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Seminary Hires Arpi Nakashian

Seminary Hires Arpi Nakashian

Last Fall, St. Nersess Seminary was awarded a highly competitive, five-year, $1,241,005 grant from the Lilly Endowment through its Compelling Preaching Initiative. This grant will enable the seminary to work with Armenian clergy throughout our Eastern and Western Dioceses to strengthen their preaching to further inspire, encourage, and guide our faithful.

Since January 2024, Dr. Roberta Ervine, interim program director and architect of the program, has been managing initial grant preparations and setting the framework for a full-time director of the program.

As of July 1, Arpi Nakashian will be directing our Lilly Endowment’s Compelling Preaching grant, as part of her new position at the seminary. The grant includes administering preaching-centered workshops, retreats for clergy, and overseeing development of the Karoz platform of traditional Armenian preaching resources.

The seminary’s goal for this program is to establish and support preaching as a central component of spiritual life and practice for Armenian clergy across the Armenian Church Dioceses of North America, making it a source of spiritual nourishment for them, for their congregations, and for others outside the parish-community.

More details will be coming in September, but for now we can add that Arpi will also lead a team tasked with development and implementation of the seminary’s online presence. This exciting new ministry will include a variety of certification and personal enrichment programs aimed at training Armenian Church leaders and teachers virtually, in different capacities, as well as educating the public.

“We will be combining modern teaching tools with ancient teaching methods rooted in the tradition of the Armenian Church,” shared Arpi. “We expect to be releasing information regarding the online initiative and its offerings over the next few months.”  

Arpi has a decade-plus long connection with the seminary, starting as a participant and counselor in the St. Nersess Summer Programs before enrolling as a full-time seminarian in 2013. In 2015, she graduated with an MA in Theology from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary and St. Nersess Seminary and later chaired the St. Nersess Alumni Association from 2018-2023. She is currently working towards her doctorate at Radboud University in the Netherlands, with a thesis on the Book of Job in the Armenian Tradition, directed by Rev. Dr. John Behr and Dr. Roberta Ervine.

Her most recent work experience includes Director of Online Education at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, with additional responsibilities in grant administration. She has also worked in the Ministries Department of the Eastern Diocese. Arpi hails from Jerusalem and has also lived in California and the Northeast.

Please help us welcome Arpi Nakashian back to St. Nersess Seminary.