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Seminary Faculty Present Nationally and Internationally

Seminary Faculty Present Nationally and Internationally

The seminary’s faculty members were very active during the Fall semester. In addition to teaching weekly classes and engaging with our students and offering online lectures and workshops to clergy and the public, the faculty also represented the seminary at professional and academic conferences nationally and internationally.

On October 7, Dn. Yervant Kutchukian, St. Nersess Spiritual Director, traveled to Illinois to speak at the 2023 annual conference of OCAMPR (Orthodox Christian of Medicine, Psychology and Religion), an affiliate ministry of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, for interdisciplinary dialogue and fellowship within the Orthodox faith. In addition to presenting on “Inviting in the Storyteller: The Transformative Power of Personal Narrative”, Dn. Yervant also had a chance to connect with other Orthodox Chaplains and Oriental Orthodox practitioners from diverse fields. (Photo of Dn. Yervant with social worker Lisa Byron, the only other Armenian attendee at OCAMPR).

Then on October 11, Dn. Yervant presented in Boston, MA, to an international audience at the annual Planetree International Conference, the leading healthcare industry event on person-centered care. His presentation, “Inviting in the Storyteller: The Transformative Power of Personal Narrative in Behavioral Health” distilled some of his key learning from his work in behavioral health chaplaincy – both at Albany Medical Center and more recently at Stamford Hospital where he currently serves as a per diem chaplain. He demonstrated how to facilitate a narrative group in a behavioral health setting that can help patients recognize and engage their own resources and resilience in their healing journey. 

Faculty Travel to Rome

On November 30 – December 1, the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome hosted the conference, “Plenitude of Grace, Plenitude of Humanity: St. Nersess Shnorhali at the Juncture of Millennia” to mark the 850th anniversary of St. Nersess Shnorhali’s death. Three St. Nersess faculty members spoke on this auspicious occasion: Dr. Abraham Terian, Emeritus Professor of Armenian Theology and Patristics, addressed the topic of “Nersess Shnorhali on the Beatitudes”; His Grace Bp. Daniel Findikyan, Professor of Liturgical Studies, spoke regarding “St. Nersess and the Liturgy”; and Dr. Roberta Ervine, Professor of Armenian Christian Studies and Director of Studies, presented, “From a Voluntary Prison: the Healing Words of St. Nersess Shnorhali’s General Epistle” which focused on the saint’s words to monks as the group most responsible for the welfare of society. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, former primate of the Eastern Diocese, was also in attendance. Click here for a recording of the conference.

Faculty Travel to Armenia

After a hiatus, first due to COVID restrictions and then to the Artsakh war, the նարեկացիական ընթերցումներ / Readings of Narekatsi resumed at the Matenadaran in Yerevan on December 5 – 6. The conference opened with a panel discussion by senior Matenadaran personnel, in recognition of Dr. Abraham Terian’s recent publication From the Depths of the Heart: Annotated Translation of the Prayers of St. Gregory of Narek. Prof. Terian also offered remarks on “A Learned Excursion into the School of Narek” later in the conference.

On the first day of the conference, Dr. Roberta Ervine presented “Preliminary Thoughts on the Structure of the Commentary on the Lord’s Prayer attributed to Grigor Narekats‘i,” and Dr. Ani Shahinian, Assistant Professor of the Grace & Paul Shahinian Lectureship in Armenian Christian Art & Culture, presented her paper entitled, “Theology of Light: The Use of Light Imagery in Narekac‘i’s Book of Prayers” where she explored Narekac‘i’s prayers saturated with the light imagery to speak of the divine light in various ways, focusing on the Christian witness and light in as it unfolds in martyrologies in late medieval Armenia in the context of Christian-Muslim relations. Presentations will be published soon. Recorded highlights are available from Prof. Terian’s book presentation.