Alumnus Dr. Brandon Gallaher ordained to the Holy Diaconate

Pradeep Hatcher

On Sunday, July 15, 2018, SVOTS Alumnus Dr. Brandon Gallaher was ordained to the Holy Diaconate in Exeter, England. Dn. Brandon was ordained by the hand of His Eminence Archbishop Jean (Renneteau) of Charioupolis (Patriarchal Exarchate) at St. Anne’s Church in the Parish of Holy Prophet Elias whose Rector is Hieromonk Porphyrios (Plant). The ordination took place as the parish celebrated its patronal feast and the fiftieth anniversary of the origins of the parish’s founding. Joining His Eminence were SVOTS Professor Archpriest John Behr, the Priests, Dean Archpriest Patrick Hodson, Archpriest Nicanor Wilkins, Archpriest Stephan Maikovsky, and Priest Timothy Curtis, and the Rector Hieromonk Porphyrios. Protodeacon Peter Scorer and Deacon Alexey Kostyanovsky (Moscow Patriarchate) served and brought Dn. Brandon forward for ordination.

Dn. Brandon will serve at Holy Prophet Elias, which belongs to the Deanery of Great Britain and Ireland of the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of the Russian Tradition in Western Europe, under the Ecumenical Patriarch. He and his family [wife Michelle and their four children: Sophie (14), Ita (11), Alban (7) and Maria (4)] are members of the parish.

While at SVOTS, Dn. Brandon was a seminarian of the Archdiocese of Canada of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). His home parish was The Sign of the Theotokos Orthodox Church in Montreal whose then Rector was Archpriest John Tkachuk, who married (the future) Dn. Brandon and his wife Michelle. He was received into the Orthodox Church on the other side of Canada, however, in 1994 at St. Herman of Alaska Parish in Langley, British Columbia by his close family friend, Archpriest Lawrence Farley.

The newly ordained deacon graduated with a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from St. Vladimir’s Seminary in 2003. He went on to obtain an MSt and then Doctorate in Systematic Theology (D.Phil.) from the University of Oxford, UK, which was published recently by Oxford University Press. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, and a master’s degree in Religious Studies focused on Patristics and Systematic Theology from McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Dn. Brandon is presently completing the editing, with Dr. Paul Ladouceur (University of Toronto and Laval University), of a reader of the key writings of former dean of SVOTS Archpriest Georges Florovsky (1893-1979).

In addition to his diaconal ministry, Dn. Brandon is also Senior Lecturer of Systematic and Comparative Theology and Orthodox Chaplain at the University of Exeter and co-chair for the Eastern Orthodox Studies Group at the American Academy of Religion. He also had the distinction of serving as theological subject expert in the Press Office of the Ecumenical Patriarchate during the Holy and Great Council of Crete in June 2016.

SVOTS wishes the newly ordained Dn. Brandon Gallaher many years!