Seminarian Andrew Kayaian wins St. Matthias Merit Scholarship Essay Contest

St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) has announced Seminarian Andrew Kayaian as the winner of the 2019 St. Matthias Merit Scholarship Essay Contest.

The contest was opened to current SVOTS students at the beginning of the fall semester. For his winning entry, titled, “’Follow me’: Religious Reality over Facebook Phantasm,” Kayaian will have $3,000 in award money added to his scholarship fund.

“Following on social media does not carry with it any incumbent real life consequences….,” he wrote in his essay. “Contrarily, Christ's command to his disciples, ‘Follow me,’ is substantive, carries obligations, and involves the whole person without reservation. The command is significant enough that the same story in which Christ says, ‘Follow me,’ is recorded similarly in all four Gospels.”

Read the winning entry in its entirety here.

Andrew Kayaian is a second-year seminarian in the Master of Arts (M.A.) program. As a seminarian of the Armenian Church in America, he is also studying concurrently at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, Armonk, NY. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in history from Fordham University. Kayaian’s home parish is St. Gregory the Enlightener Armenian Church in White Plains, NY.

The St. Matthias Merit Scholarship Essay Contest is offered annually, thanks to the generous contributions of a family of anonymous donors. These donors also selected the topic of the 2019 essay contest and developed thorough and thoughtful criteria to determine the winner.

The contest is one of many offerings by the Seminary to help its seminarians graduate tuition-debt free as they go forth to serve the Church. SVOTS also administers need-based tuition grants, need-based scholarships, merit scholarships, continuing education grants, and matching grant opportunities for seminarians. These are made possible thanks to many benefactors who have graciously given funds to the Seminary.