Question for all the OCA people out there,
Why does the OCA have two seminaries - St. Tikhon's and St. Vladimir's - that are located relatively close to each other? (PA and NY, respectively).
Do these two seminaries have a different focus or mission? Do they have different theological outlooks? Do they serve a different student demographic?
Why do prospective priests choose one seminary over the other?
My experience is that St. Vlad's is more into theologizing and St. Tikhon's is more into pastoring. That they are two together is the result of history (e.g. St. Mary's in MN had a seminary once, during the 30's and 40's there was no functioning seminary, etc.).
This is what I was told by the local OCA priest. St. Tikhon's teaches you HOW you cense, St. Vlad's teaches you WHY you cense, etc.
And Holy Cross teaches you what the PRICE is of the censor and how to get it on SALE!
Gota finish the joke if you're gona tell it...lol.
Also, I think that the reason for the 2 OCA seminaries contains a couple of factors:
* The main Russian contingent (former OCA was Metropolia of MP) was HEAVILY concentratd in the Eastern seaboard (NY) and Pennsylvania, so in terms of concentration of parishes, people, resources, etc. it makes the most sense.
* Why are there two? Well you can't ever have "enough" seminaries, but also maybe because of the russian system (an in other EO countries) there is a "bogoslovija" or "seminary" for those who are younger (usually in high school they would go to seminary as a vocational school instead of public high school). Also they would have a "universitet" or "academija" where you would learn the higher end theology. For example, there is the Great Lavra seminary by Moscow, and then the St. Sergius Academy in Paris. Another example would be in Greece where you can go to any number of "high school" seminaries, but if you want to be a Grade A priest you would go to the theological school at the university of Athens, etc.
In the HS seminaries you would definitely get your dogmatics, ethics, etc. PLUS a bigger focus on being a "seminarian" with duties following priests, bishops, swinging a sensor, etc. (St. Tikhon's). At the universities you would focus more on academic research, theological reflection, and making everything you learned at HS seminary integrated and more well thought out, with higher level classes, etc. (St. Vladimir's).
It is interesting because at HC we try to do both at the same time.