The Very Reverend Thomas Hopko

The Very Reverend Thomas Hopko

Dean Emeritus

Father Thomas [1939–2015] graduated from Fordham University in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in Russian studies. He graduated with a theological degree from St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in 1963, from Duquesne University with a master’s degree in philosophy in 1969, and he earned his doctorate degree in theology from Fordham University in 1982. 

Ordained to the Holy Priesthood in August 1963, Fr. Thomas served the following parishes as pastor: Saint John the Baptist Church, Warren, OH (1963–1968); Saint Gregory the Theologian Church, Wappingers Falls, NY (1968–1978); and Saint Nicholas Church, Jamaica Estates, NY (1978–1983). Father Thomas was honored with the clerical rank of Archpriest in 1970 and the rank of Protopresbyter in 1995.

Beginning in 1968, Fr. Thomas began his long service to St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. Over the years, Fr. Thomas held the following positions: Lecturer in Doctrine and Pastoral Theology, 1968–1972; Assistant Professor of Dogmatic Theology, 1972–1983; Associate Professor of Dogmatic Theology, 1983–1991; Professor of Dogmatic Theology, 1991–1992; Dean, Rector of Three Hierarchs Chapel, and Professor of Dogmatic Theology, 1992–2002.

During his years of priestly ministry, Fr. Thomas authored numerous books and articles. Most well known of these publications is The Orthodox Faith: An Elementary Handbook on the Orthodox Church.  A prolific speaker and preacher, he spoke at conferences, retreats, public lectures, and Church gatherings of all kinds, many of which were recorded. Father Thomas performed countless duties on behalf of the Orthodox Church in America, including representing the Church at intra-Orthodox gatherings and ecumenical meetings.

Educational Background

  • B.A. in Russian Studies, Fordham University, 1960
  • M.Div., St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, 1963
  • M.A. in Philosophy, Duquesne University, 1969
  • Ph.D. in Theology, Fordham University, 1982

Recent Courses Taught at SVOTS

  • Taught summer sessions at John Carroll University, Cleveland, OH; University of Dallas, Texas; Naropa Institute, Boulder, CO; and John XXIII Center, Fordham University, NYC
  • Adjunct Professor of Religion, Drew University, Madison, NJ, 1987
  • Ely V. Lilly Visiting Professor of Religion, Berea College, Berea, KY, 1986
  • Adjunct Professor of Orthodox Christianity, Fordham University, NYC, 1984 
  • Adjunct Professor of Eastern Christianity, Columbia University, NYC, 1983 
  • Adjunct Professor of Eastern Christianity, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, 1965–1968
  • Positions held at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary:
    • Dean Emeritus, 2002
    • Dean and Professor of Dogmatic Theology, 1992–2002
    • Professor of Dogmatic Theology, 19911992
    • Associate Professor of Dogmatic Theology, 19831991
    • Assistant Professor of Dogmatic Theology, 19721983
    • Lecturer in Doctrine and Pastoral Theology, 19681972

Selected Publications

  • Christian Faith and Same-Sex Attraction:  Eastern Orthodox Reflections (Conciliar Press, 2006)
  • Speaking the Truth in Love (Crestwood: SVS Press, 2004)
  • The Winter Pascha (Crestwood: SVS Press, 1984)
  • Women and the Priesthood (Crestwood: SVS Press, 1983, revised & expanded 1999)
  • The Lenten Spring (Crestwood: SVS Press, 1983)
  • All the Fulness of God (Crestwood: SVS Press, 1982)
  • The Spirit of God (Danbury: Morehouse Barlowe, 1976), trans. Indonesian & Greek, 1994
  • The Orthodox Faith: An Elementary Handbook on the Orthodox Church (New York: Department of Religious Education of the Orthodox Church in America, 1972–1976), 4 Volumes: Volume I: Doctrine; Volume II: Worship; Volume III: Bible and Church History; Volume IV: Spirituality

Portions trans. Russian, French, Arabic, Serbian, Bulgarian, Spanish, Finnish, Swedish, Dutch Albanian, Korean, Japanese, and Persian. Russian language edition Osnovy Pravoslaviya, originally published by Religious Books for Russia: Glen Cove, NY, 1987, 1989; republished 100,000 copies in Minsk: Polifakt Publishing Co., 1991. 

  • Christian Spirituality—East and West, with Jordan Aumann OP and Donald Bloesch (Chicago: The Priory Press, 1968)
  • "A Spiritual Springtime for American Orthodoxy," delivered at the 40th Anniversary of the Consecration of the Chapel at the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration
  • Father Thomas Hopko honoring Father Dennis Pavichevich on his retirement
  • Commencement Address, delivered at St Vladimir's Seminary's commencement ceremonies, May 2007
  • "What the Orthodox Have to do to Have Unity," discussion delivered at St John Orthodox Church, July 2006
  • "An Orthodox Christian Perspective: The Living Will/Health-Care Proxy" (Spring 2004)
  • "Making Unity Happen"
  • "Roman Presidency and Christian Unity"
  • "John Paul II and His Successor"
  • "Mel Gibson's Messiah"
  • "Remembering Our Leaders"
  • "The Serbian Church and Milosevic" (May 1999)
  • "In the Spiritual Arena" (April 1999)
  • "Prophets, Priests, Pastors, and Professors" (December 1998)
  • "Orthodoxy in Post-Modern Pluralistic Societies"
  • "The Mission of the Orthodox Church in North America" (Bucharest, August 1996)
  • "The Narrow Way of Orthodoxy"

Articles witten for Orthodox Education Day Booklets:

  • "Serving Christ in Our Neighbor" (October 6, 2001)
  • "Hooda Germack: A Servant of Christ in Her Neighbors" (October 6, 2001)
  • "Eucharistic Discipline in the Orthodox Church" (October 7, 2000)
  • "Preparation for Holy Communion" (October 7, 2000)
  • "On the Lord's Coming Yesterday and Today" (October 2, 1999)
  • "Theological Education at St Vladimir's Seminary: Yesterday and Today" (October 3, 1998)
  • "Finding One's Calling In Life" (October 5, 1996)
  • "Orthodox Christianity and Ethics" (October 7, 1995)
 Essays in Books
  • Orthodoxy and Cultures, Ioan Sauca, ed. (Geneva, Switzerland: WCC, 1996)
  • Reclaiming the Bible for the Church, Carl E. Braaten and Robert W. Jenson, eds. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1995) 
  • Speaking the Christian God: The Holy Trinity and the Challenge of Feminism, Alvin J. Kimel, ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1992) 
  • The Legacy of St. Vladimir : Papers presented at a Symposium commemorating the Fiftieth Anniversary of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, 1990, J. Breck, J. Meyendorff, and E. Silk, eds. (Crestwood: SVS Press, 1990)
  • Speaking of Silence, Christians and Buddhists on the Contemplative Way, Susan Walker, ed. (New York: Paulist Press, 1987); content from the Buddhist-Christian Dialogues held at Naropa Institute in Boulder, CO 
  • Christian Spirituality, Origins to the Twelfth Century, Bernard McGinn, John Meyendorff, and Jean Leclercq, eds. (New York: Crossroad, 1985) Volume 16 of World Spirituality—An Encyclopedic History of the Religious Quest 
  • God, Jesus, Spirit, Daniel Callhan, ed. (New York: Herder and Herder, 1969) 
Audio and Podcasts
  • "Apocalypse" CD
  • "The Lord's Prayer" CD (Vols 1, 2 & 3)
  • "Sin: Primordial, Generational, Personal" CD
  • "Praying with Icons" CD
  • "The Word of the Cross" CD
  • "The Work of God's People" CD
  • Ancient Faith Radio Podcast Series: "Speaking the Truth in Love" 
Find Protopresbyter Thomas's Works