Etna, California, U.S.A.
 
2018

Seminary News

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The Reverend Presbyter Father Dr. Jiří Ján to Lecture at Seminary

This coming Friday, November 16, 2018, at 7:00 p.m., the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary will sponsor a lecture by the Reverend Presbyter Father Dr. Jiří Ján, a married Priest who serves various parishes in Athens, Greece, where he lives with his wife and three children. A native of the Czech Republic, Father Jiří received his doctoral degree in theology at the Charles University in Prague, studied as a post-graduate student in the Faculty of Theology of the University of Athens, and was a Visiting Scholar at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Each Nativity Term, he teaches at the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary, where he was recently granted the rank of Professor.

His lecture on Friday, “The Nature of Patristic Theology in Orthodox Christianity,” is on a subject which grew out of the theological and spiritual life of the first centuries of the Christian Church. He will discuss, as well, the role of Christian Scripture in the Eastern Orthodox theological tradition. The lecture will be followed by refreshments in the Seminary dining hall, on the second floor of the facility.

The Seminary’s public lecture series, while sponsoring speakers respectful of the Seminary’s educational and confessional aims, is not an outreach program aimed at proselytization. It strives to include lecturers in religion, theology, and various other academic fields, in an effort to provide faculty, students, and the Scott Valley community with exposure to scholars who can help to broaden their intellectual and spiritual horizons. All lectures are open, without charge or solicitation of donations, to anyone interested. They are held in the Seminary auditorium at 510 Collier Way, in Etna.

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Seminary Professor to Lecture on the Idea of Human Union with God and Eastern Christian Notions of Salvation

As a follow-up to a lecture last week at the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary by a Byzantine scholar on two fourteenth-century figures of pivotal importance to the intellectual and theological traditions of the Eastern Orthodox Christian world, the Most Reverend Metropolitan Dr. Chrysostomos of Etna, Emeritus, a retired Orthodox Hierarch who lives at the Saint Gregory Palamas Monastery in Etna and teaches statistics, pastoral psychology, and Patristics at the Seminary, will lecture on the Eastern Orthodox Christian understanding of human salvation as enlightenment and union with God. The lecture is designed to continue several themes in last week’s presentation.

Metropolitan Chrysostomos’s lecture, part of the Seminary’s public lecture series, is open, without charge, to anyone interested. It will be held in the Seminary auditorium at 510 Collier Way, in Etna, at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 1, 2018. The lecture will be followed by refreshments in the Seminary dining hall, on the second floor of the facility.

Metropolitan Chrysostomos received his doctoral degree in psychology at Princeton University and has held professorships and conducted research at a number of American and European colleges and universities. He is a Fulbright Scholar, was a Larson Fellow in Health and Spirituality at the United States Library of Congress, a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Divinity School, Oxford University, the University of Washington, and the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley, and Visiting Professor at the Theological Institute of the University of Uppsala in Sweden. He has authored numerous books, scholarly articles, and monographs and is a member of the American Psychological Association, the American Association of University Professors, and the Fulbright Association.

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Scholar in Byzantine Studies to Lecture at Seminary

Dr. Leonidas Pittos, Senior Lecturer in Modern Greek Studies at the Department of Classical and Modern Languages at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, will be lecturing this Thursday, October 25, 2018, at 7:00 p.m., in the auditorium of the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary at 510 Collier Way in Etna. He is the second speaker during the Nativity Term to speak in the Seminary’s public lecture series, which sponsors outside scholars and intellectuals to present their scholarship and research. Thursday’s lecture is free of charge and will be followed by a wine and cheese reception, during which those in attendance will have an opportunity to meet the speaker personally.

Dr. Pittos will speak on the person, theology, and teachings of Saint Gregory Palamas, a major fourteenth-century Archbishop from Thessalonica and a prominent figure in the intellectual and theological traditions of the Eastern Orthodox Christian world. The Saint’s mystical theology is focused on Hesychasm, a method of silent meditation and concentration by which a spiritual aspirant seeks to enter into communion and union with the Energies of God.

Dr. Pittos received his doctoral degree at the University of Chicago and has taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago. His major areas of expertise and study are early and Eastern Christian history, Byzantine and modern Greek history, and the Modern Greek language.

He will be teaching a seminar at the Seminary on Friday, October 26, for the twelve undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at the Seminary. Those non-enrolled auditors who have been attending various Seminary classes are also welcome to attend the seminar if they wish. Details regarding the seminar hours will be announced at the public lecture on Thursday.

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Theologian Dr. Catherine Brown Tkacz to Lecture at Seminary

Dr. Catherine Brown Tkacz, an internationally known theological scholar, will be lecturing this Thursday, October 18, 2018, at 7:00 p.m., in the auditorium of the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary at 510 Collier Way in Etna. She will speak on the role of women in the Christian Church, a subject on which she has written widely. The lecture is free of charge and will be followed by a wine and cheese reception.

Dr. Tkacz is a Research Associate at the Bishop White Seminary at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, and a Visiting Professor of Theology at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, Ukraine. She has studied at the University of Iowa, Harvard University, and Notre Dame University, where she completed her doctoral degree. She has lectured at the Catholic University of America, the University of Mannheim, Gonzaga University, and other institutions. She was also Project Manager and Assistant Director, at Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, for The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium.

Professor Tkacz has held research posts at Oxford University, the Dominican House of Studies, and Western Michigan University. She is the author of numerous scholarly articles, book reviews, encyclopedic entries, and books, including a short volume on the Septuagint entitled Ἀλήθεια Ἑλληνική: The Authority of the Greek Old Testament, which was published by the Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, the publishing and research arm of the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary.

Dr. Tkacz will be giving a one-day seminar on the subject of the female diaconate in the Christian Church (“Women as Types of Christ”) at the Seminary on Friday, October 19, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and in the afternoon from 2:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Those non-enrolled auditors who have been attending various Seminary classes are also welcome to attend either or both of these sessions if they wish.

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First Master’s Degrees and New Faculty Appointments at Seminary

The Most Reverend Bishop Dr. Auxentios of Etna and Portland, Rector of the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary, at the request and with the approval of the Seminary’s Standing Faculty Committee, has announced that the Very Reverend Archimandrite Father Gregory, Schemamonk Father Chrysostomos, and Schemanun Mother Seraphima will officially receive the degree of Master of Theological Studies in January 2019, at the commencement of the school’s Pascha Term. Father Gregory is a graduate (with highest honors) of Long Beach City College and received his Diploma and Licentiate in Orthodox Theological Studies from the Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies. Father Chrysostomos likewise received both the Diploma and Licentiate in Orthodox Theological Studies from the Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies. Brothers of the Saint Gregory Palamas Monastery in Etna, California, both Fathers were recently accepted for doctoral studies at the San Francisco Theological Seminary, a member school of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Mother Seraphima is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, and is a nun at the Convent of Saint Elizabeth the Grand Duchess of Russia, in Etna.

His Eminence also confirmed the advancement of the Reverend Presbyter Father Dr. Jiří Ján from the rank of Lecturer to that of Professor at the Seminary. Father Jiří is a married clergyman living in Greece, where he serves the Metropolis of Oropos and Phyle. He received his Doctorate in Theology from the renowned Charles University in Prague. He teaches at the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary each Nativity Term. Advanced from the rank of Teaching Assistants to that of Lecturers were Archimandrite Gregory, who also serves as the Seminary Registrar, and Schemamonk Chrysostomos. Father Gregory teaches Biblical studies, apologetics, and subjects related to ministry, while Father Chrysostomos teaches New Testament Greek, as well as Byzantine chant. Likewise advanced from the rank of Teaching Assistant to Instructor was Schemamonk Father Vlasie, who completed his Diploma in Orthodox Theological Studies at the Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies and will graduate with a Bachelor of Theology degree from the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary. He teaches elective courses at the Seminary in computer usage and is the Seminary’s Information Technology Director.

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Official Statement of the Association for Biblical Higher Education on Evaluation Team Visit

The Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary will be hosting a comprehensive accreditation visit by a team of evaluators from the Association for Biblical Higher Education from Wednesday, September 26, 2018, to Friday, September 28, 2018, to determine its compliance with the standards for accreditation. During the visit, representatives of the Association for Biblical Higher Education team will entertain comments from the public. Any members of the public interested in making a presentation regarding the Seminary to the team should contact the Seminary by telephone at (530) 467‒3544 or via email at spotsO@"spotsz.`school to determine a meeting time. Persons wishing to submit third-party comments related to the institution may send them to Director, Commission on Accreditation, 5850 T. G. Lee Boulevard, Suite 130, Orlando, Florida 32822‒4408. Persons interested in reviewing the standards for accreditation will find them on the Association for Biblical Higher Education’s website at www.abhe.org. The institution is subject to the Institutional Accreditation Standards.

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Association for Biblical Higher Education Evaluation Team Visit

From Wednesday, September 26, 2018, to Friday, September 28, 2018, an evaluation team from the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education will be visiting the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary. The evaluation team’s report will serve as the basis for the Commission’s decision regarding the Seminary’s advancement from Applicant for Accreditation to Candidate for Accreditation. Candidate status is the next step, after Applicant status, which the Seminary was granted in 2016, in the process leading to the Seminary's eventual full accreditation. Along with the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, and the Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools, the Association for Biblical Higher Education is one of the four national faith-related accrediting organizations for religious colleges, universities, and seminaries recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The Seminary is also provisionally licensed by the State of California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education to offer degrees.

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Dr. John C. B. Petropoulos Meets with Prince of Wales and President of Greece

During the three-day visit of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to Greece beginning on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, Dr. John C. B. Petropoulos, who is Director of Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Nafplion, Greece, met with Prince Charles, heir apparent of the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and, as well, with the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos. Professor Petropoulos, himself a Harvard alumnus, has brought significant worldwide attention to Harvard’s academic dependency in Greece, attracting Classics and other scholars, in addition to those interested in Greek history. Prince Charles’ father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, husband and consort of Queen Elizabeth II, was born in Greece and is the former Prince of Greece and Denmark. Mr. Pavlopoulos is a former academic.

Professor Petropoulos has been an Adjunct Professor at the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary since 2016, teaching both undergraduate (B.Th.) and graduate (M.T.S.) classes. He is scheduled to teach a graduate seminar in the Nativity Term 2018. His classes and his association with the Seminary have tremendously enhanced its curriculum and faculty profile, providing remarkable learning opportunities to the students. See on the left, Dr. Petropoulos, at far left, with the Prince, at far right; in the photograph below, he is pictured with President Pavlopoulos.

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American Scholar and Diplomat to Speak at Seminary

As part of its public lecture series for the Pascha Term, the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary will offer another public lecture, free of charge, on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, at 7:00 p.m., in the Seminary auditorium, located on the first floor of the school. The lecture will be followed with complimentary refreshments in the upstairs dining hall.

The speaker will be Dr. Ernest Hargreaves Latham, Jr., an Adjunct Professor at the Seminary, where he is presently teaching a seminar, “The Twentieth Century’s Search for Salvation,” an historical overview of the political, social, and religious factors that shaped the last century. His lecture on Wednesday will center on his reminiscences as an American diplomat and educator in the Middle East, the Balkans, and Eastern Europe during the Cold War era and after the fall of Communism. His vast diplomatic experiences and his unique scholarly background make him an engaging and fascinating lecturer.

Dr. Latham has served the United States government as a Commander in the United States Coast Guard; as Special Assistant to the Director and as Washington Director of the Foreign Press Center of the United States Information Agency; and, in the capacity of a foreign service officer for the United States Department of State, as Assistant Public Affairs Officer at the American Embassy in Jedda, Saudi Arabia, Assistant Press Attaché at the American Embassy in Vienna, Austria, Supervisory Political Officer at the American Embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus, Cultural Attaché at the American Embassy in Bucharest, Romania, and Cultural Attaché at the American Embassy in Athens, Greece.

He received his B.A. degree at Dartmouth College (with distinction), where he was a Rufus Choate Scholar, an M.A. in history (with honors) at Roosevelt University, and his doctoral degree in history at the University of Bucharest.

With regard to his academic career, Dr. Latham recently retired from the faculty of the Foreign Service Institute of the United States Department of State, was an instructor at the Lowell Technological Institute (now part of the University of Massachusetts), and was a Fulbright Scholar and Professor at the Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He also served as Interim Executive Director of the United States Fulbright Commission in Romania. He is a member of the American Historical Association, the Association for the Study of Nationalities, the Association for Romanian Studies, the Association for Slavic, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies, the American–Romanian Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Southeast European Studies Association.

Dr. Latham lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, the Romanian diplomat, poet, and playwright, Ioanna Ieronim-Latham, who also gave a public lecture last week at the Seminary.

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Romanian Author, Poet, Translator, and Diplomat to Speak at Seminary

On Thursday, May 3, 2018, Ioana Ieronim-Latham, the well-known Romanian author, poet, translator, and diplomat, now an American citizen residing with her husband in Washington, D.C., will deliver a lecture on her experiences growing up, being educated, and surviving spiritually in the totalitarian and atheistic state of the former Socialist Republic of Romania. She is a fascinating and engaging lecturer with vast experience of life in Eastern Europe during the terrible years of Communist dictatorships and repression.

The lecture will be held at the Seminary auditorium, on the first floor, at 7:00 p.m. Complimentary refreshments will be offered, after the lecture, in the dining hall located upstairs on the second floor.

Mrs. Ieronim-Latham is former Cultural Attaché at the Romanian Embassy in Washington, D.C., former Program Director of the United States–Romanian Fulbright Commission in Romania, and a distinguished member of the Romanian Writer’s Union. Holding a degree in philology from the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Bucharest, she has participated throughout the world in various academic and literary conferences and symposia. In Romania, she is a well-known and popular writer, enjoying, as well, an international reputation for her many writings, including numerous books of poetry and several plays, that have appeared in translation in many European countries, in Turkey and Israel, and in the United States. Her own Romanian translations of English literary works, including Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Tony Kushner, and others have won her many prizes and awards. In fact, her translation skills won her a nomination for the prestigious Lord Weidenfeld Translation Prize at Oxford University in England.

Mrs. Ieronim-Latham, an Orthodox Christian, is in Etna with her husband, Dr. Ernest Hargreaves Latham, Jr., an American scholar, historian, diplomat, and Episcopalian Christian. A retired Instructor at the United States State Department’s Foreign Service Institute, he is an Adjunct Professor at the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary, teaching at present a two-week seminar at the Seminary entitled “The Twentieth Century’s Search for Salvation,” an historical evaluation of the last century’s spiritual triumphs and failures.

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Internationally Renowned Church Architect Delivers Public Lecture at Seminary

Dr. Augustin Ioan, who teaches at the Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism, in Bucharest, Romania, that country’s foremost higher institution of architectural science, recently presented a public lecture, “The Light Within: Sacred Space and Religious Architecture,” to an enthusiastic audience at the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary. His lecture, delivered on the evening of Tuesday, April 24, 2018, focused on the function of light in the spiritual design of ecclesiastical structures and was followed by a complimentary wine and cheese reception, where those attending the lecture were able to meet personally with the lecturer.

Professor Ioan is a graduate of the university where he now teaches and where he received his doctorate in architecture. He also earned a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Cincinnati and a second doctoral degree in philosophy from the University of Bucharest. He has held fellowships and research positions at Oxford University and Cambridge University in England, the Institute for Advanced Study in Budapest, Hungary, the Palladio Institute of Architectural Studies in Vicenza, Italy, and the Institute for Advanced Study at New Europe College in Bucharest. He is a three-time Fulbright Scholar and, in 2018, was named a Fulbright Ambassador by the United States–Romanian Fulbright Commission in Bucharest.

Dr. Ioan has served in executive positions in the Romanian Union of Architects, is the recipient of numerous national medals, honors, and prizes for his architectural work in Romania, and enjoys international recognition for his contributions to the world of architecture. The author of more than a score of books and many professional articles in architectural theory, philosophy, history, and poetry, he serves on the editorial boards of numerous professional and academic journals. He resides in Bucharest, Romania, with his wife, Dr. Simona Corlan-Ioan, a former member of the Romanian diplomatic corps and a professor of history at the University of Bucharest.

Professor Ioan is an Adjunct Professor at the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary, where he is conducting classes, this Pascha Term, on sacred space and Orthodox ecclesiastical architecture for students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

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Public Lecture by Art Historian at Seminary

On Monday, March 26, 2018, at 7:00 p.m., Mr. Mateusz J. Ferens, a Lecturer on the faculty of the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary and a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he is a Project Assistant at the Visual Resources Laboratory in the Department of Art History and Vice-President of the Graduate Student Forum, delivered a lecture on “The Self-Aware Image in Byzantine Art.” Icons are the most ancient form of Christian art and are, in the Eastern Orthodox Christian communities of the Balkans and the Middle East, where Christianity first flourished, closely associated with Christian theology and anthropology, that is, the Christian understanding of God and man. This point was brilliantly underscored in his lecture.

Mr. Ferens received his B.A. degree with honors and with departmental distinction in Applied Design at the California State University, San Diego, and his M.A. degree in Art History at the University of California, Riverside, where he was a Teaching Assistant. He is studying in the 2017–2018 academic year at the University of Wisconsin on a fellowship awarded by the university’s Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia, which is partly funded through the United States Department of State.

His wife, Mrs. Mary Hatay-Ferens, is a doctoral student in American Literature at the University of Oregon, Eugene. His brother, the Reverend Hierodeacon Father Photii, is a monk at the Saint Gregory Palamas Monastery in Etna and a second-year student at the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary.

Mr. Ferens’s first book, Dionysius of Fourna: Artistic Identity Through Visual Rhetoric, was published in 2015 by the Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies at the Saint Gregory Palamas Monastery.

The Monday evening lecture was free of charge to the community.

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Repose of a Primary Supporter and Former Director of the Seminary

We are sorry to report that on the morning of February 12, 2018, Michael N. Gombos, Sr., a founding member (and later, in retirement, an honorary member) of the Board of Directors of the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary, reposed quietly at his home in Bakersfield, California, after a short illness. Mr. Gombos was a successful businessman and philanthropist and a dedicated Orthodox Christian. He and his wife and family, working through the Gombos Family Charitable Foundation, comprised one of two families instrumental in the establishment of the Seminary and the purchase and subsequent renovation of its physical facility. His loss is a tremendous one for our Diocese, for our Church, and for the Seminary community. The Seminary will forever stand as a tribute to his Christian philanthropy and his interest in Christian education. We extend sincere condolences to his family.

Αἰωνία ἡ μνήμη! May his memory be eternal!

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Kluge Center at Library of Congress Cites Seminary Faculty Member

We were recently directed to the online blog of the John W. Kluge Center at the United States Library of Congress, “Insights: Scholarly Work at the John W. Kluge Center,” which “shares the knowledge and insights gleaned from the research of top scholars in the humanities and social sciences in residence at the Library of Congress.” In a posting in January 2016, it made reference to one of the faculty members of the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary, the Most Reverend Metropolitan (then Archbishop) Dr. Chrysostomos.

Jason Steinhauer, Program Specialist, who works in conjunction with the Library’s Public Affairs Office on media and Congressional relations, wrote the following about the Metropolitan in an article entitled “The Intersection of Health and Spirituality”: “Perhaps one of the more intriguing scholars to ever reside at the Kluge Center, the Most Rev. Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna, held the Larson Fellowship for a period in 2006. While at the Center, the Rev. Archbishop researched the incorporation of Eastern Orthodox Hesychastic spiritual exercises into traditional psychoanalytical methodologies. His 2007 book, ‘A Guide to Orthodox Psychotherapy’ was based on his research conducted at the Library. The Archbishop has just published his 28th new book, ‘The Sculptor and His Stone: Selected Readings on Hellenistic and Christian Learning and Thought in the Early Greek Fathers,’ and was recently appointed Professor of pastoral psychology and Patristics at the St. Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary.”

© Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary • 510 Collier Way, Etna, California 96027‒9578 • Telephone: (530) 467‒3544 • Email: spotsO@"spotsz.`school