Opening Ceremony for Gevorkian Theological Seminary 2016-2017 Academic Year

Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin – September 2016

On September 10, the opening ceremony for the 2016-17 academic year 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.

Attending the event were the members of the Brotherhood of Holy Etchmiadzin, administration and teaching staff of spiritual-educational institutions, the seminarians and invited guests.

The ceremony was opened with the Lord’s Prayer following which the blessing of the students was held. Following the Lord’s Prayer, and the singing of the hymns of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary, Rev. Fr. Karekin Hambardzumyan, Dean of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary; delivered opening remarks.

“Today we- the seminarians, are here to ask the blessings of His Holiness Karekin II and confirm our readiness to commence our work and study. To realize all this, a number of projects are awaiting us in the coming year, the implementation of which will hopefully advance the education level of the Seminary.

… We hope that with the mercy of God we will accomplish the goals set before us, through which the Gevorkian Theological Seminary will continue to remain the light of the Holy Church and enlighten the Armenian Church. Through our joint efforts, the Seminary will be turned into a living dialect which will engage people’s hearts and raise the Christian spirit filled with the noble principles of sanctity of the National Church”, stated the Dean.

He noted that the implementation of the 2016-2017 Academic year projects started during the summer and the Academic Council of the Seminary actively discussed a number of projects which aim to boost the development of the educational process. One of those important projects is the transformation of Gevorkian Theological Seminary’s education from a two-stage to a three-stage; which will enable the graduates to defend candidate theses and receive Theology candidate degree. In this regard, under the patronage and high order of His Holiness Karekin II, a degree-awarding professional commission was established which is acting in conjunction with the Gevorkian Theological Seminary Academic Council, which comprises of a number of experts from Armenia and abroad, and Doctors of theology and history.

Father Karekin also stated that during the coming year a number of conferences will be held in theology, Holy Bible history and other areas. During the period of October 6-8, a Bible-scientific International Conference will be held dedicated to the 350th anniversary of the printed Bible by Voskan of Yerevan.

For the development of scientific life, a number of publications are expected and lectures by eminent scientists invited from Armenia and abroad will be organized, also joint meetings and discussions with students of other educational institutions. Through the assistance of the Armenian Round Table Charitable Foundation, the Komitas study hall, equipped with necessary equipment for conferences, will become a center for seminars and extracurricular meetings with the use of new and advanced resources.

Following the remarks of Father Karekin, the Gevorkian Theological Seminary choir performed patriotic songs, under the direction of Harutyun Topikyan, an esteemed artist in the Republic of Armenia.

The opening of the new academic year of the Seminary was brought to a close with the blessing of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. His Holiness welcomed the academic year of the spiritual and educational institution and expressed hope that the 2016-2017 academic year will be fruitful and effective and yield deserving graduates, who will join the ranks of the clergy.

In his remarks His Holiness reflected on his visit to Artsakh, particularly noting the courageous spirit and strong faith of the people of Artsakh and Armenia. His Holiness noted with satisfaction that the Armenian Church also contributes to the formation of that spirit: with the clergy serving in the dioceses and the Armenian Army.

Stressing the importance of the Seminary’s activities, which has a great mission in creating the priest’s character, the Catholicos of All Armenians wished successful progress to the spiritual and educational institutions.

The Armenian Patriarch asked the Lord to enlighten the students’ mind, to strengthen the spirit and zeal.

The ceremony was concluded with the “Protector” prayer.

This year, 72 students have entered the spiritual and educational institutions of Mother See, 14 of which are in the Gevorkian Theological Seminary, 25 students in the Vaskenian Seminary, 21 students in the Harichavank Seminary and 12 students joined the Accelerated Academic Course for the Priesthood.