Priesthood / Languages


I hope you will be able to answer my question, Father.

We are Greek Orthodox. My son has recently shown interest in the priesthood. When I mentioned that he would first have to learn the Greek language, he became frustrated and said that his interest was not in “the language” but in our “faith.”

He is a college graduate, speaks English, and does not want to learn another language. Can he become a priest in the OCA? I would appreciate an answer. I have printed out pages from St Tikhon’s Seminary Web page. But the question remains… language?


Thank you for your enquiry.

In the Orthodox Church in America there is no language requirement, as the vast majority of parishes use the English language exclusively. Our seminarians do study New Testament Greek (which, of course, is not the same as Modern Greek) for the purpose of studying Scripture in its original tongue.

In addition to St Tikhon’s Seminary in South Canaan, PA, the Orthodox Church in America has St Vladimir’s Seminary in Crestwood, NY, some 20 miles north of New York City. You may wish to visit the web site of St Vladimir’s at St Vladimir’s not only accepts students from the OCA, but from any and every jurisdiction, including the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. St Vladimir’s requires that a student already have a bachelor’s degree since study is at the post-graduate level.