February 12, 2013
[SVOTS Communications] St. Vladimir�s Orthodox Theological Seminary
>, Yonkers, NY, and the Faculty of Orthodox
> at the
University of Belgrade <http://www.bg.ac.rs/en_index.php
> have made a
formal agreement to work together with the aim of establishing a Serbian
House of Studies on the campus of St. Vladimir�s Seminary. The House of
Studies has several goals, including the promotion of sustained dialogue
and educational exchanges between Orthodox Christians in America and Serbia.
The Serbian House of Studies is one of many endeavors outlined in the
Seminary�s newly crafted �SVS Strategic Plan 2020,� and the first to be
implemented. The Strategic Plan�which sets forth the Board�s vision for
St. Vladimir�s Seminary for the next decade�actually calls for several
such foreign houses of study, together comprising �The International
Center of Orthodox Christian Studies,� eventually to be located in the
historic stone �Germack Building� on campus.
The agreement between St Vladimir�s Seminary and the University of
Belgrade had been in negotiation for some time, including review and
reception by the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church. An
opportunity to formally sign the agreement came when His Grace, the
Right Rev. Maxim, bishop of the Western American Diocese of the Serbian
Orthodox Church in North and South America, and a member of the Board of
St Vladimir�s, together with Protopresbyter Stauvrophor Dr. Predrag
Puzovic', dean of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University of
Belgrade, visited St Vladimir�s for the Feast of the Three Hierarchs.
�There are many advantages to our envisioned �International Center,�
said The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr. �Firstly, these houses of study will
�formalize� our existing relationships with other Orthodox schools
around the world; ultimately, St. Vladimir�s will be the only place on
the planet where Orthodox Christian faculty and students are living,
working, and studying while fostering international dialogue.
�Secondly, student exchanges between two countries will enrich the whole
student body,� he continued. �In this case, American Serbian seminarians
will get to experience church life in the country of their home
jurisdiction, while foreign students will train here and get to
understand the American Orthodox scene. This will help our American
students better understand and incorporate their heritage, including
Serbian history and liturgical practices, into their ministry.
�Thirdly, our seminary campus will be the locus for further theological
research by a faculty member from Belgrade University, who will remain
in residence for one year and share his particular knowledge with our
own student body, while overseeing Serbian exchange students.
�And finally,� Fr. John concluded, �the Serbian House of Studies will
act as a liaison and center for alumni of Serbian descent from
theological schools around the world. We plan to run alumni events
throughout the year from this new center, and we plan to publish a
newsletter reporting on those events.
The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, seminary Chancellor/CEO, also
enthusiastically endorsed the agreement, saying, �This is only the first
of many proposed Houses within the International Center for Orthodox
Christian Studies. It should be noted that the long-term plan is to
include various Oriental Orthodox Houses as well, and their inclusion
will build upon our Seminary�s history as a place of serious exchange
between Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Christians.�
Anyone wanting to explore enrollment in the Serbian House of Studies may
contact Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak, director of Admissions and Alumni
Relations, 914-961-8313 ext. 328 or jmatusiak@...
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