St. Nersess Armenian Seminary FAST FACTS
ESTABLISHMENT & LOCATION
- St. Nersess was established in 1961 through the vision of Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan.
- The original location of St. Nersess was in Evanston, IL.
- St. Nersess has called 150 Stratton Road in New Rochelle, NY, home for more than 30 years
- The Seminary currently sits on nine acres of land in Westchester County.
- St. Nersess is the only Armenian seminary in the Western hemisphere.
- St. Nersess falls under the auspices of all three Dioceses in North America (Eastern, Western & Canadian).
STUDENT BODY PAST & PRESENT
- All St. Nersess seminarians have a minimum of a four-year bachelor’s degree in diverse such fields as natural sciences, sociology, psychology, theology, history, criminology and law.
- St. Nersess Armenian Seminary has more alumni working full-time for the Armenian community than any degree-granting center of Armenian Studies in North America.
- In total, 40 clergy and numerous laymen and women serving the Armenian Church today have completed a graduate theological program at St. Nersess and eleven more have studied at the Seminary for special courses.
- The largest Armenian Church parishes in the United States are pastored by St. Nersess alumni:
St. Peter (Van Nuys, CA); St. Gregory (Pasadena, CA); St. John (Southfield, MI );
St. James (Watertown, MA); Holy Trinity (Cambridge, MA); Holy Martyrs (Bayside, NY);
St. Leon (Fair Lawn, NJ); St. Vartan Cathedral (New York City).
- Rev. Fr. Kevork Arakelian, raised in Southern California, was the first graduate of St. Nersess to be ordained a priest (graduated 1971 ordained 1973). He served as pastor of St. Gregory Armenian Church (Binghamton, NY) for seven years and St. Gregory Armenian Church (Fowler, CA) for 26 years.
- Four St. Nersess alumni currently serve at the Armenian Diocese in New York. (V. Rev. Fr. Simeon Odabashian, Rev. Fr. Tateos Abdalian, Elise Antreassian, and Nancy Basmajian).
- All of the Eastern Diocese’s youth programs are directed by St. Nersess alumni, including the
St. Nersess Youth Conferences, St. Vartan Camp, Hye Camp, and the ACYOA Leadership Conference.
- All four clergy representatives currently on the Eastern Diocesan Council are St. Nersess Graduates (V. Rev. Fr. Aren Jebejian, Rev. Fr. Arakel Aljalian, Rev. Fr. Vasken Kouzouian,
Rev. Fr. Krikor Sabounjian).
- Nearly 200 youth ages 12 thru 24 participate yearly in the St. Nersess Summer and Christmas Conferences.
- Rev. Fr. Arakel Aljalian, Rev. Fr. Tavit Boyajian, Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Rev. Fr. Hovnan Demerjian, Rev. Fr. Stepanos Doudoukjian, and Rev. Fr. Karekin Kasparian have served as Summer Conference Directors.
- In the last ten years, the number of St. Nersess youth conferences held at the Seminary has increased from three to five, including two high school conferences, one college conference, a junior high school conference, and a Deacons’ Training Program.
- It is estimated that more than 6,000 young people have benefited spiritually and culturally from the summer conferences since its inception in 1963.
- More than 60 St. Nersess Summer & Winter Conference alumni are currently serving on Parish Councils or as delegates in the Eastern Diocese.
- St. Nersess organizes visits of young people to Armenian Nursing homes in New York and
- In previous years, college students and prospective seminarians have rallied to participate in Seminary Mission Trips, where they have traveled with Rev. Fr. Stepanos Doudoukjian, shadowing him in his priestly duties to a community that is without a spiritual leader. The Mission trips have given a first-hand experience of what it is like being a priest in an Armenian Church.
- The Seminary organizes an annual “Walk for Faith” where youth gather in faith and fellowship to support the mission of the Seminary.
- Deans of the Seminary have included Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan, Rev. Fr. Karekin Kasparian,
Rev. Fr. Arshen Aivazian, Dn. Hratch Tchilingirian, Rev. Fr. Arakel Aljalian, V. Rev. Fr. Vahan Hovhanessian, V. Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan and Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian (current dean).
- St. Nersess works in conjunction with St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, located only
10 minutes from St. Nersess.
- All courses taught at the Seminary are at the graduate level and are accredited by the American Theological Society through the Seminarians affiliation with St. Vladimirs.
- Master of Divinity degrees are granted through St. Vladimir’s Seminary and a diploma in Armenian Church Studies from St. Nersess.
- Before ordination, all graduates of St. Nersess Seminary spend one year in Holy Etchmiadzin or Jerusalem to perfect their liturgical and language skills, to experience the Armenian Church in its birthplace, and to partner with colleagues in the ministry.
- St. Nersess publishes the only theological review of the Armenian Church in English, the
St. Nersess Theological Review, now in its 17th year.
- The Seminary’s AVANT series is an on-going project to publish English translations of Armenian theological, liturgical and spiritual literature. A new translation of St. Nersess “Grace-filled” Shorhali’s General Encyclical will be released this year. The Global Classroom makes many of the Seminary’s courses and lectures available to anyone with an Internet connection.
- The St. Nersess Sacred Music Lab is the most extensive repository of Armenian sacred music on the Web, featuring thousands of pages of musical scores, mp3 recordings and English translations, all freely downloadable.
- St. Nersess is incorporated and registered as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit religious organization. As such, donations are fully tax deductible.
- Nearly a dozen Armenian Church parishes (and increasing) in the U.S. have a line item in their annual budget to support St. Nersess Seminary
- The Seminary relies on the generosity of friends and benefactors for more than 65% of its annual operating budget.
- There is a Guardians of St. Nersess annual giving program in place for those who can support the mission of the Seminary each year (Guardian - $5,000/year; Shepherd - $1,000/year).
- Several other giving opportunities through public events or in-kind donations, are also available.