Very Rev. Thomas Hopko

Very Rev. Thomas Hopko

Dean Emeritus

  • Russian Studies, Fordham University, 1960
  • M.Div., St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, 1963
  • M.A. in Philosophy, Duquesne University, 1969
  • Ph.D. in Theology, Fordham University, 1982


Thomas John Hopko was born on March 28,1939 in Endicott, New York where he was educated in the public schools.  He graduated from Union-Endicott High School in 1956. He was baptized and raised in St. Mary’s Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek-Catholic Church.

He holds the rank of Protopresbyter in the Orthodox Church in America and is now in his 44th year of priestly service.  He served as pastor of churches in Warren, Ohio (1963-68)), Wappingers Falls, NY (1968-1978), and Jamaica Estates, NY (1978-1983).  He was rector of Three Hierarchs Chapel at St. Vladimir’s Seminary from 1992 to 2002.

From 1968 to 2002 he taught courses in Dogmatic Theology, Practical Theology, Homiletics and Spirituality at St. Vladimir's Seminary.  He served as Dean of SVS from September 1992 until retiring from this office in July 2002.  He was given the title of Dean Emeritus by the SVS Board of Trustees.

Married to Anne Schmemann in 1963, the Hopkos have 5 married children (a son and four daughters) and 15 grandchildren.   Fr Thomas and his wife Anne now live in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania.

 Books & Publications

  • Speaking the Truth in Love (Crestwood: SVS Press, 2004)
  • Christian Faith and Same-Sex Attraction:  Eastern Orthodox Reflections (Conciliar Press, 2006)
  • The Winter Pascha (Crestwood: SVS Press, 1984)
  • Women and the Priesthood (Crestwood: SVS Press, 1983, revised & expanded 1999)
  • The Lenten Spring (Crestwood: SVS Press, 1983)
  • All the Fulness of God (Crestwood: SVS Press, 1982)
  • The Spirit of God (Danbury: Morehouse Barlowe, 1976)
    - Translated into Indonesian
    - In Greek, 1994
  • The Orthodox Faith: An Elementary Handbook on the Orthodox Church (New York: Department of Religious Education of the Orthodox Church in America, 1972–1976) In four volumes:
    1. Doctrine
    2. Worship
    3. Bible and Church History
    4. Spirituality

    These four volumes are being made available now on the web at the SVS Press & Bookstore website.

    • Substantial portions of these volumes have been translated into Russian, French, Arabic, Serbian, Bulgarian, Spanish, Finnish, Swedish, Dutch Albanian, Korean, and Persian.
    • The Russian language edition Osnovy Pravoslaviya originally published by Religious Books for Russia: Glen Cove, NY, 1987, 1989 was republished in 100,000 copies in Minsk: Polifakt Publishing Co., 1991. A Japanese translation is now being prepared.
  • Christian Spirituality -- East and West, with Jordan Aumann OP and Donald Bloesch (Chicago: The Priory Press, 1968)

 Essays in Books

  • Orthodoxy and Cultures, Ioan Sauca, ed. (Geneva, Switzerland: WCC, 1996)
  • Reclaiming the Bible for the Church, Carl E. Braaten and Robert W. Jenson, eds. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1995) 
  • Speaking the Christian God, Alvin J. Kimel, ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1992) 
  • The Legacy of St. Vladimir : Papers presented at a Symposium commemorating the Fiftieth Anniversary of St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, 1990, J. Breck, J. Meyendorff and E. Silk, eds. (Crestwood: SVS Press, 1990)
  • Speaking of Silence, Christians and Buddhists on the Contemplative Way, Susan Walker, ed. (New York: Paulist Press, 1987)
    • Taken from the Buddhist-Christian Dialogues held at Naropa Institute in Boulder, CO 
  • Christian Spirituality, Origins to the Twelfth Century, Bernard McGinn, John Meyendorff and Jean Leclercq, eds. (New York: Crossroad, 1985)Volume 16 of World Spirituality -- An Encyclopedic History of the Religious Quest 
  • God, Jesus, Spirit, Daniel Callhan, ed. (New York: Herder and Herder, 1969) 


Articles witten for the Orthodox Education Day Book that are currently available on this website:

In addition, articles have been published in the following journals:

  • St Vladimir's Theological Quarterly
  • Greek Orthodox Theological Review
  • Russian Orthodox Journal
  • Commonweal
  • Diakonia
  • Spiritual Life
  • Religion in Life
  • Journal of Ecumenical Studies
  • The Ecumenical Review
  • Worship
  • Liturgy
  • Parabola
  • Sourozh
  • One World
  • Again
  • Encyclopedia Americana Annual

 Video & Audio

Video-Cassettes published by SVS Press:

  • The Holy Trinity, 1995
  • Mary: Icon of Human Perfection, 1995
  • The Church of Christ
  • The Church and Liturgy
  • The Church and Salvation


  • The Lord's Prayer - 10 Lectures
  • The Apocalypse - 4 Lectures
  • Praying with Icons -  Lecture and Sermon
  • Ordination of Women: the Contemporary Debate
  • A Theology of Gender
  • Dynamics of Religion in American Society
  • Orthodox Spirituality
  • Theology of Work
  • The Work of God's People (2 cassettes)
  • The Word of the Cross (2 cassettes)
  • The Love of God (2 cassettes)
  • Monastic Elder and Parish Priest
  • Monastic Elder and Parish Priest -- Discussion
  • The Church of Christ
  • The Church and Liturgy
  • The Church and Liturgy -- Discussion
  • The Church and Salvation
  • The Church and Salvation -- Discussion
  • Wisdom! Let Us Attend -- (2 cassettes)
  • Only Christ -- (2 cassettes)
  • Victorious Living in a Godless World -- (4 cassettes)

 Professional Experience

  • Taught summer sessions at John Carroll University in Cleveland, OH; University of Dallas in Texas; Naropa Institute in Boulder, CO; and John XXIII Center, Fordham University in NYC
  • Adjunct Professor of Religion, Drew University, Madison, NJ, 1987
  • Ely V. Lilly Visiting Professor of Religion, Berea College, Berea, KY, 1986
  • Adjunct Professor of Orthodox Christianity, Fordham University, New York, NY, 1984 
  • Adjunct Professor of Eastern Christianity, Columbia University, New York, NY, 1983 
  • Adjunct Professor of Eastern Christianity, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, 1965-1968
  • Positions held at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary:
    • Dean Emeritus, 2002-
    • Dean and Professor of Dogmatic Theology, 1992-2002
    • Professor of Dogmatic Theology, 1991-1992
    • Associate Professor of Dogmatic Theology, 1983-1991
    • Assistant Professor of Dogmatic Theology, 1972-1983
    • Lecturer in Doctrine and Pastoral Theology, 1968-1972

 Church Activities

  • Ordained priest in the Orthodox Church in 1963; Archpriest 1970; Protopresbyter 1995 
  • Delegate from the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church to the World Council of Churches Assembly in Uppsala, 1968
  • Delegate from the Orthodox Church in America to the WCC Assemblies in Nairobi, 1974 
  • Member of the World Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission 1975-1991; also serving as a member of the Faith and Order Standing Commission
  • Chairman of the Faith and Order Commission Steering Group on Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (BEM), 1985-199l

    This group prepared the Faith and Order Report on reactions to the Lima document, including the official responses to BEM from about 185 Christian churches

  • President of the Orthodox Theological Society in America, 1992-95. 
  • Parish assigments (Orthodox Church in America):
    • Pastor of St. Nicholas Church, Jamaica Estates, NY, 1978-1983
    • Pastor of St. Gregory the Theologian Church, Wappingers Falls, NY, 1968-1978
    • Pastor of St. John the Baptist Church, Warren, OH, 1963-1968