On Monday, July 30th, 2018, around 20 youth coming from the USA and Canada gathered at the Catholicosate of Cilicia to start the Summer Youth Academy, entitled “Thinking Through the Armenian Church: the Anchor of Identity and Compass for Action.” The aim of the Academy, which will run from July 30th to August 11, is to introduce the participant youth to the Bible, Armenian Christianity, and the Church, as well as address contemporary moral and ethical issues. Present at the opening ceremony were lecturers of the Summer Youth Academy V. Rev. Boghos Tinkjian, V. Rev. Zareh Sarkissian, Prof. Teny Pirri-Simonian and Dr. John J. Pirri.

At the opening ceremony, His Holiness Aram I told the youth that despite the cultural diversity of the Armenian Diaspora, the Armenian Church assembles its children under its roof. His Holiness said that the intensive courses would provide basic knowledge of the Church, prepare the participants to make an active and responsible contribution to church life, and challenge them to take the teachings to their communities in a relevant and credible manner. His Holiness then delivered the first lecture of the Academy, entitled “The Armenian Church in world Christendom.”

The two-week intensive courses will include topics related to the Armenian Cause, the role of the Armenian Church in ecumenism, and identity and socio-ethical issues; the presenters will be: Ms. Seta Khedeshian, Dr. Nora Bayrakdarian, Dr. Mohammad Sammak, Dr. Jean Geokjian, and Ms. Shaghig Hudaverdian.