number of Orthodox Priests (before the Seminary offered their own Master's of Divinity and Theology degrees). 

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2009, 04:08:04 PM »
Perhaps it may help to take some courses, via Consortium, at another University's School of Theology to gain non-Orthodox perspectives.  I know my alma mater has a highly regarded School of Theology which has graduated a good number of Orthodox Priests (before the Seminary offered their own Master's of Divinity and Theology degrees).  

Well, Holy Cross is a part of the consortium of Boston Theological Schools (called the BTI).  However, your alma mater, while it may have graduated Orthodox priests with a M.Div., wouldn't have been the primary generation for too many still alive; Holy Cross has been training GOA priests for over 70 years.
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Offline serb1389

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2009, 04:43:15 PM »
No, certainly not good.  You should approach this professor in private to ask the question; unfortunately, he has a habit of bringing up private conversation in public places, in a defensive manner.

To your first sentence:  Been there, done that, MANY MANY MANY times. 

To your second sentence:  A yup. 

Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2009, 06:33:03 PM »
Is St. Tikhon's or St. Vlad's an option? Are they any better? What about St. Stephan's? (Although I think St. Stephan's is strictly distance learning.) I know one of the priest's at my current parish is a St. Tikhon's grad even though he's GOARCH. Also, canonically speaking, is it required for a priest to have his Master's degree? I remember hearing somewhere that at one point priest's were simply ordained men who were very pious and didn't have any formal training. I am not suggesting that we swing the pendulum that far back, but is a Bachelor's sufficient?

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Offline serb1389

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2009, 07:04:17 PM »
Is St. Tikhon's or St. Vlad's an option? Are they any better? What about St. Stephan's? (Although I think St. Stephan's is strictly distance learning.) I know one of the priest's at my current parish is a St. Tikhon's grad even though he's GOARCH. Also, canonically speaking, is it required for a priest to have his Master's degree? I remember hearing somewhere that at one point priest's were simply ordained men who were very pious and didn't have any formal training. I am not suggesting that we swing the pendulum that far back, but is a Bachelor's sufficient?

Forgive me,

The undeducated layman

Of course they are options.  Holy Cross is but one school amongst several accredited Orthodox seminaries.  Don't get me wrong.  HC is an EXCELLENT school, by my estimations.  You have access to the BTI (alluded above), and you get quite a unique experience of the only fully accredited undergraduate orthodox college in the US (Hellenic College). 

It's just that every once in a while certain professors can rub a person the wrong way, and SolEx01 was just asking us about the details of the academics at HC and other seminaries in general, from mine and Cleveland's perspective (and others of course). 

I'm not sure about St. Stephen's having never met anyone who went through the program.  I would imagine that any degree you get which is accredited would serve you well, and would be a great help for your parish, especially if you use that degree towards benefiting your church. 

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2009, 11:56:08 PM »
My only problem is what do I DO with the degree once I have it? *sigh*  :-\

As a woman who has no desire to be a seminary professor, having a degree in theology does little for me beyond feeding my fix for knowledge on all things theological.  :-\
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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2009, 12:29:45 AM »
having a degree in theology does little for me beyond feeding my fix for knowledge on all things theological. 
Isn't that enough?
The Greek Mathematician Euclid (the "Father of Geometry") once had a student who asked what the profit of studying geometry was, and Euclid called a slave and said, pointing to the student: “He wants to profit from geometry. Give him a penny.” He then dismissed the student from his school. :D
« Last Edit: January 13, 2009, 12:31:19 AM by ozgeorge »
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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2009, 12:38:57 AM »
Isn't that enough?

Maybe this is wrong or selfish of me but no, it isn't.

I want to serve Christ and His Church. It's the "how" I'm struggiling with.

I apologize, I'm derailing this thread with my own issue.

Back to your originally scheduled programming... :-)

Forgive me,

Maureen
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #32 on: January 13, 2009, 12:48:12 AM »
Isn't that enough?

Maybe this is wrong or selfish of me but no, it isn't.

I want to serve Christ and His Church. It's the "how" I'm struggiling with. 

With a graduate Theological Degree, you're options would include:
(a) Pastoral Assistant in a Parish,
(b) Youth Director in a Parish or Metropolis (or Archdiocese, for that matter)
(c) Religious Education Director in a Parish or Metropolis,
(d) Camp or Camping Ministries Director,
(e) Hospital or Prison Chaplain-type person,
(f) undergraduate part-time Religion teacher
(g) Writer/contributor to an Orthodox publication,
(h) Work for a ministry of the Church, such as IOCC, OCMC, OCN, etc.
...

(You get the idea)
I've had school-mates become or consider becoming each of the above.
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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2009, 02:09:51 AM »
Thank you Father.
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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2009, 02:38:35 AM »
Thank you Father.
Well, Cleveland is a father--at least, he will be soon ;)--but not in the way I think you take him to be.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2009, 02:40:54 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #35 on: January 13, 2009, 09:51:03 AM »
Thank you Father.
Well, Cleveland is a father--at least, he will be soon ;)--but not in the way I think you take him to be.

Yeah, not a father or a Father yet.  When the former happens, I'm sure I'll "hand out" e-cigars; when/if the latter happens, I'll change my display name.
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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2009, 10:38:50 AM »
Also, canonically speaking, is it required for a priest to have his Master's degree?

No, there is no secular education requirement in the canons of the Orthodox Church. In the history of the Church, many of our clergy and saints never had any such worldly education or degrees, they were simply men and women of God who understood and had individually studied the teachings of His Church.
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Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2009, 10:55:10 AM »
Thank you Father.
Well, Cleveland is a father--at least, he will be soon ;)--but not in the way I think you take him to be.

Well, I suppose I'd rather have err'd on the side of caution and assumed a layman to be a priest, than to have assumed a priest to be a layman. :-)
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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #38 on: January 13, 2009, 11:13:32 AM »
Thank you Father.
Well, Cleveland is a father--at least, he will be soon ;)--but not in the way I think you take him to be.

Well, I suppose I'd rather have err'd on the side of caution and assumed a layman to be a priest, than to have assumed a priest to be a layman. :-)

Your caution is noted and appreciated; you did happen to pick one of the few on this site that might be changing from one to the other in the next year...
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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2009, 12:23:30 PM »
Also, canonically speaking, is it required for a priest to have his Master's degree?

No, there is no secular education requirement in the canons of the Orthodox Church. In the history of the Church, many of our clergy and saints never had any such worldly education or degrees, they were simply men and women of God who understood and had individually studied the teachings of His Church.

On that note, a family friend told a story of how one village priest memorized a particular Gospel passage and read the same Gospel passage week after week because of his iliteracy.  Thankfully, we've come a long way.   :)

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2009, 02:57:47 PM »
Is St. Tikhon's or St. Vlad's an option? Are they any better? What about St. Stephan's? (Although I think St. Stephan's is strictly distance learning.) I know one of the priest's at my current parish is a St. Tikhon's grad even though he's GOARCH. Also, canonically speaking, is it required for a priest to have his Master's degree? I remember hearing somewhere that at one point priest's were simply ordained men who were very pious and didn't have any formal training. I am not suggesting that we swing the pendulum that far back, but is a Bachelor's sufficient?

Forgive me,

The undeducated layman

I'm in St. Stephan's right now. I like it, and I pray that after I'm done with this, I'll move on to St. Tikhon's.

I've noticed that alot of Orthodox clergy got degrees from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. If you look at some of the Prof's over at  St. Vlads.......you will see that some of them went to Pittsburgh theo.......but then again......maybe most of them were converts.

Hey serb1389, I had math teachers and Engineering teachers (back in undergrad) that would make fun of us (right in class) if we asked questions  that they thought was stupid or just wasn't worth there time.

Alot of us had to learn on our own(from online, other libraries and even older students who took the class before), so that type of stuff seems to be in alot of places.


HandmaidenofGod,


If you already have your BS or BA then you mind as well go ahead and get a masters in Theology.
.....ect.

But with that said. I know of a priest who didn't go to seminary. Instead he was personaly trained, tought and ordained by a GOA Metropolitan Bishop.

So I guess one can always go that route.





JNORM888
« Last Edit: January 13, 2009, 03:20:57 PM by jnorm888 »
"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #41 on: January 13, 2009, 03:14:16 PM »
My only problem is what do I DO with the degree once I have it? *sigh*  :-\

As a woman who has no desire to be a seminary professor, having a degree in theology does little for me beyond feeding my fix for knowledge on all things theological.  :-\


I know Saint Stephen's has a section for youth ministry, and one for Icons. And Pittsburgh Theological Seminary has it's own Eastern Orthodox degree for ministry program.

as seen here:

http://www.antiochian.org/studies



JNORM888
« Last Edit: January 13, 2009, 03:19:28 PM by jnorm888 »
"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #42 on: January 13, 2009, 03:24:04 PM »
Isn't that enough?

Maybe this is wrong or selfish of me but no, it isn't.

I want to serve Christ and His Church. It's the "how" I'm struggiling with.

I apologize, I'm derailing this thread with my own issue.

Back to your originally scheduled programming... :-)

Forgive me,

Maureen

The youth ministry program at Saint Stephen's. A seminary might also have a music program, but there are alot of things besides theology.





JNORM888
"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/

Offline serb1389

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #43 on: January 13, 2009, 09:08:37 PM »
Is St. Tikhon's or St. Vlad's an option? Are they any better? What about St. Stephan's? (Although I think St. Stephan's is strictly distance learning.) I know one of the priest's at my current parish is a St. Tikhon's grad even though he's GOARCH. Also, canonically speaking, is it required for a priest to have his Master's degree? I remember hearing somewhere that at one point priest's were simply ordained men who were very pious and didn't have any formal training. I am not suggesting that we swing the pendulum that far back, but is a Bachelor's sufficient?

Forgive me,

The undeducated layman

I'm in St. Stephan's right now. I like it, and I pray that after I'm done with this, I'll move on to St. Tikhon's.

I've noticed that alot of Orthodox clergy got degrees from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. If you look at some of the Prof's over at  St. Vlads.......you will see that some of them went to Pittsburgh theo.......but then again......maybe most of them were converts.

Hey serb1389, I had math teachers and Engineering teachers (back in undergrad) that would make fun of us (right in class) if we asked questions  that they thought was stupid or just wasn't worth there time.

Alot of us had to learn on our own(from online, other libraries and even older students who took the class before), so that type of stuff seems to be in alot of places.


HandmaidenofGod,


If you already have your BS or BA then you mind as well go ahead and get a masters in Theology.
.....ect.

But with that said. I know of a priest who didn't go to seminary. Instead he was personaly trained, tought and ordained by a GOA Metropolitan Bishop.

So I guess one can always go that route.





JNORM888

I don't ask questions unless something is absolutely unclear to me.  I'm sure that with mathematics, there ALWAYS is ONE answer.  Theology is not that clear-cut, and it's not taught in a manner which is clear cut except for by people who have been teaching for a long time and REALLY know their stuff (like my dogmatics professor...and even he had his flaws).  If I ask a stupid question, I don't mind being told that it was a stupid question.  i Do mind when you arn't teaching your subject matter.  If the professor is unqualified to teach the course, AND they act standoffish....not a good combination. 

I'm sure i'm living in an idealistic world though....my brother went through Engineering school and he NEVER asked questions.  But he also got an EXCELLENT education and he really knows what he's talking about. 

just some thoughts...

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Re: SolEX01's serious concerns regarding our seminaries.
« Reply #44 on: January 15, 2009, 08:11:16 PM »
I graduated from St. Stephen's back in 2007.  I'm currently a 1st year student at St. Vlad's.  I can say this much...St. Stephen's did serve to prepare me a little bit for seminary, but not as much as I had thought it would. It just gives a person a good general all-around knowledge of Orthodox history and theology.

With that said, St. Stephen's doesn't hold a candle to seminary in regards to the depth with which we cover different aspects of patristics, liturgical theology, church history, biblical studies, etc...

However, St. Stephen's did save me some money on books, and some of the papers for the course are the same as some we do here at St. Vlad's, so it saves time in research as well.

Better all around preparation for seminary would be to take at least a year of Greek (if not two) in college, learn to read music and to sing with a choir, and get a basic understanding of the major books, stories, and figures of the Bible.  It's kind of like getting sprayed with a fire hose in some classes, so the best thing one can do is simply to sit there, absorb it all in, and sort through it later.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2009, 08:13:16 PM by SakranMM »
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