St Vladimir’s graduates 31 seminarians in Class of 2024


Giving thanks to God, St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary hosted its 85th Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 18, 2024.

The graduating class of 2024 began the day celebrating the Divine Liturgy at Three Hierarchs Chapel, presided over by His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, before gathering for commencement in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium at the John G. Rangos Family Foundation Building. Joining His Beatitude at commencement were several notable guests: His Grace Bishop Nikodhim (Preston) of Boston and the Albanian Archdiocese; His Grace Bishop Benedict (Churchill) of Hartford and New England; His Grace Metropolitan Zachariah Mar Nicholovos of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Diocese of Northeast America; His Grace Metropolitan Thomas Mar Ivanios of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Diocese of South-West America; His Grace Bishop Mesrop Parsamyan of the Armenian Church’s Eastern Diocese of America; St Vladimir’s Seminary Alumnus The Right Rev. Archimandrite Jeremy Davis, representing His Eminence Metropolitan Saba of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (AOCANA); The Very Rev. Aleksandar Vlajković, representing His Grace Bishop Irinej (Dobrijević) of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America; The Very Revs. Joseph Shabo and Joseph Chamoun and The Rev. Gabriel Alkass, representing His Eminence Archbishop Mor Dionysius John Kawak of the Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese for the Eastern United States; Dean of St Nersess Armenian Seminary The Rev. Mardiros Chevian; and Dean of St Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary The Very Rev. John Parker.



Two other distinguished guests, Dr Robert P. George and The Very Rev. Dr Patrick Henry Reardon, each received honorary degrees during the ceremony: the degrees of Doctor of Canon Law and Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, respectively. The Seminary honored Dr George, an internationally recognized legal scholar and political philosopher, for his tireless advocacy for the dignity of the human person and civil rights as well as his work as an apologist for public morality. Archpriest Henry Patrick Reardon has been a leading voice for Orthodox Christianity in our time. Over the past forty years, he has given numerous conference presentations and retreats in the U.S. and Europe and written over a thousand articles, editorials, and reviews, including for St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, and many well-loved books such as SVS Press’s Romans: An Orthodox Commentary and Revelation: A Liturgical Prophecy.



Read Honorary Degree Citation for Dr Robert P. George

Read Honorary Degree Citation for The Very Rev. Dr Patrick Henry Reardon

During commencement exercises, St Vladimir’s seminarians also honored Dr Ionuț-Alexandru Tudorie with the 2024 St Macrina Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award is selected each year by student vote.

Upon receiving the award, he offered his sincere gratitude to the students.

“I have to say, I am speechless.” said Dr Tudorie. “Because this is the very reason I came to St Vladimir’s. I wanted to prove myself as a professor and not [just] as an administrator, and it’s really a great joy for me to receive this award.”

Commencement Address

Honorary degree recipient Dr Robert P. George delivered this year’s commencement address, asking the graduating class to look within themselves as he laid out the profoundly challenging context in which they will continue their lives of ministry and Christian witness.

“The question we face is simply this: Can we muster the courage to be faithful, to boldly bear witness to truths that are unpopular among those controlling the levers of cultural and economic power? Are we willing, if necessary, to pay the costs—the heavy costs—of discipleship?”

Watch Dr Robert P. George’s Commencement Address.

The Class of 2024

Thirty-one graduates comprised the graduating class of 2024: fourteen (14) from the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program, eleven (11) from the Master of Arts (M.A.) program, six (6) from the Master of Theology (Th.M.) program, and one from the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) program. (One student received both M.Div. and Th.M. degrees this year.)


“Seminary is a place where we can learn to be a healing presence in a hurting world,” said graduating seminarian Naomi DeHaan, who delivered this year’s salutatory address. “What you, my fellow graduates, have taught me is that before I can be a healing presence to a hurting world—a world where the brokenness of strife and grief oppress us—I have to realize that world is inside, and I am the one who hurts. You have taught me to be vulnerable and open to being healed through you. You, my fellow seminarians, are actualizing the Body of Christ in this world, bringing His strength to our weakness.”



The Rev. Dr Renish Geevarghese Abraham, the class valedictorian, also offered powerful words to his fellow graduates.

“Do not think that we have accomplished everything here. The mark of a good traveler, a pilgrim, a seeker, is to sustain the initial enthusiasm throughout this journey of life. Do not become complacent,” Fr Geevarghese exhorted. “Orthodox spirituality is about our continuous growth in Christ. Complacency is the greatest impediment to growth.

“Christian spirituality does not end with our personal growth,” he continued, noting that the Orthodox pursuit of salvation is not individualistic but collective. “We move into the next realm. Like the tree, we grow out with branches in such a way that we become a source of life, joy, and comfort to the people around us, as the tree to the birds of the air…. The Seminary has laid the foundation for us to grow up. Now is the time to grow out and grow together to be Christ-like.”



May the Lord God grant many blessed and fruitful years of service in His vineyard to the St Vladimir’s Seminary graduates of 2024!

Watch the Commencement Exercises of 2024

Read the 2024 Commencement Program

Scenes from Commencement