SVOTS raises money for scholarships, sets vision for the future

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon presents a gramata from the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America to Fr. Chad Hatfield, on the occasion of Fr. Chad's 40 years of ordained ministry.His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon presents a gramata from the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America to Fr. Chad Hatfield, on the occasion of Fr. Chad's 40 years of ordained ministry.1-2 November 2018 • Westchester County, NY
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St. Vladimir’s Seminary’s Fall Benefit & Theological Convocation brought people together from near and far to support scholarships for seminarians, celebrate forty years of ordained ministry for Seminary President Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, and lay out the vision for the future of theological education.

On Thursday morning, November 1, the two-day event began with Divine Liturgy on campus, presided over by His Beatitude, The Most Blessed Tikhon, archbishop of Washington and metropolitan of All America and Canada of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). The Divine Liturgy was celebrated in commemoration of the reception of relics of Great and Holy Prince Vladimir at Three Hierarchs Chapel five years ago, in November 2013.

Later that evening, the Seminary hosted a gala at the scenic Surf Club on the Sound in New Rochelle, NY, to honor Fr. Chad and boost St. Vladimir’s Seminary’s Tuition-Free Initiative. The initiative, which launched in 2012, offers fully-paid tuition to seminarians to free them of the burden of tuition debt as they go forth to serve the Church. Contributions from the gala’s attendees and donations sent in toward the cause totaled nearly $200 thousand at last count, with donations still being sent in the week following the event.

“I am delighted to use this occasion marking forty years of service in ordained ministry to benefit those who are in the early stages of priestly formation as seminarians,” said Fr. Chad. To have a small part in the formation of future priests, and those called to other vocations of service in the Church, is one of the great blessings of my life.”

Many distinguished guests were in attendance to honor Fr. Chad, including His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon; SVOTS Alumnus Very Rev. Archimandrite Gerasim (’12) of St. Seraphim of Sarov Cathedral in Dallas, TX; Rev. Vasily Fisher of St. James Orthodox Church, Napaskiak, Alaska; and Very Rev. John Parker, SVOTS alumnus and dean of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.

Activities returned to the St. Vladimir’s Seminary campus on Friday for the theological convocation, “Theological Education in the Twenty-First Century.” Featured speakers Rev. Dr. George Parsenios, Dr. Vigen Guroian, new Academic Dean Dr. Ionuţ-Alexandru Tudorie, and Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield spoke to various facets of theological education moving forward with regard to Church History, Scripture, and Dogmatics and Ethics. A discussion followed, led by a panel comprised of Seminary Professors Dr. Peter Bouteneff and Rev. Dr. Anthony Roeber and Fordham University Professor Dn. Patrick (William) Baumgarth.


St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary (SVOTS) pays 75% of the cost of tuition to educate each seminarian through its fully-paid tuition program. The remaining 25% is covered by a seminarian’s home parish, diocese, or other church organization. Since 2012, SVOTS has paid out an average of $475,000 each year in scholarship funds for its seminarians. You can support the Tuition-Free Initiative fund and help SVOTS offer fully-paid tuition to seminarians here.

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