SVOTS hires new Patristics, Liturgical Theology professors

St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) is pleased to announce the hiring of Rev. Dr. Bogdan Bucur as Professor of Patristics and Dr. Vitaly Permiakov as Professor of Liturgical Theology.

The hires come after an extensive search process to fill these two important faculty positions. The new Seminary professors will follow in the footsteps of some of the most famous academics in the history of SVOTS, including Fathers Georges Florovsky (Patristics), John Meyendorff (Patristics), and Alexander Schmemann (Liturgical Theology).

“The Seminary has worked hard to bring in the best Orthodox scholars when faculty positions have come open,” said SVOTS Academic Dean Dr. Ionut-Alexandru Tudorie. “That is why we searched not only in North America but internationally, and made use of external reviewers to assist our in-house Search Committees in the process. We are all very pleased with the results of these academic searches.”

“I am thankful to everyone who worked hard to fill these incredibly important positions, including the Seminary’s Academic Affairs Committee and Board of Trustees,” added SVOTS President Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield. “I’d also like to thank Dr. Tudorie, especially, for his excellent leadership in guiding this complex process. We are excited to add the great scholarship of these two new professors to the ranks of our academic team.”

The new professor of Patristics, Rev. Dr. Bogdan Bucur, comes to SVOTS from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, where he has been teaching as a tenured Associate Professor of Theology. Father Bogdan studied Theology at the University of Bucharest in his native country of Romania. He left for the United States in 2000 as he and his wife pursued further graduate studies. Father Bogdan completed his M.A. and Ph.D. at Marquette University, under the academic guidance and mentorship of now-Archbishop Alexander (Golitzin). At Duquesne, where Father Bogdan has been since 2007, he has worked in the areas of biblical reception history and early Christianity. He has also taught a yearly course in Patristics at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA, and a Scripture course each semester (alternating Old and New Testaments) for the M.Th. program at the Antiochian House of Studies. Father Bogdan is a priest in the Antiochian Archdiocese and has been serving as parish priest at St. Anthony Orthodox Church in Butler, PA.

“Although I've spent thirteen good and, as they say, ‘productive’ years at Duquesne University, and although I am heartbroken to leave my parish family of St. Anthony's, I count it as a privilege to come to St. Vladimir's, where a conscious attempt is made to overcome the compartmentalization of academic instruction, liturgical formation, and preparation for social ministry,” said Father Bogdan. “My intention is not simply to be added to the Faculty roster, but to join a team of Orthodox scholars and teachers invested in mentoring the preachers and pastors of tomorrow, and to participate in the development of the Seminary.”

Dr. Vitaly Permiakov is already familiar to St. Vladimir’s seminarians. He began the current academic year teaching as an Assistant Professor at the Seminary. Born to a Russian family in Riga, Latvia, Dr. Permiakov relocated to the United States in 1999 after completing his undergraduate studies. He entered SVOTS in 2001 with the blessing of the late Archbishop Dmitri (Royster) of Dallas. After graduating with an M.Div. in 2004, he enrolled in a doctoral program in Liturgical Studies at the University of Notre Dame, where in 2012 he defended his dissertation on the history and origins of the Byzantine rite for the consecration of churches. In addition to Dr. Permiakov’s M.Div. from SVOTS and Ph.D. in Theology/Liturgical Studies from Notre Dame, he holds an M.A. in Humanities from the University of Texas at Dallas (2001). Dr. Permiakov has been teaching Liturgical Theology, Dogmatics, and Comparative Theology at Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary (Jordanville, NY), the seminary of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), since 2011. He was tonsured to the ecclesiastical rank of Reader in the Orthodox Church in America at Three Hierarchs Chapel, St. Vladimir’s Seminary, in 2002.

“I have come to profoundly enjoy the working environment at St. Vladimir’s and the dedication and intellectual level of its students,” said Dr. Permiakov. “It is my hope to bring to them an understanding of Liturgical Theology informed by a thorough knowledge of Scriptures, Church Fathers, and theological reflection. This approach will not only tell us what Liturgy meant in the past, but will give future pastors an understanding of how the Liturgy, the Church’s lex orandi, is the foundation of the Church’s mission and apologetics in the modern, changing world.”

Professors Bucur and Permiakov will begin their new appointments at the beginning of the 2020-2021 academic year.