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St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary is happy to announce that this September it will commence a Certificate Program in Diaconal Formation in collaboration with St. Stephen’s Orthodox Cathedral in Philadelphia, Pa.  This certificate program is designed to provide participants with structured theological education and liturgical formation geared towards service in the Holy Diaconate of the Orthodox Church.  A program cohort will meet on Saturdays over the course of two years from September to May at St. Stephen Orthodox Cathedral in North-East Philadelphia, PA.  A Saturday session will include the celebration of the Divine Liturgy followed by a morning class session, lunch, an afternoon class session, and will conclude with the celebration of Vespers or Vigil.  This blending of liturgical celebration and classroom instruction provides a solid foundation in conceptual and practical competencies necessary for laymen who would like to pursue ordination to the Holy Diaconate.

Speaking about the Certificate Program, its Director, Archpriest Victor Gorodenchuk, Ph.D., Cathedral Dean, commented: “St. Stephen’s Cathedral is blessed to partner with St. Tikhon’s to offer candidates from various Orthodox jurisdictions and dioceses who have interest of serving the Church through the Diaconate the opportunity to take part in this special program. The unique, in-person formative experience that is offered by the Certificate Program cannot be overlooked.  The ability for students to take part in a cohort that celebrates the services together, attends classes together, and spends time in fellowship is indispensable for future ministry of those students in parishes of our Church.”

The Seminary welcomes applicants of various jurisdictions and dioceses who have their hierarch’s blessing to apply by providing the necessary application materials which are delineated HERE.  The deadline for the submission of materials is August 1, 2024.  Questions and inquiries regarding the Diaconal Formation Program can be directed to Archpriest Victor Gorodenchuk (Phone: 215.756.2289; Email: