SVOTS hires Rev. Nicholas Roth as spiritual formation director

St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) is pleased to announce the hiring of Rev. Nicholas Roth as its new spiritual formation director. Father Nicholas, an alumnus of St. Vladimir’s Seminary (’14), replaces the Seminary’s former spiritual formation director, Very Rev. David Mezynski, who stepped down earlier this year to move closer to family

"I'm both excited and honored to be returning to St. Vladimir's and being part of the team,” said Fr. Nicholas. “There is a great deal of good work to be done, and I am humbled by the prospect that my work will have an effect on the Church for the next fifty or sixty years as seminarians graduate and go out to serve as priests, choir directors, teachers, and youth ministers.”  

Father Nicholas, one of the two co-valedictorians from the Class of 2014, has been serving as the priest in charge at Ss. George & Alexandra Orthodox Mission (OCA) in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Community Rescue Mission, a faith-based organization committed to helping the homeless. A U.S. Army captain and veteran, Fr. Nicholas served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2005 to 2010.

"Father Nicholas brings to this position an excellent background from his time as a parish priest and also having served in the U.S. military,” said SVOTS President Very Rev. Chad Hatfield. “As an alumnus, he knows our campus well and understands the uniqueness of guiding people through the residential seminary experience."

The hire of Fr. Nicholas is part of the Seminary’s recent push to put even more focus on student formation. The position of spiritual formation director was formerly called the “dean of students.” With the change of name has come new expectations and duties, with a stronger emphasis on tracking where seminarians are in their own life and spiritual formation. SVOTS is also one of fourteen seminaries taking part in a Templeton Foundation survey tracking the influence of spiritual formation on a person's character, specifically focused on clergy and future members of clergy.

“We have the opportunity to ensure that an education at St. Vladimir's continues to be more than just an academic endeavor, but remains a holistic approach that engages the entirety of the Seminarian—body, mind, heart, and soul,” Fr. Nicholas said. “May God bless the fruit of our work together and use it to increase His glory and the glory of His Church."

Father Nicholas will begin his new appointment at the beginning of the 2020-2021 academic year. He returns to campus with his wife, Matushka Mary, and their three children, Edward, 8, Dylan, 7, and Aubreigh, 5.