The 2006-2007 academic year at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary began on Labor Day weekend with an orientation retreat at the Ararat Center in Greenville, New York. Joining the returning students were two new seminarians, Justin Ajamian and Gregory Andonian.
Justin Ajamian, of Waldwick, New Jersey, has been studying Classical and Modern Armenian at St. Nersess for the past several years while he was doing his undergraduate studies at Ramapo College in New Jersey. There he majored in history. Justin comes from a family that includes two St. Nersess alumni and a current student: his paternal uncle Vartan Ajamian was graduated in 1988, and his paternal aunt, Shake Derderian, was graduates in 1989. Meanwhile, his cousin, Maria Derderian is a current seminarian. Justin and his two brothers, Paul and Andrew, are all alumni of the St. Nersess summer youth conferences. Justin, who spent a semester at Yerevan State University, has first felt the call to serve the Armenian Church as a priest when he was 14 years old.
It would not be an overstatement to say that Greg was responsible for revitalizing the youth of his home parish, St. Gregory of Narek (Cleveland, OH). He has served on the ACYOA Central Council for three years, and currently serves as its Chair.
Once again, this Fall St. Nersess offers more courses in Armenian Studies than any educational institution in the western hemisphere.
Back from his semester as a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar at Hebrew University is Professor Abraham Terian, Professor of Armenian Patristics and Academic Dean.
Mathews is also teaching Classics of Armenian Spirituality. The course examines how the Armenian Church understands the most basic issues of Christian life, based on readings from the great saints and teachers of our church.
Assisted by Fr. Sahak Kaishian, Fr. Findikyan is also teaching Liturgical Praxis courses on the Sacraments, Holy Week and Occasional Services of the Liturgical Year. These "how-to" courses teach the students the order, rituals, music, and propriety of the services.
Complementing each of the latter three practical courses, Maestro Khoren Meikhanedjian, former instructor at the Seminary of Holy Etchmiadzin, Armenia, teaches the sacred music of each service.
Professor Roberta Ervine is offering the first in her four-course cycle on the History of the Armenian Church, as well as courses and tutorials in Modern and Classical Armenian, assisted by Fr. Sahak Kaishian.
As if that were not all, our students are also full-time students at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, where they are enrolled in courses of theology, sacred Scripture, church history, patristics and others.
Our two women seminarians, Maria Derderian and Megan Jendian, are also taking a course in religious education at nearby Fordham University. Entitled, Community, Family and Religious Education,the course discusses the relationship of religion, family, and education as it explores the responsibility of church and society in fostering religious development in families.
Maria and Megan are preparing to serve the Eastern Diocese in youth and education ministries.