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Board votes to relocate St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary; Location to be determined

Menas17

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Interesting. I always felt bad for the seminarians who had to move to NY, which is increasingly restrictive both politically and societally. I hope they move to someplace where there isn't a nearby seminary. I'm for a more even distribution of seminaries throughout the United States if that would be possible. Right now they are all in New York, Pennsylvania and California. It would be good if they had one or two in the Midwest or South.
 

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Right now they are all in New York, Pennsylvania and California.
There are no canonical Orthodox seminaries in California (though there are several Orthodox colleges there). I think somwhere in the South or on the West Coast would be good.
 
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There are no canonical Orthodox seminaries in California (though there are several Orthodox colleges there). I think somwhere in the South or on the West Coast would be good.
I must have confused one of those for a seminary.
 

FULK NERA

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Interesting. I always felt bad for the seminarians who had to move to NY, which is increasingly restrictive both politically and societally. I hope they move to someplace where there isn't a nearby seminary. I'm for a more even distribution of seminaries throughout the United States if that would be possible. Right now they are all in New York, Pennsylvania and California. It would be good if they had one or two in the Midwest or South.
What are these concerns you cite about NY? That reads as a suspiciously political opinion, bigoted even. And if SVOTS is relocated to a desert of seminaries, academic and theological life will suffer, not benefit from that.

I have been aware of this move idea for several weeks already. A friend and fellow SVOTS alumnus who is well informed told me the Board wanted to move to Texas. Another friend, an architect for whom I used to work affirmed that SVOTS alr paid him to draw up preliminary campus concept plans. This late announcement is just their making it public after they’ve already decided on making the move. The OCA is suddenly becoming very Americanized choosing for reasons unfathomable to me, the most chaotic and autocratically misgoverned part of the country from which to base its operations.
 

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What are these concerns you cite about NY? That reads as a suspiciously political opinion, bigoted even. And if SVOTS is relocated to a desert of seminaries, academic and theological life will suffer, not benefit from that.

I have been aware of this move idea for several weeks already. A friend and fellow SVOTS alumnus who is well informed told me the Board wanted to move to Texas. Another friend, an architect for whom I used to work affirmed that SVOTS alr paid him to draw up preliminary campus concept plans. This late announcement is just their making it public after they’ve already decided on making the move. The OCA is suddenly becoming very Americanized choosing for reasons unfathomable to me, the most chaotic and autocratically misgoverned part of the country from which to base its operations.
Texas: low cost of living, cheap land, and they do things BIG in texas. And everyone loves a ten gallon hat and pointy boots. Maybe some help for immigrants will develop eventually.
 

Katechon

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What are these concerns you cite about NY? That reads as a suspiciously political opinion, bigoted even. And if SVOTS is relocated to a desert of seminaries, academic and theological life will suffer, not benefit from that.

I have been aware of this move idea for several weeks already. A friend and fellow SVOTS alumnus who is well informed told me the Board wanted to move to Texas. Another friend, an architect for whom I used to work affirmed that SVOTS alr paid him to draw up preliminary campus concept plans. This late announcement is just their making it public after they’ve already decided on making the move. The OCA is suddenly becoming very Americanized choosing for reasons unfathomable to me, the most chaotic and autocratically misgoverned part of the country from which to base its operations.
What are these concerns you cite about Texas? That reads as a suspiciously political opinion, bigoted even.
 
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What are these concerns you cite about NY? That reads as a suspiciously political opinion, bigoted even. And if SVOTS is relocated to a desert of seminaries, academic and theological life will suffer, not benefit from that.
I said it's societally and politically restrictive. Undoubtedly, I have political opinions that judge what I think is restrictive. I think high taxes, skyrocking rent, government surveillance cameras on every street, and travel bans are undesirable and I'd wager to bet most people from other states would not prefer to live under those conditions. Societally, urban NY is completely liberalized, and regardless of one’s political party it is generally hostile to traditional Christianity.
 

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To address the growing need for priests and other vocations in the Orthodox Church, the Board of Trustees of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) has voted to relocate SVOTS from its current location in Yonkers, NY. The new location and the timing of the move have yet to be determined
y didn’t they just make an offer on the nearby Catholic seminary in Dunwoody, which stands nearly vacant? It could house hundreds in style. Even has a bowling alley.

New York is no longer the center of Orthodox life in America, this is clear. Parishes there are closing amd converts are not filling empty churches there. The idea of exodus from Syosset in Long Island began a decade ago with Metr. Jonah, who wanted to go to the Capital, Washington, D. C. The amalgamation of Archdiocesan Chancery with the main seminary, SVOTS was contemplated for a long time.
I said it's societally and politically restrictive. Undoubtedly, I have political opinions that judge what I think is restrictive. I think high taxes, skyrocking rent, government surveillance cameras on every street, and travel bans are undesirable and I'd wager to bet most people from other states would not prefer to live under those conditions. Societally, urban NY is completely liberalized, and regardless of one’s political party it is generally hostile to traditional Christianity.
You sound like one of those misanthropes I went to seminary with who wouldn’t even go into Manhattan because ‘it’s a zoo’, which is slightly coded racism.
 

FULK NERA

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Texas: low cost of living, cheap land, and they do things BIG in texas. And everyone loves a ten gallon hat and pointy boots. Maybe some help for immigrants will develop eventually.
You get what you pay for.
 

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You get what you pay for.
What do you think is the biggest disadvantage of Texas being the chosen spot? And where would you think would be the best spot and why?
I think it needs to be smack dab in the middle of America so that people from many states around can drive there and also along an Amtrack route. Like Kansas. Good enough for Dorothy.
 
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Why didn’t they just make an offer on the nearby Catholic seminary in Dunwoody, which stands nearly vacant? It could house hundreds in style. Even has a bowling alley.

New York is no longer the center of Orthodox life in America, this is clear. Parishes there are closing amd converts are not filling empty churches there. The idea of exodus from Syosset in Long Island began a decade ago with Metr. Jonah, who wanted to go to the Capital, Washington, D. C. The amalgamation of Archdiocesan Chancery with the main seminary, SVOTS was contemplated for a long time.

You sound like one of those misanthropes I went to seminary with who wouldn’t even go into Manhattan because ‘it’s a zoo’, which is slightly coded racism.
So I'm a bigot and misanthrope and implicit racist for not having a fondness for New York having high taxes, too much government control and a generally anti-Christian society (why are NY abortion laws worse than most other states?)..

- but Texas is backwards?
 

Samn!

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The image of Texas as backwards is... off, to say the least. That said, I don't see how a seminary could exist in the US outside of the areas of Boston, NYC, Pittsburgh or Chicago, just because of how important fieldwork/internship is for a seminarian's preparation. There's not many places that have enough parishes in reasonable driving distance to allow the students to gain first-hand experience of parishes different from their home one.
 

Ainnir

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The image of Texas as backwards is... off, to say the least. That said, I don't see how a seminary could exist in the US outside of the areas of Boston, NYC, Pittsburgh or Chicago, just because of how important fieldwork/internship is for a seminarian's preparation. There's not many places that have enough parishes in reasonable driving distance to allow the students to gain first-hand experience of parishes different from their home one.
Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas. I know some of those also have OO parishes. The cities are nowhere near the Orthodox density and diversity of some of the Northern cities, but it's something. 🤷‍♀️
In California, San Francisco and LA. Its other major cities seem to have about as many as the Southern cities do.

**I'm using this map: https://www.assemblyofbishops.org/directories/parishes. It may or may not be updated/accurate.

Anyway, I wonder why they're moving and not just planting a new campus? Maybe it's not possible for some reason.
 

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Anyway, I wonder why they're moving and not just planting a new campus?
I imagine that the main reason for moving in the first place is cost-cutting. Creating a new campus would add to costs while also diluting academic quality.
 

Ainnir

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I imagine that the main reason for moving in the first place is cost-cutting. Creating a new campus would add to costs while also diluting academic quality.
Yeah, that's fair. 😕 Unfortunate, but fair.
 

Luke

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The seminary needs to move to Texas and be sponsored by this person:

 

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While I am biased, Pittsburgh is probably the best. Cost of living is cheap. You have excellent universities nearby. Several Orthodox summer camps are here. Antiochian Village is here. Most jurisdictions have parishes here. Greeks, Antiochians, OCA, and Serbians have cathedrals here. ACROD is in Johnstown.
 
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While I am biased, Pittsburgh is probably the best. Cost of living is cheap. You have excellent universities nearby. Several Orthodox summer camps are here. Antiochian Village is here. Most jurisdictions have parishes here. Greeks, Antiochians, OCA, and Serbians have cathedrals here. ACROD is in Johnstown.
I think the OCA already has St Tikhon's in the proximity.
 

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Something something something St. Patrick’s Cathedral
 

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I think the OCA already has St Tikhon's in the proximity.
That is on the other side of the state by Scranton. In fact it is only about 2 hours away from Yonkers.
 

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I think the OCA already has St Tikhon's in the proximity.
Adding to Dn. Lance's comment: by moving to W. Pa, in the same state as STOTS, SVOTS would be moving physically further than they are at present.

While I am biased, Pittsburgh is probably the best. Cost of living is cheap. You have excellent universities nearby. Several Orthodox summer camps are here. Antiochian Village is here. Most jurisdictions have parishes here. Greeks, Antiochians, OCA, and Serbians have cathedrals here. ACROD is in Johnstown.
While there's a lot to be said about Pittsburgh (and I agree with your fundamental points), I'm not sure it's the best of available options. Something S/SE of Chicago (proximity to 2 airports) would allow for a better mix (accessibility by direct flights, large # of parishes, institutional/diocesan support, centralizing move, etc.). I mean, really, something very central (St. Louis or Kansas City) would probably be better, but there aren't a critical mass of parishes in those areas to support the academic work.

A friend and fellow SVOTS alumnus who is well informed told me the Board wanted to move to Texas. Another friend, an architect for whom I used to work affirmed that SVOTS alr paid him to draw up preliminary campus concept plans. This late announcement is just their making it public after they’ve already decided on making the move. The OCA is suddenly becoming very Americanized choosing for reasons unfathomable to me, the most chaotic and autocratically misgoverned part of the country from which to base its operations.
I'm not against the seminaries moving out of Yonkers (SVS) & Boston (HC) because they're northern per se, but cost-of-living certainly affects the cost of the education (esp. insofar as professorial and support staff remuneration affect tuition & board rates). I suspect that this is a major reason (that, and making a boatload of $$ selling land that has appreciated far beyond inflation over the last few decades). With Holy Cross in Brookline/Boston, these pressures have remained steady over the last 15-20 years: sell this incredibly valuable land, build a new campus and still have $millions to set aside into the endowment (to help reduce tuition costs and better secure the fiscal future). While SVOTS doesn't have the same high cost as HC does, I don't doubt that similar pressures exist.

But what you miss by moving out of those areas can't really be met elsewhere. I don't know how the relationship with other theological institutions is for SVOTS, but for HC being a member of the Boston Theological Institute (BTI) with Harvard Divinity, Andover Newton, Boston University, etc. allows for cross-registration and a lot of access. It would be hard to replicate that outside of the NE corridor.
 

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That said, I don't see how a seminary could exist in the US outside of the areas of Boston, NYC, Pittsburgh or Chicago, just because of how important fieldwork/internship is for a seminarian's preparation. There's not many places that have enough parishes in reasonable driving distance to allow the students to gain first-hand experience of parishes different from their home one.
That applies to other major urban cities across the country, like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, etc. Judging from the Assembly of Bishop's parish directory, Seattle has 16 parishes in and around the city (including a ROCOR monastery), San Francisco has 32 parishes in and around the city (including two OCA monasteries), and Los Angeles has 33 parishes in and around the city. The same could probably apply to major Texan cities, but to a lesser extent (Houston has 12 parishes in and around the city).
 

Dominika

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Frankly, I'm surprised, as I feel that university or seminary is connected to certain place, also I don't see any reason to move. But reading you comments it's clear for me, that I don't know most of the aspects as it's completly different situation than countries I'm linked to...
 

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While I am biased, Pittsburgh is probably the best. Cost of living is cheap. You have excellent universities nearby. Several Orthodox summer camps are here. Antiochian Village is here. Most jurisdictions have parishes here. Greeks, Antiochians, OCA, and Serbians have cathedrals here. ACROD is in Johnstown.
Pitts is a great location that’s relevant to Orthodoxy, has a viable local economy, schools, centrality and isn’t overpriced too badly. Maybe the weather sucks but it will likely be habitable in 50 years when I doubt Texas will be. They’ll be having 130° summers there. Unless the seminary is willing to build underground (also hurricane and tornado proof) to avoid the heat, and have their own power generation on campus as Texass grid is a sick joke, they will regret such a move to the Lone Star state.
 

rakovsky

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But Texas isn't a landlocked state. :unsure:
Often in common parlance, the "coasts" of the US means just the east and west coasts, with the "east coast of the US" running south from Maine to Florida, even though we have 4 Gulf Coast States.

There is a larger issue that Fulk Nera is raising about Texas and the Deep South having a history of intolerance, including to non-Protestants. The Greek community in New Orleans however apparently was on the Confederate side of the Civil War and some Greek Southerners had slaves, which is disturbing. I recall reading on a thread on this forum about how a big Greek church moved into a Texas neighborhood and the Texas neighbors were upset as if it was a culture clash.

Personally, I wouldn't want to dissuade people who were of these kinds of issues and wanted to move to Texas or the Deep South while remaining committed to Orthodoxy and human rights, and I would be happy with missionary efforts there.

Houston and the regions around it have a particularly large concentration of EO and OO churches. I think Greeks and Arabs particularly like the warmer half of the US, and the South is a growing area for EO churches, partly because the South has historically generally not been a major spot for EOs, albeit with some exceptions. In other words, there is a lot of room for growth in numbers.

This post has been copied to a split thread as well as kept here for the sake of context for each thread.
The new thread can be found here.
Thanks. --Ainnir
 
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rakovsky

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I vote for Upper Peninsula Michigan. No Amtrack though.
It looks like just bus service.

I saw a comment on an EO blog suggesting that the Seminary made a preliminary choice of Texas for the move.
 

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There's a town of Houghton in Northern Peninsula Michigan. Sounds similiar to Houston so maybe that's the actual destination.
 

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Alaska? They have St. Herman’s there for native clergy.
Not just "natives". I've visited there, and a hieromonk I knew (OCA DOW) graduated from there. But yes, it is the biggest US state by far, and the most Orthodox percent-wise, last time I checked stats.
 
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