Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary is an institution of higher learning under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. The Seminary offers a five-year program of study leading to the degree of Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.), and is accredited by the the New York State Board of Regents and the New York State Commissioner of Education.
Dr. Elena Nelson, from Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary, was awarded a Fulbright-Hays fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education to participate in the 2015 American Councils Summer Russian Language Teachers Program. Her experience abroad included the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the glorification of St. John of Kronstadt, the Tikhvin icon of the Theotokos and the monastery’s 500th anniversary, and a visit to Donskoy Monastery in Moscow to venerate the relics of Saint Patriarch Tikhon.
This opportunity to travel to Russia was personally important to me, as it was my first time back to Russia since the 2007 reunification of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia with the Moscow Patriarchate. It was amazing to see how the Moscow Patriarchate is flourishing: every day churches and monasteries are being rebuilt, new churches are being built, and more and more people are becoming monastics. The first time I was in Russia was in 1998, and there were nowhere near the number of churches and monasteries open as there are today.
Finally, one of my favorite moments was finding a monument to the 5th anniversary of the reunification of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia with the Moscow Patriarchate. The monument, which was erected in 2013, is located on the territory of the Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St. Petersburg. On it is a quotation from Metropolitan Laurus:
Наша задача—вынести правильные уроки из испытаний XX века, чтобы о современной Русской Церкви можно было сказать словами Апостола Иакова: «Блажен муж, иже претерпит искушение: зане искусен быв приимет венец жизни егоже обеща Бог любящим Его.»
Translation: Our task is to learn the right lessons from the trials of the 20th century, so that one could apply the following words of the Apostle James to the contemporary Russian Church, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been proved, he shall receive a crown of life, which God hath promised to them that love him.”
The national Russian Orthodox television channel Soyuz interviewed Dr. Nelson during her visit.
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