Chancellor Receives Distinguished Alumnus Award from Nashotah House Theological Seminary

15 May 2013 • Off–Campus • Virginia Nieuwsma 

Distinguished Alumnus Award, Nashotah HouseDistinguished Alumnus Award, Nashotah HouseDuring the spring alumni festivities at Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Nashotah, WI, St. Vladimir's Seminary Chancellor/CEO The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield was honored, along with two other Nashotah alumni, with the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Founded in 1842 as a seminary and a mission to native Americans, Nashotah House is an Association of Theological Schools (ATS) peer school with St. Vladimir's Seminary, and the two institutions share a warm, reciprocal relationship that was formalized in 2009 with the signing of a Concordat.

This Concordat, which graces the Gerich Boardroom in the John G. Rangos Building on the SVOTS campus, was signed at the end of a conference titled "In the Footsteps of Tikhon and Grafton," in which the friendship between St. Tikhon of Moscow and North America and the Right Rev. Charles Chapman Grafton, bishop of Fond du Lac, provided the historical foundation for the pledge of "mutual fellowship of prayer and learning in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit." The agreement commits the two schools to pray for each other, to further ecumenical relationships between members of the Orthodox and Anglican traditions, and to continue to work for the reunion of all faithful Christians.Fr. Chad receives Alumnus Award (Davauer Photography)Fr. Chad receives Alumnus Award (Davauer Photography)

"This year's alumni emphasis was particularly unique," noted Fr. Chad, "in that the spotlight was put on the number of Nashotah House graduates who are now Orthodox or Roman Catholic—clearly communicating the message that Nashotah grads are now functioning in a much wider ecumenical context.

"Indeed," continued Fr. Chad, "due to our concordat relationship with them, we are prayed for every day in their chapel. In a very real sense, I accepted the award not only on a personal basis, but also in recognition of the longstanding relationship between Nashotah House and the Orthodox world."

Most recently in October of 2012, Nashotah House hosted Fr. Chad and His Eminence The Most Rev. Hilarion (Alfeyev), metropolitan of Volokolamsk and chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, for a weekend of meetings that witnessed to the relationship between the Anglican and Orthodox communions—past and present, and nationally and internationally. The weekend especially highlighted the emerging friendship between Metropolitan Hilarion and the Anglican Communion in North America (ACNA).

Met. Hilarion and Fr. Chad (center) with participants in Anglican-Orthodox dialogue (Photo: anglicanchurch.net)Met. Hilarion and Fr. Chad (center) with participants in Anglican-Orthodox dialogue (Photo: anglicanchurch.net)Father Chad holds three degrees from Nashotah House: a Masters of Divinity ('78), a Masters of Sacred Theology ('88), and a Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa ('08). The Distinguished Alumnus Award honors outstanding alumni "who have demonstrated particular faithfulness and service to Our Lord and their communities, and whose accomplishments, affiliations, and careers have honored the legacy of excellence at Nashotah House." Nominees for the award are evaluated with three key categories in mind: loyalty to the alma mater, level of achievement in his or her professional life, and effectiveness within the arenas of community service and ministry. Recipients are expected to exhibit "integrity and a demonstrated commitment to service through an interest in bettering the lives of others through missionary efforts."

Following the example of Nashotah House, St. Vladimir's Seminary will be designating a distinguished alumnus at the first annual SVOTS Alumni Days event, scheduled for Sept. 15–16, 2013. The event will coincide with the first Father John Meyendorff Annual Memorial Lecture, to be presented by The Very Rev. John H. Erickson, former dean of St. Vladimir's.