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St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) and St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (STOTS) have concluded their respective 2024 commencement exercises.

The commencement of the Class of 2024 at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary took place on Saturday, May 18, 2024.


That morning, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon presided at the celebration of the hierarchical Divine Liturgy. Concelebrating with His Beatitude were His Grace Bishop Nikodhim of Boston and the Albanian Archdiocese and His Grace Bishop Benedict of Hartford and New England. During the Divine Liturgy, 2nd year seminarian Justin Taylor was ordained to the holy diaconate.

The commencement exercises began with a prayer of thanksgiving in the Three Hierarchs Chapel. Following the service, guests of the graduating class were seated in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium where, shortly after, the visiting hierarchs, guests of honor, faculty, and graduating students proceeded to the auditorium where His Beatitude opened the ceremony.

The V. Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, President of SVOTS, offered his welcoming remarks and greeted the graduates, their families, and guests. Dr. Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, delivered the commencement address.


Dr. Ionuț-Alexandru Tudorie, Academic Dean, conferred honorary degrees on Dr. Robert P. George (Doctor of Canon Law) and the V.Rev. Dr. Patrick Henry Reardon (Doctor of Divinity), honoris causa, for their contributions to the Church and society.

Dr. Tudorie then conferred the degrees on the thirty one graduates: fourteen from the Master of Divinity program, eleven from the Master of Arts program, six from the Master of Divinity program, and one from the Doctor of Ministry program. Rev. Dr. Renish Geevarghese Abraham gave the valedictory address.

St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary held its Commencement Exercises over the weekend of May 24-25, 2024.

The commencement address on the evening of Friday, May 24, was delivered by Mother Christophora, Abbess of the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration in Ellwood City, PA.


On Saturday, May 25, His Beatitude presided at the celebration of the hierarchical Divine Liturgy at St. Tikhon’s Monastery, coinciding with the pilgrimage weekend. Families and guests then gathered in the Seminary’s Convocation Center for the continuation of the exercises in the early afternoon.

The Dean of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, V. Rev. John Parker, offered welcoming remarks where he reflected on Mother Christophora’s speech the previous evening and the joy of the Lord’s Resurrection.


In recognition of her contributions, the faculty awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters to Mother Christophora. Nineteen Master of Divinity diplomas and two Certificates in Pastoral Formation were awarded. Seven graduates received honors for their theses and senior projects.

In the Academic Dean’s Address, Rev. Paul Witek highlighted the exceptional achievements of four graduating seminarians honored for their academic excellence and community commitment: Rev. Jordan Kingery, Rev. Gregory Fedorchak, Rev. Phillip Dage, and Mark Tiitinen. These four were given valedictory honors but selected Rev. Jordan Kingery to deliver the valedictory address.

His Eminence Archbishop Michael of New York and New Jersey and Fr. John Parker were presented with an icon of St. Nikolai Velimirovich by Mark Tiitinen on behalf of the graduating class.

Nineteen Master of Divinity diplomas were given to graduates as well as two Certificates in Pastoral Formation.

More information can be found on the seminaries’ websites: St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary and St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.

As they complete another academic year, may God grant the graduates, faculty, and staff of our seminaries many years!

The faithful and parishes of the Orthodox Church in America are urged to intentionally pray for vocations and to support the seminaries, students, faculty, and their families. It is also vital to commit to financially support the three OCA seminaries as they continue the necessary work of providing exceptional education and spiritual formation for the future leaders of the Orthodox Church.

Parishes are reminded of the resolution approved at the 16th All-American Council in Seattle, which calls for parishes of the Orthodox Church in America to allocate 1% of their budget towards the support of these seminaries.

If you want to know more about supporting our seminaries, their work, or learn more about vocation and theological formation, seminary contact information is available here.