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The Reverend Dr. Philip LeMasters, a scholar of Christian ethics, has been appointed to the faculty of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) as Professor of Christian Ethics, effective for the academic year 2016–2017. Father Philip is Professor of Religion and Director of the Honors Program at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, where he is also the pastor of St. Luke’s Orthodox Church. Additionally, he is a member of the SVOTS Board of Trustees.

“We are pleased to have Fr. Philip join our faculty,” said the Very Reverend Dr. John Behr, dean of St. Vladimir’s. “His work in the field of ethics—including bioethics, sexual ethics, and political ethics—is of utmost importance to our students, who will wrestle with ethical issues as clergy and lay theologians.”

In the 2016–2017 academic year, Fr. Philip will teach two hybrid courses at St. Vladimir’s: “Ministry in a Multi-Faith Context” in the fall, and “The Ethics of Marriage, Family, and Sexuality” in the spring. Enrollment in the courses will be open to degree candidates in one the seminary’s degree programs or the M.Div. equivalency program.

These 12-week hybrid courses combine an online learning component with an onsite intensive. During the first eight weeks of the semester, students will engage course material through recorded lectures and online discussions. Students will be given weekly assignments, and the professor will be available for office hours via Skype and phone. The professor will join the students on campus for a weeklong intensive session that includes seminar-style presentations and class discussions.  

“Teaching courses at St. Vladimir’s Seminary provides a blessed opportunity to integrate my scholarly and priestly vocations,” remarked Fr. Philip. “Clergy and laity face so many pressing challenges today in our religiously and morally diverse society, and I am thrilled to play a role in forming our seminarians in responding faithfully to them. Having such profound respect for the Seminary’s faculty and academic program, I consider this appointment a highlight of my career as a professor.” 

Father Philip is the author of several books in the area of moral theology, most recently The Forgotten Faith: Ancient Insights for Contemporary Believers from Eastern Christianity (Cascade Books 2013). He has been an invited participant at recent international Orthodox consultations on peace ethics in Greece, Romania, and Syria. A graduate of Baylor University and Rice University, he holds a Ph.D. in Christian Theology and Ethics from Duke University and an M.A. in Applied Orthodox Theology from the University of Balamand.

“Our seminary has been blessed by Fr. Philip’s service and leadership on our Board of Trustees,” said the Very Reverend Dr. Chad Hatfield, SVOTS chancellor/CEO. “Our students can look forward to learning from a scholar who is not only an excellent teacher but also a dedicated minister to the flock of Christ.”

Enrollment for both courses is limited. Registration for the fall 2016 semester is now open. Please contact Dr. John Barnet, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Registrar, at / (914) 961­-8313, x313, for more information on taking a hybrid course at St. Vladimir’s Seminary.

Read Fr. Philip’s blog
Listen to a podcast with Fr. Philip, “Orthodox Perspectives on Peace, War, and Violence”