OrthodoxChristianity.net
October 02, 2014, 11:34:45 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Why go to a seminary?  (Read 1456 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Putnik Namernik
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 482



« on: April 26, 2013, 10:20:17 PM »

I am interested in knowing how did those of you who went to a seminary knew that was your calling?  I was thinking eventually to attend an Orthodox Seminary for personal spiritual and educational gain without planning to become a priest. Is it still typical that people attend a seminary primarily to become priests? Has a number of those like me increased perhaps? ...You don't have to share just personal stories, but also those of others...I wasn't able to find many testimonies online...
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 10:21:27 PM by Putnik Namernik » Logged
LizaSymonenko
Слава Ісусу Христу!!! Glory to Jesus Christ!!!
Global Moderator
Toumarches
******
Offline Offline

Faith: God's Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.
Posts: 13,038



WWW
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2013, 10:22:07 PM »


I've actually taken a class at the St. Sophia UOC of USA seminary!  Cheesy

Best experience, ever!

....and I had no hopes of becoming a priest.   angel
Logged

Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria
IoanC
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,378



WWW
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2013, 11:08:38 AM »

Here is an article by FatherGiryus who posts on this forum. Don't know how much it covers what you are asking, but maybe you could ask him personally. (http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.ro/2013/01/about-seminary-part-1.html)

If you don't want to be a priest and that's a good idea because you can't really want to be priest without being ordained by a bishop, then you probably have to ask yourself why go to seminary? Just to gather information and experience about the faith? You can achieve that on your own, as well, by reading, knowing people, etc.; your choice. For laypeople there is the path of theology. If you are planning to become a professional theologian, then you will naturally have to study as much as you can and even go to university. If you want to go to seminary just because it seems like a good idea, like your path in life, I don't now if it's really worth it; again, up to you. Just some of my personal thoughts.


Logged

GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,988


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2013, 11:22:02 AM »

Here is an article by FatherGiryus who posts on this forum. Don't know how much it covers what you are asking, but maybe you could ask him personally. (http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.ro/2013/01/about-seminary-part-1.html)

If you don't want to be a priest and that's a good idea because you can't really want to be priest without being ordained by a bishop, then you probably have to ask yourself why go to seminary? Just to gather information and experience about the faith? You can achieve that on your own, as well, by reading, knowing people, etc.; your choice. For laypeople there is the path of theology. If you are planning to become a professional theologian, then you will naturally have to study as much as you can and even go to university. If you want to go to seminary just because it seems like a good idea, like your path in life, I don't now if it's really worth it; again, up to you. Just some of my personal thoughts.




 I've watched his Youtube vids, but didn't realize he had a blog.  As an admirer of Father Giryus, I wanted to thank you for the blog note.
Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
Putnik Namernik
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 482



« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2013, 12:19:46 PM »


I've actually taken a class at the St. Sophia UOC of USA seminary!  Cheesy

Best experience, ever!

....and I had no hopes of becoming a priest.   angel
Cheesy

Did you have to get a blessing from your priest-bishop or not because you were just taking a single class...
Logged
Arachne
Trinary Unit || Resident Bossy Boots
Section Moderator
Protokentarchos
*****
Online Online

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland
Posts: 4,366


Tending Brigid's flame


« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2013, 12:32:17 PM »

Heh. I plan to enrol here, and sooner rather than later, while study weekends still include lectures and tutoring sessions with Met. Ware. Wink
Logged

'When you live your path all the time, you end up with both more path and more time.'~Venecia Rauls

Blog ~ Bookshelf ~ Jukebox
biro
Excelsior
Site Supporter
Warned
Toumarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox
Posts: 13,655


Και κλήρονομον δείξον με, ζωής της αιωνίου

fleem
WWW
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2013, 12:35:31 PM »

Oh wow, I'm so jealous. I mean, happy! Smiley
Logged

Charlie Rose: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

Fran Lebowitz: Everything. There is not one thing with which I am satisfied.

http://spcasuncoast.org/
Shlomlokh
主哀れめよ!
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Bulgarian
Posts: 1,254



« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2013, 01:59:50 PM »

Here is an article by FatherGiryus who posts on this forum. Don't know how much it covers what you are asking, but maybe you could ask him personally. (http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.ro/2013/01/about-seminary-part-1.html)

If you don't want to be a priest and that's a good idea because you can't really want to be priest without being ordained by a bishop, then you probably have to ask yourself why go to seminary? Just to gather information and experience about the faith? You can achieve that on your own, as well, by reading, knowing people, etc.; your choice. For laypeople there is the path of theology. If you are planning to become a professional theologian, then you will naturally have to study as much as you can and even go to university. If you want to go to seminary just because it seems like a good idea, like your path in life, I don't now if it's really worth it; again, up to you. Just some of my personal thoughts.



Thank you very much for this. It's a very sobering article on the subject. Many years to Father George!

In Christ,
Andrew
Logged

"I will pour out my prayer unto the Lord, and to Him will I proclaim my grief; for with evils my soul is filled, and my life unto hades hath drawn nigh, and like Jonah I will pray: From corruption raise me up, O God." -Ode VI, Irmos of the Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos
Putnik Namernik
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 482



« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2013, 05:11:06 PM »

Here is an article by FatherGiryus who posts on this forum. Don't know how much it covers what you are asking, but maybe you could ask him personally. (http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.ro/2013/01/about-seminary-part-1.html)

If you don't want to be a priest and that's a good idea because you can't really want to be priest without being ordained by a bishop, then you probably have to ask yourself why go to seminary? Just to gather information and experience about the faith? You can achieve that on your own, as well, by reading, knowing people, etc.; your choice. For laypeople there is the path of theology. If you are planning to become a professional theologian, then you will naturally have to study as much as you can and even go to university. If you want to go to seminary just because it seems like a good idea, like your path in life, I don't now if it's really worth it; again, up to you. Just some of my personal thoughts.




Thanks for the post and the link. Let me elaborate a bit. I have a great job which I see myself doing for the rest if my life. In I have struggled whether to become a priest or not and have promised myself not to do so unles I am 101% certain. Problem is that I believe to be a people's person and am very happy when I can help others especially in gettibg to know the true faith. I am already quite involved in my community. and wider but not sure whether it is enough. I thought of attending a seminary (when such opportunity arises) for reasons I mentioned above and also so I will be better equiped...Regarding your suggestion, I thing it is a great one and is one of the paths. I have to see which path is for me. I have access to decent amount of Orthodox literature in print and online and have been spending a lot of time reading it and shall continue doing so. Being a theologian is also one of the reasons I thought of attending a seminary...There are so many things to be considered...
« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 05:12:02 PM by Putnik Namernik » Logged
serb1389
Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom!
Global Moderator
Merarches
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco
Posts: 8,379


Michał Kalina's biggest fan

FrNPantic
WWW
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2013, 06:26:36 PM »

This a fantastic site that really has a TON of great articles about all kinds of aspects of your OP question.

http://goodguyswearblack.org/
Logged

I got nothing.
I forgot the maps
March 27th and May 30th 2010 were my Ordination dates, please forgive everything before that
yeshuaisiam
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox, Anabaptist, Other Early Christianity kind of jumbled together
Posts: 4,256


A pulling horse cannot kick.


« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2013, 10:49:31 PM »

Many of the people at St. Vladimir's seminary were there to become clergy, but not all were there for that. 

If you wanted to study there, it wouldn't be an issue at all on the "non priest" level.   Lots of people did that.

I will say though I believe there were many more seeking to become clergy.
Logged

I learned how to be more frugal and save money at http://www.livingpress.com
Punch
Protokentarchos
*********
Online Online

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: Body of Christ
Posts: 5,478



« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2013, 08:30:34 AM »

I am interested in knowing how did those of you who went to a seminary knew that was your calling?  I was thinking eventually to attend an Orthodox Seminary for personal spiritual and educational gain without planning to become a priest. Is it still typical that people attend a seminary primarily to become priests? Has a number of those like me increased perhaps? ...You don't have to share just personal stories, but also those of others...I wasn't able to find many testimonies online...

I have done it both ways.  I studied for lay ministry on my own in the Lutheran Church under the guidance of my pastor.  I also studied via an Old Calendar Greek seminary for two years.  And, I have studied the Scriptures, Lives of the Saints, and Fathers on my own.  There is study, and there is indoctrination.  It has been my experience that people read to learn and they go to school to have someone else tell them what to know.  There are exceptions, as with anything.  However, I have found that reading on your own with the guidance of a good Priest who actually believes that the Holy Spirit will guide you is the best way to learn.
Logged

I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.
Nikolaostheservant
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: greek orthodox
Jurisdiction: christian
Posts: 616



« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2013, 09:26:53 PM »

I am interested in knowing how did those of you who went to a seminary knew that was your calling?  I was thinking eventually to attend an Orthodox Seminary for personal spiritual and educational gain without planning to become a priest. Is it still typical that people attend a seminary primarily to become priests? Has a number of those like me increased perhaps? ...You don't have to share just personal stories, but also those of others...I wasn't able to find many testimonies online...

I have done it both ways.  I studied for lay ministry on my own in the Lutheran Church under the guidance of my pastor.  I also studied via an Old Calendar Greek seminary for two years.  And, I have studied the Scriptures, Lives of the Saints, and Fathers on my own.  There is study, and there is indoctrination.  It has been my experience that people read to learn and they go to school to have someone else tell them what to know.  There are exceptions, as with anything.  However, I have found that reading on your own with the guidance of a good Priest who actually believes that the Holy Spirit will guide you is the best way to learn.

"I also studied via an Old Calendar Greek seminary for two years."
Where did you study for the old calendar? sound interesting.
Logged
Punch
Protokentarchos
*********
Online Online

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: Body of Christ
Posts: 5,478



« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2013, 09:44:19 PM »

I am interested in knowing how did those of you who went to a seminary knew that was your calling?  I was thinking eventually to attend an Orthodox Seminary for personal spiritual and educational gain without planning to become a priest. Is it still typical that people attend a seminary primarily to become priests? Has a number of those like me increased perhaps? ...You don't have to share just personal stories, but also those of others...I wasn't able to find many testimonies online...

I have done it both ways.  I studied for lay ministry on my own in the Lutheran Church under the guidance of my pastor.  I also studied via an Old Calendar Greek seminary for two years.  And, I have studied the Scriptures, Lives of the Saints, and Fathers on my own.  There is study, and there is indoctrination.  It has been my experience that people read to learn and they go to school to have someone else tell them what to know.  There are exceptions, as with anything.  However, I have found that reading on your own with the guidance of a good Priest who actually believes that the Holy Spirit will guide you is the best way to learn.

"I also studied via an Old Calendar Greek seminary for two years."
Where did you study for the old calendar? sound interesting.

It is not.  Like many of the Old Calendarists out there, it was run be a rogue Bishop who was a Priest that had been kicked out of the ROCOR and was not in communion with anyone but his own band of groupies and who had found some Bishop in Greece to take him in.  The course was good enough that the ROCOR Priest that I was under did not make me quit.  I quit on my own after around two years because I could no longer see sending them money.  Besides this, I had my own Priest to answer any questions that I had.  I am not sure that the particular people that I sudied with even exist.  There was a thread about the school here some time back.  St. Elias School of Orthodox Theology. They are no longer with the Greeks, but are some Western Rite group now under one of multiple different Ukrainian jurisdictions (doubtfully one of the canonical ones).
Logged

I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.
Putnik Namernik
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 482



« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2013, 03:01:48 AM »

I trully appreciate the input from all of you.
Logged
LizaSymonenko
Слава Ісусу Христу!!! Glory to Jesus Christ!!!
Global Moderator
Toumarches
******
Offline Offline

Faith: God's Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.
Posts: 13,038



WWW
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2013, 10:23:17 AM »


I've actually taken a class at the St. Sophia UOC of USA seminary!  Cheesy

Best experience, ever!

....and I had no hopes of becoming a priest.   angel
Cheesy

Did you have to get a blessing from your priest-bishop or not because you were just taking a single class...

They were both aware of it. 

The class was part of a Church sponsored program. 

The students were even lucky enough to have lunch with not only the regular seminarians, but, both hierarchs were in attendance!

What a wonderful experience! 

Logged

Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria
FatherGiryus
You are being watched.
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch - NA
Posts: 2,122



« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2013, 10:31:02 AM »

My advice: unless everyone is telling you to go (and I mean EVERYONE except, perhaps, you) and you are willing to give up everything for God (that includes the good stuff) even to the point of great inconvenience and even embarrassment (clergy live an embarrassing life, at least in this country), then do not even think about it.

In many cases, the guy who thinks he's ready isn't, and the most apt man is, these days, intimidated out of it by the seminary programs themselves that emphasize academics over counseling and liturgics (which are the two most demanding aspects of the ministry).  We get a number of bookish individuals who crash-and-burn, or just end up in perma-missions that never grow because the priest radiates 'weird-SCA-guy.'

It isn't something to think about: the path will be clear when it opens.

By the way, we need fewer theologicians and more prayerful people.  If you can become a prayerful person and your virtues outweigh your shortcomings, then you can really help a lot of people.  Otherwise, you risk becoming part of the problem...     Wink



Thanks for the post and the link. Let me elaborate a bit. I have a great job which I see myself doing for the rest if my life. In I have struggled whether to become a priest or not and have promised myself not to do so unles I am 101% certain. Problem is that I believe to be a people's person and am very happy when I can help others especially in gettibg to know the true faith. I am already quite involved in my community. and wider but not sure whether it is enough. I thought of attending a seminary (when such opportunity arises) for reasons I mentioned above and also so I will be better equiped...Regarding your suggestion, I thing it is a great one and is one of the paths. I have to see which path is for me. I have access to decent amount of Orthodox literature in print and online and have been spending a lot of time reading it and shall continue doing so. Being a theologian is also one of the reasons I thought of attending a seminary...There are so many things to be considered...
Logged

http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com
The most dangerous thing about riding a tiger is the dismount.  - Indian proverb
Putnik Namernik
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 482



« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2013, 09:09:11 PM »

Thank you very much indeed. I was hoping if anyone can list the books studied at the seminary. I will look online but would appreciate your assistance as well and could be books from any Orthodox Christian seminary-Theological University. Thanks!
Logged
Putnik Namernik
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 482



« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2013, 09:10:41 PM »

I should mention that at least for the time being will not be attending a seminary but would like to read books they read.
Logged
IoanC
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,378



WWW
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2013, 09:42:35 AM »

You could try their websites and see what they tend to study. See this for example: http://www.svots.edu/academics
Feel free to also add your own interests. I would say that it doesn't hurt to learn anything and everything, as long as you need it and have enough "fuel" Smiley to do so.
Logged

FatherGiryus
You are being watched.
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch - NA
Posts: 2,122



« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2013, 10:19:51 AM »

That's not going to help you much.  In most of my classes, the professors had us reading texts that they would then take issue with.

If you want to learn theology, then find a spiritual father and focus on your spiritual growth.  The theological questions can be answered as they come up in that context.

Don't forget that all the great Fathers of the Church were, first and foremost, spiritual men.  You need the spiritual formation first in order to understand what you are reading.  This formation will lead you to serve others, and it is out of real service and the desire to heal our brethren that theology takes on its meaning.  So long as it is only for your own satisfaction, it won't work.

Start with prayer.


Thank you very much indeed. I was hoping if anyone can list the books studied at the seminary. I will look online but would appreciate your assistance as well and could be books from any Orthodox Christian seminary-Theological University. Thanks!
Logged

http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com
The most dangerous thing about riding a tiger is the dismount.  - Indian proverb
LizaSymonenko
Слава Ісусу Христу!!! Glory to Jesus Christ!!!
Global Moderator
Toumarches
******
Offline Offline

Faith: God's Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.
Posts: 13,038



WWW
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2013, 10:27:44 AM »


^ Well said.
Logged

Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria
Putnik Namernik
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 482



« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2013, 03:15:45 PM »

That's not going to help you much.  In most of my classes, the professors had us reading texts that they would then take issue with.

If you want to learn theology, then find a spiritual father and focus on your spiritual growth.  The theological questions can be answered as they come up in that context.

Don't forget that all the great Fathers of the Church were, first and foremost, spiritual men.  You need the spiritual formation first in order to understand what you are reading.  This formation will lead you to serve others, and it is out of real service and the desire to heal our brethren that theology takes on its meaning.  So long as it is only for your own satisfaction, it won't work.

Start with prayer.

I am not sure why but I find your advice troubling...it is bothering me ...perhaps because you have hit the nerve...I have been doing so as you suggested but still feel unsatisfied...I feel stuck...perhaps such things get resolved with time...

« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 03:16:48 PM by Putnik Namernik » Logged
WPM
Revolutionary Writer
Archon
********
Online Online

Posts: 2,444



« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2013, 04:33:41 PM »

Why go to a seminary?

So the priest can complete the training and education requirements.
Logged
FatherGiryus
You are being watched.
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch - NA
Posts: 2,122



« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2013, 05:10:46 PM »

I don't know you, so I would not dare to guess why you are stuck, but I can say that studying theology won't unstick anyone's spirituality.  Theology is a pastoral tool above all else, which means it is used to heal others.  But, you can't heal anyone unless you yourself are first healed.

I have watched too many of my seminary classmates crash and burn because they were not healed enough to jump into this arena.  To be honest, neither was I, but I think I have survived this far largely because I have always understood that I am not prepared to heal others and I don't pretend to.

I am not a theologian.  I don't read theological books unless I must, and it is only then for the sake of others.

Will I die a priest?  Hard to say based on what is happening around me.  This is an arena, and the fight is daily.  It is tiring. 

Having seen a few men go 'mad' from studying theology, I recommend it to no one save those who are under obedience to engage in it.



That's not going to help you much.  In most of my classes, the professors had us reading texts that they would then take issue with.

If you want to learn theology, then find a spiritual father and focus on your spiritual growth.  The theological questions can be answered as they come up in that context.

Don't forget that all the great Fathers of the Church were, first and foremost, spiritual men.  You need the spiritual formation first in order to understand what you are reading.  This formation will lead you to serve others, and it is out of real service and the desire to heal our brethren that theology takes on its meaning.  So long as it is only for your own satisfaction, it won't work.

Start with prayer.

I am not sure why but I find your advice troubling...it is bothering me ...perhaps because you have hit the nerve...I have been doing so as you suggested but still feel unsatisfied...I feel stuck...perhaps such things get resolved with time...


Logged

http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com
The most dangerous thing about riding a tiger is the dismount.  - Indian proverb
Putnik Namernik
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 482



« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2013, 07:50:09 PM »

I believe I am stuck because I am inpatient because I want the answer right now...What is troubling me is my "calling" - how to multiply my "talents"...I do not know where I belong, what is it that I am supposed to be doing in order (as others have helped me) to help my brothers and sisters, my Church, myself...To be a priest I lack obedience, to become a mere theologian I find empty, being a "layman" I find incomplete...No matter how much I know about my faith and how much I have done, I am yet to reach that level of spiritual inner peace. Perhaps that is the main thing that I should work on and everything else will follow...In any regard it is not my faith that is in question, for it is my faith that is pushing me away from my idle state and helping me towards the answer...

I don't know you, so I would not dare to guess why you are stuck, but I can say that studying theology won't unstick anyone's spirituality.  Theology is a pastoral tool above all else, which means it is used to heal others.  But, you can't heal anyone unless you yourself are first healed.

I have watched too many of my seminary classmates crash and burn because they were not healed enough to jump into this arena.  To be honest, neither was I, but I think I have survived this far largely because I have always understood that I am not prepared to heal others and I don't pretend to.

I am not a theologian.  I don't read theological books unless I must, and it is only then for the sake of others.

Will I die a priest?  Hard to say based on what is happening around me.  This is an arena, and the fight is daily.  It is tiring. 

Having seen a few men go 'mad' from studying theology, I recommend it to no one save those who are under obedience to engage in it.



That's not going to help you much.  In most of my classes, the professors had us reading texts that they would then take issue with.

If you want to learn theology, then find a spiritual father and focus on your spiritual growth.  The theological questions can be answered as they come up in that context.

Don't forget that all the great Fathers of the Church were, first and foremost, spiritual men.  You need the spiritual formation first in order to understand what you are reading.  This formation will lead you to serve others, and it is out of real service and the desire to heal our brethren that theology takes on its meaning.  So long as it is only for your own satisfaction, it won't work.

Start with prayer.

I am not sure why but I find your advice troubling...it is bothering me ...perhaps because you have hit the nerve...I have been doing so as you suggested but still feel unsatisfied...I feel stuck...perhaps such things get resolved with time...


Logged
FatherGiryus
You are being watched.
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch - NA
Posts: 2,122



« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2013, 12:12:24 AM »

Sounds like your problem is Pride.  When you know how unworthy you are, then God can use you.

God does not 'call' as much as He shoves.  Don't worry... when you are ready, He will dump you into the place where you belong.  If you can pray the 'Our Father' with any sense of honesty, He will take you up on the 'Thy will be done.'  If you run, you'll even get a fish...  Wink


I believe I am stuck because I am inpatient because I want the answer right now...What is troubling me is my "calling" - how to multiply my "talents"...I do not know where I belong, what is it that I am supposed to be doing in order (as others have helped me) to help my brothers and sisters, my Church, myself...To be a priest I lack obedience, to become a mere theologian I find empty, being a "layman" I find incomplete...No matter how much I know about my faith and how much I have done, I am yet to reach that level of spiritual inner peace. Perhaps that is the main thing that I should work on and everything else will follow...In any regard it is not my faith that is in question, for it is my faith that is pushing me away from my idle state and helping me towards the answer...

I don't know you, so I would not dare to guess why you are stuck, but I can say that studying theology won't unstick anyone's spirituality.  Theology is a pastoral tool above all else, which means it is used to heal others.  But, you can't heal anyone unless you yourself are first healed.

I have watched too many of my seminary classmates crash and burn because they were not healed enough to jump into this arena.  To be honest, neither was I, but I think I have survived this far largely because I have always understood that I am not prepared to heal others and I don't pretend to.

I am not a theologian.  I don't read theological books unless I must, and it is only then for the sake of others.

Will I die a priest?  Hard to say based on what is happening around me.  This is an arena, and the fight is daily.  It is tiring. 

Having seen a few men go 'mad' from studying theology, I recommend it to no one save those who are under obedience to engage in it.



That's not going to help you much.  In most of my classes, the professors had us reading texts that they would then take issue with.

If you want to learn theology, then find a spiritual father and focus on your spiritual growth.  The theological questions can be answered as they come up in that context.

Don't forget that all the great Fathers of the Church were, first and foremost, spiritual men.  You need the spiritual formation first in order to understand what you are reading.  This formation will lead you to serve others, and it is out of real service and the desire to heal our brethren that theology takes on its meaning.  So long as it is only for your own satisfaction, it won't work.

Start with prayer.

I am not sure why but I find your advice troubling...it is bothering me ...perhaps because you have hit the nerve...I have been doing so as you suggested but still feel unsatisfied...I feel stuck...perhaps such things get resolved with time...


Logged

http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com
The most dangerous thing about riding a tiger is the dismount.  - Indian proverb
Putnik Namernik
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 482



« Reply #27 on: May 02, 2013, 05:22:42 PM »

Thanks. Either I am doing what I should be doing and am not able to see the impact of my actions (no matter how small they are) or God is preparing me for things yet to come. Only God knows, while until things become more clear to me I need to battle my inner demons.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 05:23:21 PM by Putnik Namernik » Logged
Gunnarr
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,753



« Reply #28 on: May 06, 2013, 01:13:42 AM »

I believe I am stuck because I am inpatient because I want the answer right now...What is troubling me is my "calling" - how to multiply my "talents"...I do not know where I belong, what is it that I am supposed to be doing in order (as others have helped me) to help my brothers and sisters, my Church, myself...To be a priest I lack obedience, to become a mere theologian I find empty, being a "layman" I find incomplete...No matter how much I know about my faith and how much I have done, I am yet to reach that level of spiritual inner peace. Perhaps that is the main thing that I should work on and everything else will follow...In any regard it is not my faith that is in question, for it is my faith that is pushing me away from my idle state and helping me towards the answer...

I don't know you, so I would not dare to guess why you are stuck, but I can say that studying theology won't unstick anyone's spirituality.  Theology is a pastoral tool above all else, which means it is used to heal others.  But, you can't heal anyone unless you yourself are first healed.

I have watched too many of my seminary classmates crash and burn because they were not healed enough to jump into this arena.  To be honest, neither was I, but I think I have survived this far largely because I have always understood that I am not prepared to heal others and I don't pretend to.

I am not a theologian.  I don't read theological books unless I must, and it is only then for the sake of others.

Will I die a priest?  Hard to say based on what is happening around me.  This is an arena, and the fight is daily.  It is tiring. 

Having seen a few men go 'mad' from studying theology, I recommend it to no one save those who are under obedience to engage in it.



That's not going to help you much.  In most of my classes, the professors had us reading texts that they would then take issue with.

If you want to learn theology, then find a spiritual father and focus on your spiritual growth.  The theological questions can be answered as they come up in that context.

Don't forget that all the great Fathers of the Church were, first and foremost, spiritual men.  You need the spiritual formation first in order to understand what you are reading.  This formation will lead you to serve others, and it is out of real service and the desire to heal our brethren that theology takes on its meaning.  So long as it is only for your own satisfaction, it won't work.

Start with prayer.

I am not sure why but I find your advice troubling...it is bothering me ...perhaps because you have hit the nerve...I have been doing so as you suggested but still feel unsatisfied...I feel stuck...perhaps such things get resolved with time...



Welcome to the monastery!
Logged

I am a demonic servant! Beware!
FatherGiryus
You are being watched.
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch - NA
Posts: 2,122



« Reply #29 on: May 06, 2013, 12:53:03 PM »

Perhaps even both...  but, God is in charge.  Trust Him, and He will save you from yourself.

Thanks. Either I am doing what I should be doing and am not able to see the impact of my actions (no matter how small they are) or God is preparing me for things yet to come. Only God knows, while until things become more clear to me I need to battle my inner demons.
Logged

http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com
The most dangerous thing about riding a tiger is the dismount.  - Indian proverb
pensateomnia
Bibliophylax
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox Christian
Posts: 2,349


metron ariston


« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2013, 09:30:43 PM »

I am interested in knowing how did those of you who went to a seminary knew that was your calling?  I was thinking eventually to attend an Orthodox Seminary for personal spiritual and educational gain without planning to become a priest. Is it still typical that people attend a seminary primarily to become priests? Has a number of those like me increased perhaps? ...You don't have to share just personal stories, but also those of others...I wasn't able to find many testimonies online...

Most people who go to seminary full-time are preparing for the priesthood. But there are also some people who are preparing for various forms of lay ministry or further study. There are very, very few who are there merely for "personal spiritual and educational gain." That's a very bad reason to enroll in a full-time degree program of any kind. If you are going to quit your job, move to a new place, and spend two, three, or four years in a degree program, you better have a real vocational end in mind. In the case of seminary, that typically means one of three things: (1) becoming an ordained clergyman, (2) finding full-time work in lay ministry, or (3) entering academia. The third option should only be entertained if you are extremely gifted in languages and otherwise a worthless egghead.

As for personal study in the here and now, do what the Church Fathers did:

(1) Attend church services. A lot.
(2) Learn the classical languages well.
(3) Read the Bible. A lot.
(4) Memorize the Psalms.
(5) Read a whole bunch of literature, poetry, and philosophy. All kinds.

In other words, be a Christian and a civilized human being. Then you can start studying theology.
Logged

But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)
ilyazhito
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 907



« Reply #31 on: September 22, 2013, 08:32:43 PM »

I intend to go to seminary, if possible, to gain more liturgical proficiency, to study theology, and to prepare for ministry. I intend to eventually serve as a deacon. One of the required documents to present in the admissions package is a baptismal certificate. However, I do not have one. I was baptised in Russia in the Spaso-Andronikov Monastery in 1994, but since we moved from Russia in 1996, the document was probably lost or destroyed. What do I present instead? How do I resolve this issue? Do I make a recording of myself saying the Creed and the Lord's Prayer to confirm that I'm Orthodox?
Logged
hecma925
Non-clairvoyant
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 6,000


Pray for me, a sinner.


WWW
« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2013, 09:20:38 PM »

I intend to go to seminary, if possible, to gain more liturgical proficiency, to study theology, and to prepare for ministry. I intend to eventually serve as a deacon. One of the required documents to present in the admissions package is a baptismal certificate. However, I do not have one. I was baptised in Russia in the Spaso-Andronikov Monastery in 1994, but since we moved from Russia in 1996, the document was probably lost or destroyed. What do I present instead? How do I resolve this issue? Do I make a recording of myself saying the Creed and the Lord's Prayer to confirm that I'm Orthodox?

Perhaps your bishop or his chancery's office could assist you.  The recording would be icing on the cake, but it must be video so that they know you are doing it from memory. Wink
Logged

LBK
Merarches
***********
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 10,897


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!


« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2013, 10:50:58 PM »

I intend to go to seminary, if possible, to gain more liturgical proficiency, to study theology, and to prepare for ministry. I intend to eventually serve as a deacon. One of the required documents to present in the admissions package is a baptismal certificate. However, I do not have one. I was baptised in Russia in the Spaso-Andronikov Monastery in 1994, but since we moved from Russia in 1996, the document was probably lost or destroyed. What do I present instead? How do I resolve this issue? Do I make a recording of myself saying the Creed and the Lord's Prayer to confirm that I'm Orthodox?

There should be a baptismal record retained at the church you were baptized, and one at the offices of the Archdiocese of the region. The office of the Archdiocese should be able to send you a certified copy of your certificate.
Logged
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 17,415


The Pope Emeritus reading OCNet


WWW
« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2013, 11:53:19 PM »

I was baptised in Russia in the Spaso-Andronikov Monastery in 1994, but since we moved from Russia in 1996, the document was probably lost or destroyed. What do I present instead? How do I resolve this issue? Do I make a recording of myself saying the Creed and the Lord's Prayer to confirm that I'm Orthodox?

It is likely that the church or diocese in which you were baptised has the record of your baptism and can get you a copy or some equivalent document.  But it's not unheard of for documents to be destroyed or near impossible to obtain.  In this case, I would check with the school to which you are applying.  Sometimes, an official letter from your priest or bishop affirming that you are a communing, practicing Orthodox Christian in good standing will suffice in the absence of a baptismal certificate since communing presupposes baptism. 
Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


"Mor is a jerk." - kelly
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.137 seconds with 63 queries.