About The Seminary
History and Mission
Christ the Saviour Seminary was founded in 1940 largely through the efforts and vision of Metropolitan Orestes P. Chornock, first bishop of the American Carpatho- Russian Orthodox Diocese. The school was originally opened in the St. Nicholas parish complex on Tenth Street in New York City. Later, classes were conducted for a brief time in Nicholson, PA. A major move took place in 1941 when ten seminarians resided and studied in Metropolitan Orestes' Mill Hill Avenue property in Bridgeport, CT. In 1951 the diocese acquired the Strayer Mansion, a landmark in the Morrellville section of Johnstown. Formal dedication of the grounds took place in October 1951 and in September Christ the Saviour Seminary officially opened its first semester classes in its new permanent location. Starting in 1955, the seminary was enlarged to house the increasing number of seminarians. It was rededicated on July 5, 1957
Christ the Saviour Seminary has two missions. First, it exists for the education and training of Orthodox men for the priesthood of the Orthodox Church, stimulating them to grow intellectually, morally and spiritually, and inspiring them to love and serve God and the Orthodox Church.
Second, the seminary provides a theological and spiritual formation in an Orthodox academic atmosphere for men interested in growth in the Orthodox Christian tradition, whether or not the individual is working toward an ordained ministry in the Orthodox Church.
What Does the Seminary Offer?
On July 1, 1960, the Seminary was approved by the Pennsylvania State Council of Education and chartered to grant a Bachelor of Theology degree. This is normally a three-year program for those students who have previously completed their undergraduate studies. The Seminary also works individually with those students who have not yet finished their undergraduate degree to help them develop a schedule for completing the degree.
In addition, the Seminary also operates the Diocesan Diaconate Program for those wishing to further their personal studies and to possibly serve the Church as deacons. The Seminary, through the generous faithful and parishes of the Diocese, offers a wide array of financial assistance for those who qualify. In recent years, the seminary has recognized the need to accommodate students and priest-candidates from all walks of life and all life conditions. The Seminary therefore now offers limited married student housing, a delayed vocation program and flexible scheduling to allow all men the opportunity to answer the call of our Lord to serve at his holy Altar. The Seminary strives to provide a well-rounded education that is grounded in the liturgical and spiritual life of the Church.
What Is It Like There?
The seminary facilities provide the necessary space for spiritual and academic formation. The main building houses not only a beautiful chapel, but also classroom and lecture space, a library, the Seminary Bookstore and living quarters for resident seminarians.
The library contains about 5000 catalogue listings and periodicals, specializing in Orthodox Theology. The Bookstore, in addition to carrying the necessary texts and materials for course work, features liturgical and religious items for parish and home us and is open to the general public.
With its close proximity to the Diocesan Cathedral and Education Center, the Seminary offers access to many cultural activities, conferences, forums and meetings. Seminarians participate in divine services and the Sunday Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral. They also apply their practical pastoral knowledge in conjunction with Cathedral life including cantoring, preaching, hospital and home visit care and educational programs.