St Vladimir's begins academic year with large incoming class, new faculty

Fr Chad leads session with new seminarians in the chapel

Giving thanks to God, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) kicked off its 2022–2023 Academic Year on Monday, August 29.

Forty-three students are beginning their first year of studies in their respective degree programs: nineteen (19) in the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program, eleven (11) in the Master of Arts (M.A.) program, eight (8) in the new Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) cohort, and five (5) in the Master of Theology (Th.M.) program

The incoming class is a diverse, pan- and inter-Orthodox group. The thirty-five (35) men and eight (8) women hail from six (6) countries: The United States, Canada, China, India, Uganda, and Ukraine. The seminarians represent eleven (11) Eastern and Oriental Orthodox jurisdictions:

New seminarians and orientation
  • Orthodox Church in America (OCA)
  • Patriarchate of Alexandria
  • Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
  • Serbian Orthodox Church
  • Romanian Orthodox Church
  • Ukrainian Orthodox Church
  • Coptic Orthodox Church 
  • Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch
  • Armenian Apostolic Church
  • Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
  • Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church

One of those first-year seminarians, Naomi DeHaan, from the OCA's Diocese of the South, is pursuing an M.A. with a concentration in Theological Scholarship and Research. 

"I am very excited about participating in the choir community and daily services," she said, "as well as exploring the Church Fathers who express themselves in poetry, such as St. Ephrem the Syrian, St. Gregory Nazianzus, and other poetic writers."

This year's incoming class includes several single students as well as married seminarians. Dn. Mark Roosien, from the OCA's Diocese of New England, and his wife Claire have three small children.

"The thing I am looking forward to the most is the formation," said Dn. Mark. "St. Vladimir's has a very unique and special way of integrating academic formation with spiritual formation, combining learning in the classroom with worship in the chapel and pastoral education classes."

Counting the incoming class, SVOTS' total student body is eighty-seven (87) seminarians.*

Dr Legaspi speaks at orientation

The new academic year also brings new faces to the faculty: noted scholars The Very Rev. Archimandrite Dr. Maximos Constas and Dr. Michael Legaspi. Dr. Legaspi is beginning his first semester teaching as SVOTS' associate professor of biblical studies (Old Testament). Fr. Maximos is a visiting professor at SVOTS for the 2022 fall semester; he is teaching a course on the Philokalia. 

May the intercessions of the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, our patron Great and Holy Prince Vladimir, and all the saints be with our seminarians, faculty, and staff as a new academic year commences in service to Christ!

*Number does not include continuing students
Photos: (Top) SVOTS President The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield speaks to new seminarians at Three Hierarchs Chapel; (Middle) Incoming seminarians attend an orientation session at the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium; (Bottom) New faculty member Dr. Michael Legaspi greets the new students