Pastoral School Graduation

On May 29/June 11, 2016 the Pastoral School of Chicago and Mid-America marked its tenth annual graduation. Before Vigil at the Diocesan Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God in Des Plaines, IL two students received their diplomas in Pastoral Studies (title of thesis in parentheses):

Reader Arsenios Blain (“The Preeternal Counsel: Time and Free Will”)

Reader Gregory Finlon (“The Place of Tears in St. Symeon the New Theologian's Understanding of Salvation”)

Earlier that day the students had defended their theses and successfully passed oral exams before a board consisting of His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland (President of the School), Archpriest Andre Papkov (Vice President of the School), Archpriest Martin Swanson (Dean Emeritus of the School) and Archpriest Gregory Joyce (Dean of the School).

This year the Pastoral School had 81 students participating in its distance learning format courses. The distance learning format allows students and instructors to participate in regular and lively classroom discussions on-line. Many public and private universities use this format which engages the students in almost constant interaction and learning. Distance learning provides the student with a full complement of resources which are available at any time and at any place. For more information on the Pastoral School please visit the school’s web site:

The application period for the fall semester is now open. Students must apply not later than September 1 to be considered for admission. Please note that Pastoral Theology majors’ wives may register at a discounted rate for the Orthodox Studies major. Students may wish to apply before the September 1 deadline so that they can take advantage of the need-based scholarships available to incoming students (applications for scholarship are due August 15). More information on admissions may be found at this link:

More information on scholarships may be found at this link:

Please note the Catechist Certificate program which is also accepting applications. The Catechist Program is modeled on the program outlined by the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church held in 2013.

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