Professor Meyendorff Participates in Continuing Plan for Orthodox Theological Schools

Dr. Paul Meyendorff, The Father Alexander Schmemann Professor of Liturgical Theology at St. Vladimir's SeminaryDr. Paul Meyendorff, The Father Alexander Schmemann Professor of Liturgical Theology at St. Vladimir's Seminary

April 5–7, 2011 • Off-campus Event

Dr. Paul Meyendorff, The Father Alexander Schmemann Professor of Liturgical Theology at our seminary, was among the participants in an international consultation of Orthodox Christian theological schools held at the Orthodox Academy of Crete April 5–7, 2011. The consultation focused on the development of a sample strategic plan for Orthodox theological schools in Europe.

The meeting was a continuation of an initial gathering in September 2010. At that time, Dr. Meyendorff traveled to the Orthodox seminary in Joensuu, Finland, to discuss the future of Orthodox theological education in Europe in light of the Bologna Process. The Bologna Process is a recent initiative within the European Union to reform and standardize higher education. The meeting in Joensuu was called to discuss the implications of this process for Orthodox seminaries in Europe. The meeting concluded with a proposal to develop a pan-Orthodox agency to monitor the quality of Orthodox theological education.

At this second gathering, Dr. Meyendorff related the experience of St. Vladimir's Seminary in developing its strategic plan, noting that the situation of the Church in North America differs in many respects from the Church elsewhere. Consultation participants then prepared a conceptual model for strategic planning for theological schools to adapt and further to develop in light of their respective situations. Other issues discussed at the consultation included various concerns with regard to preparation and qualifications of candidates for ordination, theological research, and related matters.

In a report on the status of theological education in the Orthodox Church of Russia, Archimandrite Kirill (Hovorun) stressed the importance that must be placed on interaction between theological schools worldwide and shared recent reforms undertaken at the Moscow Theological Academy.  A report was also given on the Orthodox Church of Greece's new theological school. Also represented at the consultation were the Orthodox Academy of Crete, the Theological Academy in Thessaloniki, the Orthodox Seminary in Joensuu, Finland, and the St. Tikhon Orthodox Humanitarian University.