From the desk of The Right Reverend Doctor Andrew VujisiÄ‡
Welcome to the St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Institute website and e-learning portal. Whether you are visiting for the first time as a prospective student, or whether you are an active supporter or benefactor, I trust that you will find in these pages a reflection of the Institute’s deep commitment to the urgent and salvific message of the Gospel.
In addition to its proximate purpose of academic preparation, professional and vocational training, and spiritual and theological formation of men and women for service and ministry in the Church and the world, the Institute strives for excellence in the service of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ, and ever seeks to achieve its ultimate purpose, (i.e., its mission-beyond-the-mission), under the power, direction, and operation of the Holy Spirit, through the wisdom manifested in the metaphysical Rudder, reflected in the spiritual guidance of the established and canonical hierarchy, to the glory of God.
The ultimate purpose or mission-beyond-the-mission — to serve our Lord Jesus Christ as obedient disciples — is common to all Christians, and originates in the transformation of the individual through repentance and the acquisition of the Holy Spirit through the singular commitment and full expression of Christian discipleship, which claims the world, and transforms it in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church through the preaching of the Gospel, the salvation of souls, and the extension of Christ’s Kingdom. This mission-beyond-the-mission can be achieved only by virtue of vigorous pursuit of the development of an Orthodox Christian phronema manifested in orthopraxis and the love for apostolic diakonia, which can be facilitated through spiritual formation and higher education, learning, and research at the utmost levels of excellence.
The goal of the acquisition of knowledge and the development of higher order and critical thinking is uniquely and acutely manifested in the advancement of intellectual and academic skills in service to the Church and the world. The Institute reflects the breadth of the pursuit of excellence in character development and formation, teaching, scholarship, and research that marks innovation in higher learning for Eastern Christians. This diversity and quality defines St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Institute.
As a Christian community of higher learning, as members of the Body of Christ, and as fellow-citizens of the world, we confront a dynamic set of forces that are revolutionizing and reconfiguring modern life — from technological developments that enable men and women to communicate with one another at lightning speed to discoveries that allow scientists to unravel the human genome. These economic, social, political, scientific, and religious and spiritual developments present new challenges for Christians and mission. St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Institute, as a forum that encourages and approximates the ideal of spiritual and intellectual discourse, is ideally suited to reflect on the challenges of this new era and moreover, to prepare men and women, who can respond to the demands of the modern reality, for leadership in the Church.
The monastic tradition of academic excellence, research, and discovery has provided the Institute with the foundation and confidence to reach for new and previously unimaginable knowledge, while the ethnic, cultural, and national diversity of the Institute community makes it possible for students, faculty, alumni, and friends to interact with — and be transformed by — a multiplicity of perspectives. At the same time, the Institute, which has entered into a number of Memoranda of Understanding and Partnerships with other institutions throughout the world, is based in one of the world’s most promising and fertile mission fields, and therefore offers a unique laboratory in which to study the evolution of post-Christian modern society, attract and learn from the remarkable people who make this region their home, and in doing so, fulfill the responsibilities of all those associated with the Institute as vigorous, active, and engaged citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven.
I believe that you will find St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Institute to be an exciting and enriching forum. The Institute respects ideas, values diversity of thought and experience, and perhaps most importantly, recognizes that what defines great scholarship is not the easy acceptance of what we already know, but the relentless determination to move across the continuum of enosis, access the Mind of Christ, know and experience the inner self, and discover that which we still have to learn in the context of Divine revelation.
Archimandrite Andrew VujisiÄ‡,