St. Vladimir’s Seminary to bestow three honorary doctorates at 2018 commencement

28 March 2018 • Yonkers, NY

At its commencement Saturday, May 19, 2018, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary will confer honorary doctorates to three people for their contributions to the Orthodox Church: composer Mitered Archpriest Sergei Glagolev, Seminary Trustee Emeritus Protodeacon Peter Danilchick, and University of Kentucky Professor David Bradshaw, Ph.D.

“Their contributions align so fittingly with important facets of St. Vladimir’s Seminary’s mission, namely, leadership and stewardship, academia, and the sacred arts,” said Archpriest Chad Hatfield, president of the seminary. “As such, we could not be more pleased to honor these three distinguished individuals.”


Archpriest Sergei Glagolev, whose work was recently performed and honored at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, is noted for his pioneering work in introducing English-language musical compositions into Orthodox Christian church services.

“Fr. Sergei’s impact as a composer, teacher, and conductor of sacred music cannot be overstated,” said Robin Freeman, Director of Music at St. Vladimir’s Seminary. “Grounded in the ancient musical traditions of the Orthodox Church, Fr. Sergei was a trailblazer in setting and composing new liturgical music for the English-speaking faithful of the western world, and his work is still widely sung today. He was also an influential teacher of sacred music, both at St. Vladimir’s Seminary and, more broadly, through his music, which sparked a wave of new American Orthodox compositions.”

Fr. Sergei, a retired priest of the Orthodox Church in America, was born in 1928 in Gary, Indiana. His father emigrated from Russia to France after the Bolshevik revolution, and later moved to the United States. Fr. Sergei began serving as a church choir director while only a teenager, and later went on to study at Oberlin, Julliard, New York University, and Saint Vladimir’s Seminary. He received a theological degree from the seminary in 1949 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from New York University. In the years that followed, Fr. Sergei coupled his musical ministry with his work as the pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul Church, Lorain, OH, and St. Innocent Church, Encino-Tarzana, CA; then as Dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral, San Francisco; and finally as pastor of Holy Trinity Church, Long Island, NY. He also gave presentations at numerous workshops and conferences throughout North America for decades, and taught at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary; Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, PA; and Saint Herman’s Seminary, Kodiak, AK.


Protodeacon Peter Danilchick, another of the honorary doctorate recipients, is being recognized for his leadership and service to the Orthodox Church on a national and international scale, including his work as a trustee on the board of St. Vladimir’s Seminary.

Recently, Protodeacon Peter played a pivotal role in the revitalization of the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) program as the first hybrid online/residential program at St. Vladimir's Seminary.

“Thanks to his penetrating questions about institutional preparedness, and his advice on how to solve problems, the D.Min. program was successfully launched, and because it was established on a firm foundation, the program continues to thrive,” explained Priest Sergius Halvorsen, director of the Doctor of Ministry program.

Protodeacon Peter and his wife, Tanya, also established the Danilchick Family Endowment for Pastoral studies, which enables the seminary to offer scholarships to D.Min. students.

“Protodeacon Peter exemplifies what it means to cultivate and share the talents God has given us,” added Seminary Trustee Tatiana L. Hoff.

Protodeacon Peter Danilchick is a retired ExxonMobil executive, where he spent over three decades in international operations, planning, and management. He is also an ordained deacon in the Orthodox Church, serving parishes and missions for over forty years, domestically and overseas. While he worked in six different countries for ExxonMobil, he supported the Orthodox Church in these locations, either supporting existing parishes or establishing new missions. He also served on two national church governing boards in the United States and Southeast Asia, and served as the board chairman of a major European international school. Protodeacon Peter is the author of Thy Will Be Done: Strategic Leadership, Planning, and Management for Christians (SVS Press).


A third honorary doctorate will be granted to David Bradshaw, Ph.D., who will also serve as commencement speaker for the seminary’s Commencement of the Class of 2018. Bradshaw is a professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Kentucky and a member of St. Athanasius Orthodox Church in Nicholasville, KY. He earned his doctorate at the University of Texas, Austin, and he currently specializes in ancient and medieval philosophy, philosophy of religion, and the interactions of theology and philosophy.

"Professor Bradshaw has standing as a senior academic among the many Orthodox Christian professors teaching in various universities and colleges, in philosophy departments, and in the field of bioethics,” said Archpriest Chad Hatfield. “As an author, he has gained a global standing and respect that always reflects back on his deep commitment to the Orthodox Christian faith. He has had a deep influence on many of our own current seminarians and alumni."

Professor Bradshaw is a contributor to Turning East: Contemporary Philosophers and the Ancient Christian Faith (ed. Rico Vitz; SVS Press, 2012). He is also the author of Aristotle East and West: Metaphysics and the Division of Christendom, which focuses on a comparative history of philosophical thought in the two halves of Christendom, East and West, and which won the Morris D. Forkosch prize, sponsored by the Journal of the History of Ideas. Additionally, he is the editor of Philosophical Theology and the Christian Tradition: Russian and Western Perspectives and Ethics and the Challenge of Secularism: Russian and Western Perspectives.

The Commencement of the Class of 2018 at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary will begin May 19 at 2:00 p.m. with a “Prayer of Thanksgiving” in Three Hierarchs Chapel, followed at 2:30 p.m. by Commencement Exercises in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium of the John G. Rangos Family Building.