SVS Press & Bookstore Launch New Streamlined Website

15 July 2012 By Deborah (Malacky) Belonick

View the new SVS Press and Bookstore Website here!

St. Vladimir’s Seminary’s academic press and bookshop are sporting a fresh face on the World Wide Web. With the launch of their new Website, SVS Press and Bookstore aim to provide retail customers with a simple, intuitive online shopping experience, with “back end” software that will allow customers to track and receive updated status reports on their online orders. The newly designed Website was funded with a $20,000 matching grant from the Virginia H. Farah Foundation.

The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, seminary Chancellor/CEO, expressed his gratitude and pleasure at the launch, saying, "We have carefully received and responded to constructive criticisms and positive suggestions from our SVS Press devotees. Hopefully the site will meet their expectations, and special thanks goes to the Farah Foundation for their support.”

Theodore Bazil, who is Associate Chancellor for Advancement at the seminary and Senior Advisor to SVS Press and Bookstore, concurred. “This newly designed Website and software, graciously provided for by a grant from the Farah Foundation, will greatly enhance the seminary’s ability to reach our customer base and provide exceptional service and information about our publications and products," he said.

Giving extensive historical background on SVS Press and Bookstore operations, Mr. Bazil continued, “Since its inception in 1968, SVS Press has been integral to the seminary’s mission to serve Christ and His Church through theological education, research, and scholarship. Its books, music and lecture CDs, and children’s titles provide spiritual and intellectual nourishment to Orthodox Christian believers and those seeking information about the Orthodox Church around the globe.”

Indeed, many of the press’s 400 titles, such as those in its Popular Patristics Series, are used regularly in college and university classrooms. Others have reached unusual venues: The Human Kindness Foundation has distributed Father Arseny 1893–1973, the riveting biography of a prisoner in a Soviet gulag, in both English- and Spanish-language versions to 15,000 inmates of all different faiths throughout the U.S. The press’s best-selling title, The Orthodox Way, by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, has been translated into 14 languages, including Chinese.

“Most important,” noted Mr. Bazil, “is the ‘evangelical’ mission of the press. Many people have been drawn to Orthodox Christianity through reading an SVS Press book.”

Editor-in-Chief at the press, Rev. Dr. Benedict Churchill, commenting on new look of the Website, said, "We've been waiting for the new Website for a while now, and the new look and new functionality should make shopping with us more pleasing for our customers; and our staff should now have an easier time in satisfying our customers. Many thanks to those who have brought the project to this stage!"

The press and its accompanying bookshop also provide vital revenue for the general operations of the seminary: in FY2011, the press and bookstore netted $369,349 in sales, which represented 12% of the seminary’s total operating revenue. This revenue stream becomes increasingly important in a “down” economy, and the new Website is geared to boost sales by both wholesale and retail customers through the offering of several user-friendly features.

Some of these features include:

  • an improved, aesthetically pleasing design;
  • a streamlined, easy-to-use shopping experience;
  • a choice of shipping options with quotes;
  • online order tracking; and
  • the ability for  special status customers (wholesale customers, church bookstores, Press Club members, and libraries) to view and order based on their respective price and discount.

Deacon Gregory Hatrak, who serves as Marketing and Operations Manager of SVS Press and Bookstore, said he had high hopes for “the new enhancements that the site provides." He enthused, "Customers are better able to search our products, view what is available in digital formats, and choose their own rate of shipping."

View the new SVS Press and Bookstore Website here!