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7309New Director at Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute

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  • Nelson Mitrophan Chin
    Apr 29, 2007
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      NEWS RELEASE Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute
      Graduate Theological Union
      2311 Hearst Avenue
      Berkeley, CA 9470
      FAX (510)841-6605

      New Director at Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute

      Berkeley, CA (for immediate release) – The Patriarch Athenagoras
      Orthodox Institute (PAOI) announces the appointment of His Eminence,
      Metropolitan Nikitas (Lulias) of Hong Kong, as Director of the
      Institute, effective June 1, 2007. Metropolitan Nikitas comes to the
      PAOI with the blessing of His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch
      Bartholomew and the approval and endorsement of the Holy Synod of the
      Ecumenical Patriarchate.

      Metropolitan Nikitas comes to the position after serving for ten
      years as Metropolitan of Hong Kong and South East Asia. An experienced
      clergyman, educator and administrator, he has studied and lived in
      various countries, cultures and societies. "Metropolitan Nikitas will
      bring his broad cultural and ecumenical experience to the PAOI and its
      affiliate, the Graduate Theological Union, which is the largest
      partnership of seminaries and graduate schools in the United States,
      comprised of. nine denominational schools and eight academic
      centers.", according to Christ Kamages, AIA, Chairman of the
      Institute's Board of Trustees.

      Metropolitan Nikitas was consecrated a Hierarch and named the first
      Metropolitan of Hong Kong and South East Asia in 1996. His see
      included the Exarchates of China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines
      and Singapore. He was born in Tampa, Florida and graduated from the
      University of Florida with honors, majoring in Religious Studies and
      Classics. He attended Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
      from which he received is Master of Divinity Degree with Honors in
      1980. He was a Rotary International Graduate Scholar from 1980-1981
      and A Graduate Scholar, Ministry of the Exterior, Greece, from
      1981-1982. He pursued his graduate studies at the University of
      Thessaloniki, Greece until November 1982. In 1983-1985 as served as
      Legislative Assistant to the Hon. Michael Bilirakis in the U. S. House
      of Representatives.

      From 1988 to 1991 he was a Lecturer in Orthodox Christian Theology at
      Loyola University, and from 2000 to present on Orthodox Christian
      Tradition at Holy Spirit Catholic Seminary in Hong Kong. In 1992-1993
      he studied the Russian language at the St. Petersburg Theological
      Seminary in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1994-1996 he was the Director
      of Development of International Orthodox Christian Charities. He
      served two terms as Vice-president of SYNDESMOS, the World Fellowship
      of Orthodox Youth.. Fluent in English, Greek and Russian, he has a
      working knowledge of Latin, Church Slavonic and Spanish.
      Upon ordination his first assignment was at St. Constantine and Helen
      Cathedral in Merryville, Indiana, and in 1994-1995 he served as Pastor
      of St. Demetrios Church in Chicago. In 1987 he was he was appointed
      Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Chicago, Illinois and
      served in that position until 1995, during which time he was involved
      in numerous educational, community service and interfaith activities.

      The Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute is an affiliate member
      of the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley, California, with a
      special relationship to the University of California. The Institute
      exists to study and disseminate Orthodox thought and culture. It
      offers courses at the Graduate Theological Union through the Alexander
      G. Spanos Chair in Orthodox Studies. Since 2004 the Institute has
      offered a Master's Program in Orthodox Studies, the only such program
      in the western United States. By decision of the Holy and Venerable
      Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Institute has been
      designated a "Patriarchal Institute", ecclesiastically related to the
      Ecumenical Patriarchate. It is the only institution in the United
      States so designated. .

      The Institute offers a number of community education programs,
      including a Summer Visiting Professor, Lectures in October, and the
      Paul G. Manolis Distinguished Lecture series, which brings to Berkeley
      internationally known scholars in Orthodox theology and history. Over
      the years Bishop Kallistos Ware, Fr. John Meyendorff, Sir Dimitri
      Obollensky, Fr. Robert Taft, and others have delivered the lectures.

      The research arm of the Institute performs insightful studies of
      conditions facing the Orthodox Church. Its most recent study of parish
      life, Evolving Visions of the Orthodox Priesthood in America, provide
      a broad array of conclusion concerning priests and the Church today.
      Its publishing office, Inter-Orthodox Press, has published over a
      dozen compelling titles on Orthodox theology and history.

      The Institute sponsors the Orthodox Christian Fellowship at the
      University of California, Berkeley, offering the Divine Liturgy in the
      Chapel of St. Demetrios every Tuesday evening during the academic
      year, as well as a regular program of discussion and activities.

      The Institute was founded in 1981 as an inter-Orthodox endeavor,
      supported by the various Orthodox Churches (Antiochian, Greek, OCA,
      Romanian, Serbian and others) in the United States. The Institute is
      named after His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, who
      served at Archbishop of North and South American from 1931 to 1948 and
      Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 1948 to 1972. As
      Archbishop, he was instrumental in healing the division between
      Royalist and Venizelist Greek-American communities and established a
      number of Archdiocesan organizations, including the Holy Cross School
      of Theology. As Patriarch, he was actively involved in the World
      Council of Churches and his meeting with Pope Paul VI in 1964 in
      Jerusalem led to rescinding the 1054 excommunications of the Great Schism.