On June 10, 2023 thesis review and defense, and comprehensive final examinations were held for graduating students of the Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America. At this session two students defended their theses and passed their final examinations: Subdeacon Jacob Ponomarenko, and Reader Brian Payne.
Subdeacon Jacob’s thesis was entitled: “The Growth of the Russian Orthodox Church in Cleveland, OH with the Spiritual Guidance of St. Czar Nicholas II During his Reign from 1894-1917”. Reader Brian’s thesis was entitle: “Using the Influence of Orthodox Pastoral Teachings in Shaping National Leadership Decisions Regarding Social Welfare”.
Both theses were reviewed by the examination committee (made up of Archbishop Peter of Chicago & Mid-America, President of the School; Archpriest Gregory Joyce, Dean of the School; and Archpriest John Whiteford, Assistant Dean for Operations of the School), and both students passed their oral final examinations.
Later that day the Resurrectional Vigil was held in the Diocesan Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God in Des Plaines, IL. The graduates participated in the Divine Service. The next day (June 11, 2023) Divine Liturgy was held in the cathedral, at which Subdeacon Jacob was ordained a Deacon for service at St. Sergius Cathedral in Parma, OH. Following the Divine Liturgy the graduates were officially awarded their diplomas.
We congratulate the new graduates and their families on their significant accomplishment. God willing the theses of the new graduates will soon be published for the edification of all.