Fall Semester Welcomes Four New Students

Fall Semester Welcomes Four New Students

St. Nersess Armenian Seminary began its Fall semester on August 25 with orientation and classes at the seminary and at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. “We are happy to welcome our seven full-time students who are studying for service in the Armenian Church,” remarked the Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Dean.

This year, we welcomed two new students – Zareh Mirzayan and Arin Parsanian – from the Western Diocese, who join west coast native Dn. Garen Hamamjian, Arman Shirikyan, and Dn. Serop Krajekian, all who are studying for the priesthood. We also welcomed Dan Bullock who is in the diaconate studies program, and Vardan Sargsyan who is in the religious studies program. Additionally, there are three part-time students studying remotely and in person.

Zareh Mirzayan, who grew up in Glendale, CA, attended St. Leon (Ghevontiants) Armenian Cathedral in Burbank. He received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley. “So far, my experience at St Nersess includes a lot of hard work, but it is so rewarding! I love it here; the environment, facilities, staff, and educators are nothing short of amazing,” commented Zareh.

Arin Parsanian, who was born and grew up in Isfahan, Iran, attended the Holy Apostles Armenian Apostolic Church in Tujunga, CA. He studied mathematics and statistics at California State University in Northridge, and served four years in the US Navy. “My experience in seminary is unlike any experience I ever had, not even in the military. My day starts with prayer and ends with prayer which makes long days go quickly,” reflected Arin.

While all the students are engaged in coursework during the academic year, seminarians are also required to spend their summers in educational programs, including: participating in a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program, working at a Diocesan or AGBU summer camp, and studying at Holy Etchmiadzin or the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Following their graduation, they spend a full year at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin to complete their studies.