Prof. John H. Erickson will be installed as the new dean of Saint Vladimir Orthodox Theological Seminary here on the Great Feast of the Elevation of Holy Cross, September 14, 2002.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, the newly elected Primate of the Orthodox Church in America and President of the seminary, will preside at the installation, which begins on Friday evening, September 13, with the celebration of the festal Vigil in the seminary’s Three Hierarchs Chapel at 6:30 p.m. Following the celebration of the festal Divine Liturgy at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 14 and a brunch for hierarchs, guests, and the student body, the installation ceremony will begin at 2:00 p.m. in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium in the seminary’s new John G. Rangos Family Foundation Building.
The Seminary Board of Trustees elected Prof. Erickson to the office of Dean in December 2001 to replace Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko, who retired after several years in the position.
Prof. Erickson joined the seminary faculty in 1973 and has taught courses in Church History and Canon Law. He is a well-known author and canonist, and he currently serves as the Peter N. Gramowich Professor of Church History at the seminary.
Dean Erickson’s election inaugurates a number of “firsts” in the history of the seminary. He is the first convert and first person of non-Russian background to hold the position of Dean since the seminary was established in 1938. He is also the first layperson to hold the position. Although a lay dean is a first for Saint Vladimir’s, it is not unusual for a layperson to head an Orthodox theological institution. This is quite common in Greece and has been the case at Saint Sergius Academy in Paris and at Holy Cross/Hellenic College in Brookline, MA.
Dean Erickson has served the Church in many capacities. Over the years, he has been a member of the OCA’s Canonical Commission, Department of External Church Relations, Statute Commission, and Department of History and Archives. He also currently serves as an elected member of the OCA’s Metropolitan Council. Because of his involvement in scholarly and ecumenical activities for many years, he has gained wide recognition as an articulate ambassador for Orthodoxy and for Saint Vladimir’s Seminary in non-Orthodox circles.
Professor Erickson and his wife, Helen Breslich Erickson, have two adult sons, Paul and David.