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The path from reader to deacon


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#1 Matthew

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 11:21 PM

Greetings to all.

I had lunch with my spiritual father, Fr. John Touloumes, yesterday and I expressed my interest in formalize my learning by studying at a seminary with the intention of becoming a deacon. He encouraged me to pursue it. He told me to do some research and come up with a plan for Metropolitan Maximos to approve.

I was inspired to ask by the Byzantine Catholic Seminary in which Fr. David Sedor, of blessed memory, worked. Here's a link to their Deacon Formation program:
http://www.byzcathse..._curriculum.php

The program lasts for four years, with two weeks out of each year spent on campus, and the remainder of the year spent learning remotely. Such a program would be great because I currently run a business and employ a number of people; it it would be too disruptive to attend seminary full time.

Is there a similar program available from any of the Orthodox seminaries? Ideally, it should be a seminary under the Greek Orthodox jurisdiction, like Holy Cross or St Vladimirs.

I'll call around next week, but I would appreciate any thoughts or any shared experiences.

Thank you very much,

Matthew

#2 Ryan

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 11:26 PM

Greetings to all.

I had lunch with my spiritual father, Fr. John Touloumes, yesterday and I expressed my interest in formalize my learning by studying at a seminary with the intention of becoming a deacon. He encouraged me to pursue it. He told me to do some research and come up with a plan for Metropolitan Maximos to approve.

I was inspired to ask by the Byzantine Catholic Seminary in which Fr. David Sedor, of blessed memory, worked. Here's a link to their Deacon Formation program:
http://www.byzcathse..._curriculum.php

The program lasts for four years, with two weeks out of each year spent on campus, and the remainder of the year spent learning remotely. Such a program would be great because I currently run a business and employ a number of people; it it would be too disruptive to attend seminary full time.

Is there a similar program available from any of the Orthodox seminaries? Ideally, it should be a seminary under the Greek Orthodox jurisdiction, like Holy Cross or St Vladimirs.

I'll call around next week, but I would appreciate any thoughts or any shared experiences.

Thank you very much,

Matthew


I've actually heard that deacons don't even need to attend seminary (though it certainly helps), you can take a correspondence course... I was told this by both a GOA and an OCA priest, so I assume both jurisdictions have the program. (By the way, St. Vladimir's is OCA). I'm sure if you ask someone from one of the seminaries they can point you in the right direction.

#3 Matthew

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 11:37 PM

Thank you for the reply, Ryan.

That led me to this:
http://www.hchc.edu/...demics/PDP.html

Thank you!

#4 Theodora E.

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 03:47 AM

Some dioceses or deaneries have their own programs for "late vocation" deacons - those who will be permanent deacons, mostly, not going on to the priesthood.

The OCA Diocese of the Midwest has such a program. It's three years, I believe, of meeting once a week (I;m not sure if you get summers off) and different instructors. There is tuition.

I think the ROCOR Diocese of Chicago and Detroit has the same sort of thing, called the "Pastoral School."

You might want to check if something like this is available to you.

#5 Anthony Stokes

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 05:53 AM

The Antiochian Archdiocese runs the St. Stephen's course, which is supposed to be one of the best correspondence programs. It would probably be closer to serving in the GOA than any OCA program. The OCA seminaries, St. Vlad's or St. Tikhon's, do not have correspondence. The OCA program has some pretty specific requirements. Check out the St. Stephen's course. The guys who run it are actually Greek. I'm not familiar with any GOA programs for deacons, since deacons in the GOA are very hard to find.

http://www.antiochian.org/studies

Sbdn. Antony

#6 Father David Moser

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 06:07 AM

Greetings to all.

I had lunch with my spiritual father, Fr. John Touloumes, yesterday and I expressed my interest in formalize my learning by studying at a seminary with the intention of becoming a deacon.


I'm not familiar with any GOA programs for deacons, since deacons in the GOA are very hard to find.


There was a GOA Protodeacon by the name of Photios Touloumes - perhaps your spiritual father knew him. He was very good an training young know-nothing deacons (like me) even when they weren't in the Greek diocese (like me). Alas Fr Photios is no longer with us - He died a few years ago (please remember him in your prayers)

Fr David Moser

#7 Ryan

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 06:15 AM

The Antiochian Archdiocese runs the St. Stephen's course, which is supposed to be one of the best correspondence programs. It would probably be closer to serving in the GOA than any OCA program. The OCA seminaries, St. Vlad's or St. Tikhon's, do not have correspondence. The OCA program has some pretty specific requirements. Check out the St. Stephen's course. The guys who run it are actually Greek. I'm not familiar with any GOA programs for deacons, since deacons in the GOA are very hard to find.

http://www.antiochian.org/studies

Sbdn. Antony


Yes, I think this is the course that was mentioned to me. Again, the priests who told me about it were OCA and GOA, so the course is ostensibly acceptable to those jurisdictions.

#8 Kris

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 03:22 PM

deacons in the GOA are very hard to find.


Is there a reason for the Greek archdiocese having fewer deacons than the Russian? When I attend the Russian Cathedral here in London, they seem to always have at least two deacons, even for weekday Vesper services.

I had a look at last year's Imerologion, and the ratio of deacons to priests in the GO Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain is about 1:9, how does the number in America compare?

#9 Paul Cowan

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 08:38 PM

The Antiochian Archdiocese runs the St. Stephen's course, which is supposed to be one of the best correspondence programs. It would probably be closer to serving in the GOA than any OCA program. The OCA seminaries, St. Vlad's or St. Tikhon's, do not have correspondence. The OCA program has some pretty specific requirements. Check out the St. Stephen's course. The guys who run it are actually Greek. I'm not familiar with any GOA programs for deacons, since deacons in the GOA are very hard to find.

http://www.antiochian.org/studies

Sbdn. Antony


My Deacon and Associate priest both went through this correspondence course. Anyone interested can Pm me and I will see if I can get you in touch with one of them for more specific questions.

Paul

#10 Ilya Zhitomirskiy

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 02:57 PM

The Antiochian Archdiocese runs the St. Stephen's course, which is supposed to be one of the best correspondence programs. It would probably be closer to serving in the GOA than any OCA program. The OCA seminaries, St. Vlad's or St. Tikhon's, do not have correspondence. The OCA program has some pretty specific requirements. Check out the St. Stephen's course. The guys who run it are actually Greek. I'm not familiar with any GOA programs for deacons, since deacons in the GOA are very hard to find.

http://www.antiochian.org/studies

Sbdn. Antony

There is no correspondence, but there are late-vocation programs that are run under the auspices of the seminary. At least, the late-vocation program graduates are recognized at the seminary upon graduation, although their training is local (Miami deacon program, Philadelphia or Endicott). There is the SPD (Special Program for the Diaconate) that runs through HCHC. It is a 3-year program with 1 weekly summer session that the candidates take. The rest is done at the home church under the guidance of a mentor (priest/other deacon).

#11 Matthew

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 05:33 PM

The Antiochian Archdiocese runs the St. Stephen's course, which is supposed to be one of the best correspondence programs. It would probably be closer to serving in the GOA than any OCA program. The OCA seminaries, St. Vlad's or St. Tikhon's, do not have correspondence. The OCA program has some pretty specific requirements. Check out the St. Stephen's course. The guys who run it are actually Greek. I'm not familiar with any GOA programs for deacons, since deacons in the GOA are very hard to find.

http://www.antiochian.org/studies

Sbdn. Antony


So three and a half years after I started this post, this is the path I'm taking. I just finished Unit 4 out 6 Exams and am looking forward to my 2nd week of residency.

Matthew

#12 Niko Barounis

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 06:58 PM

Just saw this thread, wishing your luck with your studies.
Im curious why you did not go with this program http://www.hchc.edu/...demics/spd.html
and how is your experince so far, so very curious as im interested in doing this but dont know which one to aattend.

#13 Matthew

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 08:54 PM

Just saw this thread, wishing your luck with your studies.
Im curious why you did not go with this program http://www.hchc.edu/...demics/spd.html
and how is your experince so far, so very curious as im interested in doing this but dont know which one to aattend.


It really wasn't my choice. Although my spiritual father went to seminary there, and we have had two recent seminarians from our parish, I had the instruction and blessing of both priest and bishop to attend St. Stephen's. Perhaps because the residency is at the Antiochian Village which is only a 1 hour car drive from home.

I've really enjoyed it so far. I have a busy life as husband, father, businessman, and so when exam time comes I sometimes feel like I can't devote as much time as I would like. Exams are about 6 to 8 essays of 5 to 7 pages in length. I think I would learn more and write better exams if I had more time.

The week I spent in residency was wonderful. Two more to look forward to. It's like seminary, but distilled into a very short period of time. You don't get tired or worn out from the same people or professors. Everything is new and exciting.

I would highly recommend the course for the education alone, whether you decide to pursue the diaconate or not. My chanting is so bad, it might be best for everyone if I remain a reader!

#14 Niko Barounis

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 06:22 PM

Hey, thanks for responding. Glad you are enjoying it!
I was looking into both (HC and St. Stevens) and noticed the huge tuition price diffrence, wow!
With that in mind, if/when i do go for it, i will go with the St Steven certifi.

Antiochian....is ok (in communion) with GOA?

#15 Richard A. Downing

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 07:06 PM

<snip>My chanting is so bad, it might be best for everyone if I remain a reader!


I heard that this is how you get to be a priest, be a deacon who can't chant. :-) At least in the Greek usage you don't have to master rising-tone!

INXC,
Richard.

#16 Matthew

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 07:54 PM

Antiochian....is ok (in communion) with GOA?


Yes. I'm a reader tonsured by a GOA metropolitan.

#17 Matthew

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 07:57 PM

I heard that this is how you get to be a priest, be a deacon who can't chant. :-) At least in the Greek usage you don't have to master rising-tone!


That's simultaneously hilarious and terrifying! :)

#18 Ilya Zhitomirskiy

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 04:45 PM

It really wasn't my choice. Although my spiritual father went to seminary there, and we have had two recent seminarians from our parish, I had the instruction and blessing of both priest and bishop to attend St. Stephen's. Perhaps because the residency is at the Antiochian Village which is only a 1 hour car drive from home.

I've really enjoyed it so far. I have a busy life as husband, father, businessman, and so when exam time comes I sometimes feel like I can't devote as much time as I would like. Exams are about 6 to 8 essays of 5 to 7 pages in length. I think I would learn more and write better exams if I had more time.

The week I spent in residency was wonderful. Two more to look forward to. It's like seminary, but distilled into a very short period of time. You don't get tired or worn out from the same people or professors. Everything is new and exciting.

I would highly recommend the course for the education alone, whether you decide to pursue the diaconate or not. My chanting is so bad, it might be best for everyone if I remain a reader!

Just do some vocal training with an experienced chanter or a vocal teacher, if you can find one. This is how my friend improved his singing. He originally was atrocious, but now he sings rather well. IF not, just follow along with youtube videos of jurisdiction-appropriate chant(That is how I picked up some Znamenny melodies). BTW, if yourare truly called, the Hoply Spirit will "fulfill all that is lacking", including chanting ability

#19 Matthew Romero

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 06:31 PM

I've heard that the Diaconate is just a stop on the road to the Priesthood. Although, what I've seen personally this isn't true, are there jurisdictions where this is the case?

#20 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 07:41 PM

Yes: Moscow Patriarchate, both within Russia and abroad.




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