St. Vladimir's Seminary Signs Agreement with Theological Institute in Russia

7-14 October 2013 • Off–Campus • Dean and Chancellor News

Fr. John and Met. Hilarion, signing the agreementFr. John and Met. Hilarion, signing the agreementThe Dean and Chancellor/CEO of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr and The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, have signed an agreement with Ss. Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute of Post–Graduate Studies in Moscow, laying the foundation for the establishment of the "St. Philaret of Moscow Russian House of Studies" at St. Vladimir's. The cooperative statement was signed at the culmination of the Dean and Chancellor's visit to Russia October 7–14, 2013, and the Russian House of Studies will become part of the Seminary's International Houses of Studies program, which will welcome an exchange of teachers and students from the Moscow Patriarchate's school.

"Our plans for partnering with overseas schools continue apace," said Fr. John Behr. "Through these collaborative efforts we will be able to serve the Church in the United States more effectively, enrichingPatriarch Kirill, during the Akathist in the Lavra courtyardPatriarch Kirill, during the Akathist in the Lavra courtyard the formation of our students and laying the groundwork for ongoing dialogue with Orthodox schools of theology overseas."

Representatives who signed the agreement on behalf of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute included His Eminence The Most Rev. Hilarion (Alfeyev), metropolitan of Volokolamsk and chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, The Rev. Vladimir Shmaliy, and Hieromonk Ioann Kopeikin. Metropolitan Hilarion, an episcopal member of St. Vladimir's Seminary's Board of Trustees, hosted the St. Vladimir's delegation, which also included SVS Press Marketing and Operations Manager The Rev. Dn. Gregory Hatrak.

Presenting the Popular Patristics SeriesPresenting the Popular Patristics SeriesThe St. Vladimir's delegation fully participated in Russian Orthodox church life during their week long trip, as evidenced by highlights in their itinerary (view the gallery):

· Tuesday, October 8: Celebration Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity St. Sergius Lavra (Sergiev Posad) with Metropolitan Hilarion presiding; celebration of an Akathist in the courtyard of the Lavra with His Holiness Kyrill, patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, presiding, and a private audience with the patriarch following; presentation of a complete set of Popular Patristics Series volumes from SVS Press to the Moscow Theological Academy Library.

· Wednesday, October 9: Participation in the opening Ceremonial Day at the St. Petersburg Theological Academy with the presentation of a complete set of Popular Patristics Series volumes from SVS Press to the St. Petersburg Theological Academy; visit to the Publishing House of Sretensky Monastery to discuss production of Orthodox Christian materials in Russia and North America; meeting with the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) representative to the Moscow Patriarchate, Archimandrite Alexander Pihach, regarding possibly opening an English-language bookstore at the OCA's Representation Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr, Moscow.

· Thursday, October 10, Friday, October 11: Participation in the "St. Isaac the Syrian and His Spiritual Heritage" conference, sponsored by Ss. Cyril and Methodius TheologicalSt. Vladimir's delegation in MoscowSt. Vladimir's delegation in Moscow Institute and the Philosophy Department of Moscow State University, with Fr. John Behr delivering a paper on "St. Isaac of Syria on the Cross" (other noteworthy speakers included Schema Monk Gabriel Bunge, Syriac expert Sebastian Brock, and Archimandrite Vasilios of Iviron Monastery).

Fr. Chad with eminent Syriac scholar Sebastian BrockFr. Chad with eminent Syriac scholar Sebastian Brock· Saturday, October 12: Fr. John Behr addresses students at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute informally, regarding the history and contemporary life of St. Vladimir's Seminary, and his own current theological inquiry, Becoming Human; the presentation of a complete set of Popular Patristics Series volumes from SVS Press to Ss. Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute; meeting with faculty at St. Tikhon's Orthodox University, Moscow, and the presentation of a complete set of Popular Patristics Series volumes from SVS Press to St. Tikhon's Orthodox University; Vigil at the famed Church of the Mother of God, "Joy of All Who Sorrow," on Bolshaya Ordynka Street, with Metropolitan Hilarion presiding.

· Sunday, October 13: Concelebration of Divine Liturgy at the Church of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow," with Metropolitan Hilarion presiding; the signing of the agreement between St. Vladimir's Seminary and Ss. Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute.

Iconic Russian domesIconic Russian domes"It was a great joy and blessing to serve in St. Petersburg and Moscow and to see the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church so evident in both of these cities," Fr. Chad reflected at the end of their trip. "We look forward to the fruits of our partnership with Russian Orthodox theologians and students."

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