Institute of Sacred Arts to Offer Opportunities to Study Iconography with Dr George Kordis

Dr George Kordis

Dr George Kordis, renowned iconographer and former artist-in-residence at the Institute of Sacred Arts (ISA) at St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS), is launching a unique two-year program in iconography as part of his Writing the Light School of Iconography. This program will feature an annual residency at St Vladimir’s Seminary, as part of its relationship with the Institute of Sacred Arts.

Students of St Vladimir’s Seminary are invited to participate in this program concurrently with their studies and will receive a 20% discount on their tuition in the iconography program. Through a hybrid of online learning and individualized residencies in the United States and Greece that emphasize the intersection of artistic process and critical understanding, students will immerse themselves in creating icons in the Byzantine tradition.

The first studio program of its kind in the United States, this new two-year course is designed as a creative international learning experience for students seeking to grow as contemporary iconographers grounded in the Byzantine tradition. Students in this program will build a firm foundation for their future practice of iconography through completing a comprehensive range of coursework, ranging from technical workshops on drawing to lecture classes on art history, theology, and aesthetics. 

Dr Kordis has been teaching iconography students in his native Greece for over 30 years and is very much looking forward to working with students in an English-language environment on an extended basis. Through this certificate program, Dr Kordis intends to teach students to ground themselves in iconographic tradition while also bringing their own creative touch to their work, so that students become vibrant creators, not just copyists.”


ISA Founding Director and SVOTS Professor of Systematic Theology, Dr Peter Bouteneff expressed his appreciation for Dr Kordis’ work and his enthusiasm for this new iconography program, saying, “George Kordis is one of the world’s greatest living iconographers, who is also deeply versed in the meaning of icons and their role in the life of the Church. This opportunity to study with him and his carefully chosen colleagues is rare; anyone who has experienced Kordis’s work—his massive church interiors or his portable icons—will immediately perceive his artistry and his faith. We are proud to be in association with the Writing the Light school.”

The inaugural cohort is set to commence classes in September 2023, and space is limited. The response to the new program has been very enthusiastic, indicating there will be a continued need for new cohorts to be established in the coming years. Visit writingthelight.com to learn more and apply for the iconography certificate program with Dr George Kordis.



Eminent iconographer George Kordis has the rare distinction for a practicing artist of completing his academic training in theology, with advanced theological degrees from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston and the University of Athens, where he was an assistant professor in iconography (theory and practice). His training as a painter preceded and motivated his move into theology: During the 1980s he worked with the Cypriot master iconographer, Fr. Symeon Symeou, and also studied painting at The School of Fine Arts at The Museum of Boston from 1987–89; and even while obtaining his doctorate (Athens) in 1991 he continued his studies in painting and engraving under Fotis Mastichiadis. Dr. Kordis has been a visiting professor teaching icon painting courses at Yale University, the University of South Carolina, the University of Bucharest/Department of Orthodox Theology, and Ukraine Pedagogical University, Odessa, while continuing to create major church programs of iconography—including several in the US (see Holy Trinity in Columbia, SC and, recently, Holy Trinity in Pittsburgh and panel icons, which have been seen in numerous prominent exhibitions at Yale University and elsewhere). Kordis is also a prolific author with wide-ranging interests: theory and practice of Orthodox iconography, Fayum mummy portraits, Theophan the Cretan, Andrei Rublev, Fotis Kontoglou, Greek folk art, and many other topics.

Read his full CV and explore his expansive work.