St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology

Latest from the Academy:

June 2010 Newsletter: Jesus Goes to Jerusalem to Heal a Sick Man

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

We now have available CHAPTER 5 OF THE GOSPEL OF JOHN – PART I. Chapter 5 begins with Jesus going up to Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost. While there, we read and gain spiritual insight about the healing of the sick man at the Pool of Bethesda – the House of Grace. For Orthodox, this is a foreshadowing of Baptism in which God's grace in the goodness of salvation is poured out abundantly on the baptized. It reveal its power to cleanse sins, restore the relationship between God and man, and make people alive.

See the attached PDF file for this month's full teaching.

May 2010 Newsletter: The Flood Ceases

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

This month we continue with our second booklet from the Book of Genesis – Noah to Abraham, including Chapters Chapter 8-20. These detailed notes help bring a better grasp of the verses found in the OSB – Old Testament and New Testament and confirm our need to know the Orthodox Church to grasp Holy Scripture. The format offers explanation and understanding of the verses with the notes based on the Fathers of the Church. New Testament Scriptures are underlined to show harmony with the Old. We hope you find the following snippet relevant to the season of the Last Supper, Pascha and the coming of the One promised by the Lord – the Comforter – the Holy Spirit.

See the attached PDF file for this month's full teaching.

April 2010 Newsletter: Jesus' Words Prove He Claims To Be Equal With The Father

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

In love of our newly departed Fr. Jack and his eternal remembrance, we offer a teaching from an upcoming Academy booklet on the Gospel of John. This seems appropriate during the Paschal season, as we celebrate our being set free from the fear of death; learning, by faith, to live in the hope of the Resurrection and His promise of the world to come.

See the attached PDF file for this month's full teaching.

March 2010 Newsletter: Hospitality of Abraham

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

The letter below continues our in-depth study of the BOOK OF GENESIS and is a small snippet of this month booklet: NOAH TO ABRAHAM. These are the more detailed notes edited for the OSB - Old and New Testament. It provides a detailed explanation of the time from the Covenant of Noah to just before the birth of Isaac, the son of Abraham. We start with a few verses followed by a detail discussion. It is perfect for family study. The notes are based on the renowned Fathers of the Church with relevant Scriptures included to help connect the dots. Please don’t miss these.

See the attached PDF file for this month's full teaching.

Memory Eternal! + Fr. Jack Sparks

Fr. Jack Norman Sparks--Author, Project Director for the Orthodox Study Bible, mentor to many, Founder and Dean of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology, father, grandfather and great grandfather--fell asleep in the Lord in Eagle River, Alaska, on February 8, at 7:30 a.m. Fr. Jack reposed on the twenty third anniversary of his ordination to the diaconate.

Fr. Marc Dunaway, Pastor of St. John Cathedral in Eagle River, Alaska, writes:

"It is with sadness and prayers for his family that I relay to you the news that the servant of God, the Archpriest Jack Sparks, fell asleep in the Lord early this morning. He was 81 years old. Fr. Jack did much research in the 1970's and 80's that helped the journey of the Evangelical Orthodox into the Antiochian Archdiocese. After this he was the principle overseer for the Orthodox Study Bible, which was just recently published with the Old Testament. Fr. Jack has lived in Alaska for the last five years and has several of his children here. Fr. John Downing, Kh. Betsy and I joined Kh. Esther Sparks and her family and prayed the Trisagion Prayers of Mercy for the Departed around him. We have truly lost a good soldier in the Church today." 

In an Ancient Faith Radio reflection, Fr. Peter Gillquist remembers Fr. Jack as one who lived a full, rich life of service to the Church and to his family.

Academy Highlights



The Orthodox Study Bible and The Orthodox Study Bible: New Testament and Psalms are the fruit of the labors of the St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology. Both are available from Conciliar Press.

Academy E-Newsletter

About the Academy

St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology is an academic community of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America serving through Research, Writing, and Education


St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology was founded in 1976 as an arm of the Evangelical Orthodox Church and entered canonical Orthodoxy when that body was brought into the Antiochian Archdiocese. We offer a Correspondence Study Program, operate a Prisoner Education Program, and carry out various programs of research and study to prepare materials presenting the Orthodox Christian faith to Americans.

The Orthodox Study Bible: New Testament and Psalms is an outstanding example of the fruit of our literature programs. Currently we publish booklets in the Timely Topics series and the Booklets for Children series. Also, whenever appropriate, we publish audio and video tapes on various topics.

The mission of St. Athanasius Academy is to prepare and communicate materials on the Orthodox Christian faith in English for both Orthodox and non-Orthodox people — particularly the laity. Thus, our goals are three-fold:

1. to be a valuable and helpful teaching ministry of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North American and a service to all,

2. to help all Christians learn more about the history, teachings and practice of the Church, and

3. to help spread the Spirit of Orthodox Christianity to all Americans. 


Paul Goetz

Correspondence Studies Division/Prisoner Education Project

St. Athanasius Academy

P.O. Box 1205

Elk Grove, CA  95759

(916) 686-6230 (Phone/Fax)