Gevorkian Theological Seminary 2015-2016 Academic Year Closing Ceremony at the Mother See

Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin – July 2016

On 6th July, the 2015-2016 academic year closing ceremony of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary was held in the Events Auditorium, under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.

Following the Lord’s Prayer and the singing of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary hymn, Rev. Fr. Karekin Hambardzumyan, Dean of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary gave his remarks.

“The end of each academic year brings varied feelings in the life of our seminary family. Mostly these feelings are mixed with the delight of educational and spiritual achievements, as well as with the intention to complete and correct what is insufficient or missing. Today, the Gevorkian Theological Seminary closes the one-year history book of the 2015-2016 academic year, with the enthusiastic expectation to reopen it in a new way and with new expectations.

During the past year, joining the administrative mission of this facility, I rediscovered for myself that this Seminary, which is based on the vision of Catholicos George IV, as an inspiration of spirit and mind, travels his unwavering path in the spiritual field where each of us become a part to this great vision”, stated Father Karekin.

The Dean of the Seminary, reflected on the contribution of the teaching staff to the educational process, expressing gratitude to the entire teaching staff for the caring and dedicated work during the academic year, and as well as for the cooperation with the Administration.

Father Karekin on behalf of the administrative and teaching staff and the Seminarians, expressed the wish that the graduate students carry out their life and service guided by the Holy Bible, and strengthen it through prayers and communion with the Lord.

The Dean of the Seminary reflected on the achievements recorded in the academic year, among which are the launch of the online magazine – Gevorkian Seminary; the signing of a cooperation agreement with the St. Vladimir Orthodox Theological Seminary of New York; continuation of student exchange programs; editing and printing of the Seminary yearbook; organization of various extracurricular lectures and events, with the participation of Oxford, Strasbourg and other international authoritative institutions, as well as guest lecturers from different universities of Armenia; preparation of a lecture series videotaped and specially designed under the title “Lectures in the Seminary” in cooperation with Shoghakat TV; visit by the Seminarians to a number of international and Armenian charitable organizations as well as social service to needy families from Etchmiadzin and regions; and others.

The Gevorkian Theological Seminary choir, under the leadership of the Republic of Armenia Distinguished Artist Harutyun Topikyan; and the Etchmiadzin Choir, under the leadership of Deacon Artur Vardanyan; performed spiritual and national songs. Dn. Manavazd Mkrtchyan, a graduate student of the 6th class gave remarks on behalf of the students and Tovmas Arakelyan (1st class) recited the poem “We are few, but we are Armenians” by Paruyr Sevak.

During the event, an awards ceremony was held, different students were given awards by the Catholicos of All Armenians, for progress in their studies, discipline and other virtues.

The event concluded with the blessings of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.

Reflecting with satisfaction on the effective work implemented in the Seminary in the past year, His Holiness expressed his appreciation to the His Grace Bishop Gevork Saroyan, Dean of the Spiritual and Educational Institutions of the Mother See; and the Dean of the Gevorkian Seminary, for their zealous and dedicated work; and also to the administration staff, teaching staff, and especially the seminarians.

“Glory to God that we can see progress year by year, we see that conscious young people are growing up and being shaped under the roof of the Seminary. And gives me great satisfaction to acknowledge that due to the diligent, dedicated and faithful service of our clergymen, the reputation of the Armenian Church is gradually improved in the life of our nation”, stated His Holiness.

The Catholicos of All Armenians urged the seminarians to make best use of their time of study: not only to store knowledge but prayerfully conduct their affairs and strengthen their faith, so that the Homeland prospers through that faith and the Holy Church brightens.

Speaking about the hard and responsible mission of the clergy and the importance of faith, Catholicos Karekin II stated that those chosen are prepared under the roof of the educational institution. “The clergy must be able not only to be a preacher on the Word of Life, not only be the spiritual and moral educator, but he should be able to be the creator of faith in the soul of the individual, so that he’ll be able to adorn humanity through beautiful accomplishments.

These are the people of faith that need to be shaped within this facility because if a person studying in this institution does not have faith inside him, he cannot seed it in the faithful souls entrusted to him. If as a competent, kind and zealous pastor, he fails to realize the creation and dissemination of that faith, the human life will fade and be deprived of blessings. It is faith that enriches life with beautiful creations and makes it pleasant for each member of society and our Heavenly Lord”, stated the Armenian Pontiff.

At the conclusion, His Holiness asked the Almighty for His blessings to the country, the Armenian nation and particularly the educational institutions of the Armenian Church: the producer of the mind and soul of the clergy. His Holiness also wished that the Almighty God generously sheds His graces to the seminarians and professors.

The ceremony was closed with the “Protector” prayer.

The Gevorkian Seminary had 104 students enrolled last year and 71 lecturers taught at the institution: 45 of them were laymen and 26 clergy. 18 students graduated in the 2015-2016 academic year.