Dear Parishes of the Diocese of Alaska,
At the direction of Vladyka ALEXIS and Dean Fr. Vasily Fisher, St. Herman Seminary has inaugurated a number of new programs and courses with an emphasis on language learning. All students will study the Yupik language and Church Slavonic while Russian is being offered as an elective. The Seminary’s language courses aim to equip students to minister liturgically and pastorally in our multi-ethnic, multi-lingual diocese.
The Diocesan archive at St. Herman Seminary holds one of the most unique archival collections in the world including the first printed books to arrive in Alaska, bilingual Gospels in Native languages and Church Slavonic, travel and service journals handwritten by the first missionaries to Alaska and most importantly translations of Orthodox prayers and catechisms into Native languages. It was the apostolic vision of St. Innocent of Moscow that Native people would worship God in their own languages. This year, St. Herman Seminary is hoping to fully embrace this vision and train our seminarians to read and sing in several Native Alaskan languages and Church Slavonic. In this way, we intend to transform our archives from just a notable collection into a well-used repository of Native knowledge for all Alaskans and into a cherished and frequented reliquary safeguarding the living Word of God.
The Seminary is inviting six seasoned Archpriests from around the Diocese to offer two-week long Seminars on such topics as the Alaskan Tones, choral direction, parish Bible Study, Drug and Alcohol Counseling and Prison ministry. Six diocesan Archpriests will spend time with the seminarians throughout the year not only offering classes but wisdom gleaned from years of pastoral service in diocesan parishes.
His Eminence Archbishop MICHAEL of New York and New Jersey, Rector of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Seminary and Associate Professor of New Testament and Ethics, is offering a course in Orthodox Christian Ethics during our Nativity Semester. His Eminence will be traveling to Kodiak in order to offer his course in person in a condensed form. The Seminary is also offering a course in Orthodox Spirituality taught by a seasoned hieromonk from our local St. Nilus Skete, which is a community of nuns located off the coast of St. Herman’s Spruce Island.
St. Herman’s Seminary is a sacred place to train future readers, subdeacons, deacons and priests to serve the God-protected Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska and her diverse peoples. We continue to offer Orthodox Christian education to all the faithful training the members of our Diocese called to ministry and Church service. We thank you for your continued prayers and financial support.