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St. Vladimir’s Seminary launches clergy continuing education

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://oca.org/news/headline-news/st.-vladimirs-seminary-launches-clergy-continuing-education April 22, 2013 St. Vladimir’s Seminary launches clergy
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 22, 2013

      April 22, 2013
      St. Vladimir�s Seminary launches clergy continuing education

      YONKERS, NY [SVOTS Communications]

      �St. Vladimir�s Seminary has stepped up to the challenge recently set by
      the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America to provide
      our clergy with continuing education,� said Dr. Paul Meyendorff, the
      Father Alexander Schmemann Professor of Liturgical Theology at the seminary.

      �We are working vigorously to help clergy reach the goal established by
      the OCA�s newly formed Department of Continuing Education
      requiring 20 hours of education and training each year for priests,� he

      Dr. Meyendorff was referring to the mandate set by the OCA Holy Synod of
      Bishops at their January 2013 meeting, which requires clergy to receive
      further education in professional and ethical issues, including training
      in sexual misconduct. Heading the OCA�s new department is Archpriest Ian
      G. Pac-Urar; Dr. Meyendorff serves as Director of Continuing Education
      at Saint Vladimir�s.

      �We�re delighted to see Saint Vladimir�s step forward with the first
      institutional response to the Holy Synod�s call,� said Father Ian. �As a
      matter of course, clergy participating in the offerings from Saint
      Vladimir�s will receive full credit for the Continuing Clergy
      Development program. We encourage all clergy to take advantage of this
      great opportunity.�

      Similarly, Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary, noted, �We are so
      pleased that this program is moving forward. The issue of continuing
      education has been discussed for many years by the Holy Synod and was
      brought to fruition with the mandate of the Strategic Plan of the 16th
      All-American Council held in Seattle in 2011.

      �Father Ian Pac-Urar and the Strategic Planning Committee of the
      Metropolitan Council were dedicated to making this become a reality so
      that OCA clergy can continue to improve their pastoral skills,� he
      added. �Saint Vladimir�s Seminary has taken the lead in offering such a
      program in a formal manner, and it is hoped that many will take
      advantage of the expertise and resources in the program.�

      Inaugurating the seminary�s efforts, Dr. Meyendorff noted, was a recent
      seminar given by Archpriest Dr. Sergius Halvorsen, Assistant Professor
      of Homiletics and Rhetoric at Saint Vladimir�s. From March 31 to April
      2, Father Sergius led a continuing education seminar on �Liturgical
      Preaching� for eight priests from the Carolinas Deanery of the OCA�s
      Diocese of the South. The seminar began with a webinar in the middle of
      March, during which Father Sergius presented some fundamental concepts
      for preaching and gave the participants assignments to prepare in
      advance of the in-person session. Then, gathered at a home on the shores
      of beautiful Lake Keowee in Salem SC, the participants worked together
      in sessions that began on Sunday night and concluded on Tuesday morning.

      During these sessions, Father Sergius presented basic guidelines for
      effective preaching, after which each participant offered two oral
      presentations�a short meaningful story about their life and a �work in
      progress� version of their sermon for the following Sunday.

      Reflecting on the seminar, Father Sergius said, �The depth and honesty
      of the feedback from the participants was quite remarkable. Everyone
      left the seminar with a few really solid ideas to help them in their
      preaching ministry.�

      Regarding the entire experience, Father Sergius said, �I am extremely
      grateful to Father Thomas Moore, Dean of the Carolinas Deanery; Father
      Marcus Burch, Chancellor of the Diocese of the South; and Archbishop
      Nikon, /Locum Tenens/ for the Diocese of the South, for the opportunity
      to spend time working with the clergy. Pastors are physicians of souls,
      and like doctors who treat the flesh, they benefit greatly from
      continuing education to help hone, refine, and strengthen pastoral
      skills. Furthermore, participants benefit greatly from strengthening
      ties with brother clergy who support and encourage each other in their
      ministry. This continuing education session was quite successful on both
      these levels.�

      Speaking of future goals for continuing education, Dr. Meyendorff said,
      �Our aim is to develop continuing education workshops on topics such as
      homiletics, end of life issues, dealing with mental health issues,
      confession, parish management, and so forth. Programs will be held both
      on the seminary�s campus and at locations throughout the country [as we
      begin] working with dioceses, deaneries, clergy associations, and alumni
      groups to develop and host one- or two-day sessions.�

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