St. Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College (Sydney, Australia)
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The St Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College is an Orthodox Christian college located in Redfern, Sydney, Australia. It is a full-member institution of the Sydney College of Divinity, a confederation of theological schools each operated by different Christian denominations. St Andrew's is an institution of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, and the current Dean is His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos (Harkianakis) of Australia.
The four-year program of study (encompassing the three-year Bachelor of Theology degree as well as a fourth year of Honours or studies in Pastoral Theology and Practice) is the principal means of training bilingual clergy for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. As such, admission is limited to those who aspire to the clergy or male students who are seeking to actively serve within the Archdiocese.
St Andrew's currently offers the following accredited programs: Bachelor of Theology (with an honours program available), Master of Arts, Master of Theology, and a Basic Unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) in Aged Care. Honours programs for the Master of Arts, Master of Theology, and doctoral programs can be undertaken through the Sydney College of Divinity.
Brief History Prior to Opening
- 1930s: Metropolitan Timotheos of Australia and New Zealand contemplates possibility of establishing theological institution.
- 1950s: Ordinations of clergy take place in Australasia. Metropolitan Theophylactos of Australia and New Zealand considers possibility of establishing an ecclesiastical seminary.
- 1959: Archbishop Ezekiel of Australia gives thought to establishing an ecclesiastical seminary. Appoints a committee for the St Andrew's War Memorial Theological College Fund, which receives a donation from Sir Arthur George and Michael Papsalis; however, nothing comes of this, as it is out of the reach of the Greek Orthodox in Australia at that time, and the donation is used to cover ongoing operating costs.
- 1975: Archbishop Stylianos of Australia, on arrival in Australia, focuses on establishing a tertiary theological college.
- 1981 Jan: At the Fourth Clergy-Laity Congress, Sydney, Archbishop Stylianos requests and gains support for the beginning of a theological college.
- 1982: During the official visit to Australia of Constantine Karamanlis, president of Greece, Archbishop Stylianos asked help to establish a church seminary. Karamanlis asks for a feasibility study to be done by the end of his visit. However, the Speaker of the House, A Kaklamanis, ignored, then rejected the letter on the grounds that the Church should care for ecclesiastical education, not the government. In response, Archbishop Stylianos decided to reenergise the St Andrew's Brotherhood, so that all clergy, making annual donations, would set an example for the laity.
- 1984 May: Archbishop Stylianos appoints an interim committee to consider and suggest ways of beginning the college, and to prepare the curriculum.
- 1984 Dec: On receipt of the report of the interim committee, three committees are established (building, administrative and academic).
- 1985: Archbishop Stylianos sends letter to 1000 friends and acquaintances asking for a $1000 donation. From this correspondnece $350,000 was raised and this allowed the Archdiocese to make a deposit on a property in Caringbah for the financial benefit of the Theological College.
- With enough academically qualified and already-lecturing Orthodox, Sir Arthur George signed an agreement at the 5th Clergy-Laity conference (Brisbane) to provide the funds for the first stage of development. The donation of $250,000 was used to renovate and modify buildings at the Archdiocese by creating lecture rooms, dormitories for interstate students, an office, a library, and a common room.
Timeline Since Opening
- 1986 Feb: College opens. Metropolitan Maximos of Stavropoulis (Dean of Halki) and Premier Neville Wran (NSW) are present. Tuition is conducted for residential male students only. No fee is charged, and (by agreement) no wage is paid to the lecturers. The Bachelor of Theology is a four-year degree, in line with equivalent degrees in Greece.
- 1987 (early): The first edition of Phronema, the annual theological review of the College, is published under the editorship of Dr Guy Freeland.
- 1995: Bp Seraphim becomes new Sub-Dean of St Andrew's replacing the Reverend Deacon Dr John Chryssavgis who later served as Dean of Holy Cross.
- 1996 Nov: His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople visits the College as part of the Sydney itinerary of his inaugural visit to Australia.
- 1990s (late): College changes structure of Bachelor of Theology degree to a three-year degree (in line with equivalent degrees in Australia) with a compulsory fourth year of honours or alternative postgraduate work in pastoral theology and practice.
- 2001 Jun: St Andrew's Orthodox Press established to produce The Greek-Australian Vema, the newspaper of the Archdiocese, with the long-term view of publishing works of the faculty.
- 2004 Jan: St Andrew's begins to offer two intensive course units every semester for all members of the public, towards the fulfillment of any one of three postgraduate awards accredited through the Sydney College of Divinity: Graduate Certificate (after four units, the equivalent of one semester's full-time study); Graduate Diploma (after 8 units); and Masters of Arts (after 12 units).
- 2005 Feb: School of Byzantine Music established under the auspices of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and St Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College.
- May: St Andrew's Orthodox Press employs Publishing Director.
- 2006 Feb: College celebrates its 20th anniversary with an alumni reunion, official dinner, and the celebration of the Divine Liturgy by His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos along with Assistant Bishops and ordained alumni.
- 2008 Apr: Book launch of "The Infallibility of the Church in Orthodox Theology" (ATF Press / St Andrew's Orthodox Press) written originally in Greek as a doctoral dissertation by Archimandrite Stylianos Harkianakis (1965) for the University of Athens and now translated into English by Philip Kariatlis.
As the sole Orthodox theological college of its kind in the southern hemisphere, St. Andrew's has taught not only the clergy of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, but also a noteable number from other jurisdictions in Australia, particularly from the Serbian Orthodox Diocese.
Phronema is the academic journal of the College. It has been published annually since the inception of the College. Phronema presents articles and book reviews from Orthodox and non-Orthodox academics on a wide variety of theologically-related topics.
- See the home page of Phronema on the SAGOTC homepage.
- List of Faculty of St. Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College (Sydney, Australia). Contains a complete list of those who have taught, past and present, at St. Andrew's.
- St Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College (official site)
- Sydney College of Divinity
- School of Byzantine Music under the auspices of the College.
- The Vema
- Bilingual booklet in March 2006 of the Vema, Η Θεολογικη Σχολη του Αποστολου Ανδρεου.
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