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17522Establishing a Serbian House of Studi es at St. Vladimir’s Seminary

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    Feb 12, 2013
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      February 12, 2013

      [SVOTS Communications] St. Vladimir�s Orthodox Theological Seminary
      <http://www.svots.edu>, Yonkers, NY, and the Faculty of Orthodox
      Theology <http://www.bfspc.bg.ac.rs/en/faculty/management> 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@...

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]