Dr. Matthew Jendian, Assistant Professor of Sociology at California State University, Fresno, will present a colloquium entitled "Where Do Armenians Go to Church?: Affiliation and Disaffiliation in the Armenian Church" at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, New Rochelle, NY, on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 at 7:00 PM.
Conventional wisdom tells us that there are one million or more Armenians living in North America, perhaps as many as half that number in California alone. Yet a glance around the pews on Sunday morning is enough to suggest that not all Armenian-Americans are in church on Sunday.
Prof. Jendian will examine the issue of membership and involvement by Armenians in Armenian, Catholic, Protestant, and other churches in North America. Based on data collected and analyzed by him over several years of sociological research on the Armenian community in the United States, Dr. Jendian will discuss the complex cultural and societal factors that influence Armenian-Americans when they make decisions about what church to attend, and how much to become involved in church life.
Dr. Jendian, a young and engaging speaker, is a specialist in the sociology of race and ethnicity, social movements, and the sociology of religion. His doctoral research surveyed four generations of Armenian-Americans in Central California. From the data collected Jendian analyzed trends and issues related to church affiliation and "disaffiliation," that is, why Armenians of various generations and socioethnic groups choose not to involve themselves in church life.
"Dr. Jendian's work has broad and fundamental implications for our present and future clergy," said V. Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, Dean of St. Nersess Seminary. "The painful truth is that the vast majority of Armenians in North America have no connection to the Armenian Church. We need to know how to reach out to them and how to make the Armenian Church and faith meaningful to them," he added.
Dr. Jendian is an ordained deacon of the Armenian Church and is a graduate of the St. Nersess Deacons' Training program.
The colloquium is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the lecture. For further information and travel directions go to www.stnersess.edu or contact the Seminary at (914) 636-2003 or firstname.lastname@example.org.