The Board of Trustees of Saint Herman Seminary has announced a search for a new Dean of the Seminary. After a long tenure as Dean of the Seminary Archpriest John Dunlop has decided to step down and pursue other interests.
The successful candidate will be an ordained priest with a solid background in Orthodox Theology and a degree from an Orthodox institution of higher learning, preferably a doctorate. He will be asked to perform in a variety of areas ranging from administration of the seminary, student relations, teaching, community involvement to fund raising. He will do his best to live up to the mission of Saint Herman Seminary and the vision of His Eminence, Archbishop David, Seminary Rector.
St. Herman Orthodox Theological Seminary exists to proclaim the Gospel message within the particular context of Alaska.
The particular context of Alaska is the future of Orthodoxy in North America.
Alaska is multi-cultural, vast, blest with six of North America’s saints, and yet burdened by the crushing weight of 21st century materialism, hopelessness, addiction, and abuse. Alaska is the place of indescribable beauty, the physical experience of the omnipotence of God as expressed in our harsh climate and infinite seas, and in the divine sensitivities and resilience of those who have lived here for ages. We are, at the same time, a place of ancient villages, modern cities, subsistence fishing, and rocket launches.
Alaska is the bridge from the glory of Orthodoxy’s history in North America to what –by the mercies of God—will be the glories of Orthodoxy’s future in North America. St. Herman Orthodox Theological Seminary invites you to travel that bridge.
Each parish in Alaska will have someone trained and educated at St. Herman’s Seminary to provide Reader level Liturgical services, Church School programs for the youth, adult Catechism classes, and recovery ministry support for addictions if an ordained priest is not available. Those continuing on to Diaconate and Priest, challenge will follow similar guidelines.
When Saint Herman Seminary was founded, it was purposed to provide clergy for the unique situation that is Alaska. That is still our main and driving purpose, as stated in our original Mission Statement, “To proclaim the Gospel in the particular context which is Alaska.” This was the vision the Archpriest Joseph Kreta of Blessed Memory. He fulfilled that vision very well and in every respect. If we consider the state of the Diocese of Alaska when he came here, his task was monumental. A handful of priests serving a vast territory, often traveling for over a month at a time to reach the remote villages at least annually. He had very limited resources and no real place to work. At the time the only “learning center” was with the bishop in Sitka, in a dilapidated “Bishop’s House” last occupied by then Bishop Theodosius. Candidates would go to Sitka and study and return to the villages armed with the limited resources his education gave him. Thanks to the establishment of Saint Herman Seminary, first in Kenai, and then moved to Kodiak, all of this changed. This seminary will forever be indebted to the dedication and leadership of Father Joseph Kreta and we need to continue that vision and that leadership today.
While our challenges today are of a different nature, they are no less daunting. We have far more resources available to us. We have a stable financial fund to draw from, we have a well-provided campus to work from. A beautiful chapel to pray in and extra buildings to work with to expand to suit the needs we have as they arise. Our problems are different but every bit as challenging. Our main resource, the young men and women of Alaska have often been neglected in their education from a system that fails to provide the quality of education needed to succeed in the modern world. When they come to seminary, they often cannot read at a level needed for advanced studies. Their education in the Orthodox Faith has, at best, been minimal. As one priest told us, “When I went to seminary all I knew was how to cross myself and little more than that.”
We cannot rely on the State of Alaska to change its education system for our benefit. We can rely on our seminary to be the place to change how that education works for our students. We are also the place to change their basic understanding of their Faith, and yes, we can work to improve that education in the Parishes from whence they come to us.
Salary, benefits and housing will be commensurate with experience.