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Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary here is pleased to announce a new program of studies developed for theological training of lay parishioners involved in various leadership activities in their parish.
This program—an expansion of the already existing Diaconal Formation program that has been successfully offered off-campus for last nine years—is comprised of four semesters (two academic years) during which participants are enrolled in graduate level courses in theology, scripture, Church history and liturgics. In addition, the new program also will offer courses specifically geared towards training students to be better assistants to the pastor in various areas of parish life, such as catechetical and Sunday school instructions, liturgical services and parish management.
For the 2016-2017 school year, the program will only be offered in Philadelphia, with plans to expand it to other locations in the future.
“The setting of the Diaconal Formation program proved to be very appealing to those who live within driving distance from our location and who can attend the program on Saturdays while holding full-time jobs,” said Archpriest Victor Gorodenchuk, Administrator of Philadelphia program. “While we continue to give theological training to diaconal candidates, we realize that there is a clear need to help parishes by training those lay parishioners who desire to be actively involved in the lives of their communities and who could greatly benefit from structured coursework in such areas as theology, liturgy and scripture.”
Archpriest Steven Voytovich, STOTS Dean, shared his enthusiasm regarding the program development. “With the solid foundation of the diaconal training program components already in place, this expansion will offer significant opportunities for motivated laypersons to more actively serve the Church by accessing this spiritually enriching formational training.”