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House of Studies Testimonials

The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, Chancellor of St. Vladimir’s Seminary (Orthodox Church in America):

The Doctor of Ministry Program in the Eastern Christian Context has proven perfect for many of us who have come to Holy Orthodoxy with theological degrees and pastoral experience from various Western Christian traditions. Bringing with us the best of our past, and maintaining our pastoral ministry, we work towards a degree which helps form in us a deeper understanding of the “Orthodox way.”

The Rev. Fr. Dumitru Macaila, Pittsburgh, PA (Greek Orthodox Diocese of Pittsburgh):

I enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry Program in the Eastern Christian Context to refresh myself and become better prepared for “Confrontation.” After four seminars, I feel my priestly knowledge and experience are enriched. We doctoral students learn not only from each other’s strengths — but from each other’s weaknesses also.

The Rev. Fr. Kenneth M. Bachofsky, Warren, OH (American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Diocese of the U.S.A.):

I have cherished the personal growth, a new appreciation of the Faith, and camaraderie with fellow priests and colleagues. If it were for this alone, I would have entered the program. [But it has also] enriched my pastoral ministry in many ways, and I know that it has benefited my parish as well, because it has sensitized me to their needs and concerns.

I cannot find enough words to express my immense gratitude at finally meeting everyone.

Fr. Maximos Nnachette of Nigeria

Coming from Nigeria, it was very difficult to arrange for attending the mandatory Residency Programme. Glory to God for the opportunities He gave me the last two years to work and save money to be able to finally attend.

I just to want express my humble pleasure in meeting Deacon Peter. He and all the fantastic faculty are indeed wonderful and faithful servants of God. I will always cherish my memorable experiences at the Village. It is more than worth all the sacrifices I made to participate in the residency programme.

May God grant you all many, many years of good health in mind, body and soul.

Dalia Tinawi, New Zealand (St Stephen’s Certificate Program student):  

The residency was like when St Paul went to 3rd heaven—just amazing. We are missionaries in Australia, and being here is like seeing the church in the year 200.

And More...

The Pastoral Counseling program has been literally life-changing and vocation-changing. The reading list alone was worth entering the program, but the residencies and supervisory experience and also the sessions with Dr. Papadopoulos have also been immensely useful and both spiritually and personally satisfying. God bless you all, and thank you for everything you are doing!  Master of Theology in Pastoral Counseling student

Everything about the way that I work with suffering people has been affected by my participation in this program. The coursework has stretched every horizon I have in pastoral care, and the strong living connection with the work and monastery community of Elder Sophrony has provided a real sense of spiritual safety as we occasionally get into deeper psychological theory and practice. There is never a sense that we are losing our way, and never a sense that we are away from our fundamental pastoral theology!  Master of Theology in Pastoral Counseling student

Deacon Peter, I want to thank you for your efforts and work that you do for us in the House of Studies program. I am very glad to have met you. This past week was so fantastic. It gave me a new out look on the effort required , and the reason for the effort, and rejuvenated me to continue on in the studies. It truly was one of the best weeks in my life, if not the best. Thank you, In Christ, Keith

Deacon Peter, St Stephen's is a wonderful program. It allows people from all over the world to pursue directed studies in Orthodox theology. The readings are very challenging, yet the yearly project ensures that the student maintains a practical mindset in how to apply that theological training in active ministry. This is not purely an academic exercise but really a theological formation. I consider myself fortunate to be part of this unique program and to benefit from such talented instructors.

The residency component especially is a great opportunity to fellowship with classmates from around the globe, to share ideas and experiences, while listening to lectures from the top-notch instructors. The sense of community is exceptional and is something that all the students miss after the program ends. The week in residence is a very intense week but one filled with love and humor and which leaves a lasting imprint on the soul.  In Christ,  Pantelis (from China)

Dear Archdeacon Peter, I cannot tell you how wonderful an experience it was at The Antiochian Village this past week for The St. Stephen's Course of Study! This was my first Residency in the Program; and, to be totally honest, I was very apprehensive the week before, and was uncomfortable when I arrived on Sunday. By Monday afternoon, I felt completely at home! I attribute this to the holy location, the administrative staff, the faculty, my fellow students, and God! The Antiochian Village is truly a special and unique place, made even better by the people who care so much to make it the highest quality experience, to serve God, and to actively demonstrate striving to be as Christ. I appreciate everything you have done and cannot wait to return for the next two sessions. I promise to come the right week next year! M. Gursky Jr.

I found that Week I Residency Program a wonderful opportunity to meet deeply committed fellow Christians and incredibly talented instructors; it was truly rewarding. Thank you. Nicholas Oliverio

This past week was my first year attending the Residency Program at the Antiochian Village; it was my first experience at an Orthodox gathering outside of a church service. (I am fairly new to the Orthodox Church compared to most that were in attendance.) I have attended numerous seminars, retreats and conventions as a Protestant Christian, but none came close to the quality and quantity of teaching that was offered. I garnered quite a bit not only through class instruction, but also in observing how you and the leaders carried themselves. Lord willing, I'll be back for year two. Terry Liston

The catalog you sent is excellent and provides an array of answers, I was thrilled to see the relatively low tuition costs, making my participation in this program more and more likely. Pastor David, Warrenton, VA