Successful Acculturation Program Concludes First Session
Launched in December 2014, St. Nersess concluded its first six month Acculturation Program in mid-May. Created for priests from abroad and by the arrangement of His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Fr. Tatev Terteryan, a priest from Armenia, was the first clergyman to participate. The program further prepares clergy in pastoral care, American culture and traditions, ecumenical and inter-church relations, youth ministry, and administrative practices of our parishes in the United States. While residing at the seminary, Fr. Tatev also participated in the daily services and classes at St. Nersess and traveled to parishes within the Eastern Diocese on Sunday mornings.
“Through my participation in the Acculturation Program at St. Nersess, I became familiar with the American traditions and culture, which is different from the traditions and culture in Armenia. I learned a tremendous amount about what a priest of the Armenian Church in the United States performs, in particular, the Eastern Diocese. This sometimes differs from the life that a priest leads in Armenia. The daily life of the seminarians and administrative staff of the seminary in New York has also been interesting to observe from the inside,” reflected Fr. Tatev. “As the first candidate to go through the program, I feel honored. I enjoyed many of the topics that were taught by my instructors and am confident that these are areas one must know in order to begin to have a fruitful ministry in the Armenian Church in America. I enjoyed learning how a clergyman needs to work daily at maintaining relationships with many different individuals, groups and organizations within his parish,” further commented Fr. Tatev.
“We are fortunate to have such a fine Armenian institution in the west. I encourage those after me to work at learning as much as they can about how the American system operates, from church matters to those of one’s daily life, in order to relate to his parishioners the best that he can. I want to emphasize how much St. Nersess is an important institution that serves a tremendous role and function, especially for those not born here but who will serve in this country. As much as one thinks that he knows, there is always more to learn. One realizes this once he has completed a program such as the one I have completed,” concluded Fr. Tatev.