The Dean of St. Vladimir’s has a rather heady job description. According to the Statutes of the school, his duties are to “supervise of all spiritual and academic activities of the Seminary” and to “represent the Seminary before ecclesiastical, educational, and religious agencies.”
But how does that sizable black and white description translate into flesh and blood action? Moreover, what’s on our Dean’s mind, as well as on his daily planner?
Besides teaching a full course load in patristics, including a summer session, during the past year, SVOTS Dean Archpriest John Behr wrote one major book and published four articles, gave fourteen public presentations, and logged 44,449 in land and air miles. This year, he’s likely to surpass that travel mark, as he traverses the globe lecturing, teaching, presenting retreats, and representing the ethos of St. Vladimir’s in multifold settings.
Among his most important ministries is to cultivate friendships that strengthen the nexus between SVOTS and other Orthodox theological schools throughout world. To that end, in October 2010, Fr. John will be visiting the Theological Faculty of the University of Belgrade, joining in the celebrations for their (and his) patronal feast of St. John the Theologian. He will speak with both faculty and students; and he will continue the connection that began with the visitations of the Student Choir from School of Theology at the University of Belgrade, with their faculty advisor, Nenad Milosevic, during the past two years on our campus. Fr. John will also be visiting the new Patriarch, His Holiness Irinej, as well as various monasteries throughout the country. He will travel with one of the episcopal members of our Board of Trustees, His Grace The Right Rev. Maxim (Vasiljevic), bishop of the Western Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America (SOC).
“I look forward especially to this visit to Serbia,” said Fr. John, “amid my travel schedule for this semester. Being a ‘face’ for St. Vladimir’s is one of my greatest joys and privileges as Dean, and during this trip, I hope to build deep and lasting ties with their faculty.
“Another privilege as Dean is to share my experiences with our friends and alumni through my monthly reflection in the “On Our Minds”  section of our new Website. I invite everyone to ‘travel’ with me—virtually!—and to find out what 'the Dean' is up to, and what I’m thinking about within the ever-changing landscape of world Orthodoxy.”
Our Chancellor, Archpriest Chad Hatfield, also writes a column for “On Our Minds. ” Read our Dean's and Chancellor's reflections monthly.