Bishop Vahan is the second alumnus of St. Nersess Armenian Seminary to be elevated to the rank of bishop following His Eminence Archbishop Avak Assadourian, Primate of the Diocese of Iraq. By coincidence, Bishop Vahan is also a native of Baghdad, Iraq, and was ordained to the holy priesthood by Avak Srpazan after completing his studies at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary and St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary.
His Grace was ordained a bishop together with five others in Holy Etchmiadzin by His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II last November.
Obviously filled with emotion as he entered his alma mater, the bishop was greeted by the dean, V. Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, his old classmate; as well as Rev. Fr. Karekin Kasparian, who was one of their teachers in the mid-eighties. Fr. Karekin is the Pastor of St. Gregory the Enlightener Armenian Church, White Plains, New York, and a member of the Seminary's Board of Directors.
After being updated on the Seminary's work and plans for the future, Srpazan related his own significant achievements in caring for and upbuilding the Armenian community in Great Britain. The bishop has placed great emphasis on upgrading Christian education opportunities at all levels and focusing on the youth. He has also initiated a program of regular Bible Study for the faithful of his diocese. Bishop Vahan earned a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from Fordham University in New York.
Srpazan also emphasized his intention to develop close ties with St. Nersess Seminary. "Since most of the youth of our diocese are native English speakers, it is only natural that we should look into benefitting from St. Nersess Seminary's various youth and educational programs," said the bishop.