SVOTS Missions Weekend to highlight South Korea, Albania


Saint Vladimir’s Seminary will host its annual Missions Weekend October 20-21, 2017, during which two fascinating speakers will share their missionary experiences in South Korea and Albania.  The event is being sponsored by a campus student interest group, the Saint Innocent Society.

His Eminence, Metropolitan Ambrosios [Zographos] of the Orthodox Metropolis of Korea will deliver his free and public presentation in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium of the John G. Rangos Family Building at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, October 20.  An open reception will follow.

“I look forward to seeing your seminary President, Father Chad Hatfield, face-to-face, and to the conversations with your students,” replied Metropolitan Ambrosios in response to the invitation he received from the Saint Innocent Society.

Metropolitan Ambrosios was born on March 15, 1960 on the island of Aegina in Greece.  He was educated at theological institutions in Greece, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and Princeton Theological Seminary.  He pursued postgraduate work at Princeton University, earning a Master’s Degree in Church History and Art History.  On December 21, 1998, he was awarded a Doctorate Degree with distinction by the School of Theology of the University of Athens.  Two days later, he departed to Korea to begin serving the Church there as Dean of Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Seoul and as Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of Korea.  On December 21, 2006, he was elevated to the Episcopacy as Bishop of Zela by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  [See related article by Metropolitan Ambrosios titled Orthodox Witness in the Korean Peninsula: A Historical Approach.]


In addition to many articles in various magazines, Metropolitan Ambrosios is also the author of numerous major studies and books, including The Social Teachings of Saint Gregory Palamas, Based on His Sixty-Three Homilies; The Contribution of Saint Basil the Great on the Formation of the Monastic Ideal; and Iconography in the Liturgical life of the Medieval Greek Church.

Nathan Hoppe, long-time missionary to Albania, will be speaking in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 21.

Nathan and his wife Gabriela are working to inspire, train, equip, and lead Albanians to proclaim the Gospel and make disciples.  Their ministry is focused on seminary and university students and children.  Nathan teaches the early Church Fathers at the Resurrection of Christ Theological Academy and leads the ministry to students at the University of Tirana.  He also directs the Central Children’s Office of the Orthodox Church of Albania, a ministry in which he works closely with Gabriela.

Nathan also represents the Orthodox Church of Albania at a number of international gatherings and serves on the steering committee of the Lausanne-Orthodox.  He is a member of the Advisory Council for World Vision Albania and is on the board of the Inter-Confessional Bible Society.  Together Nathan and Gabriela lead a team of 25 Albanian Orthodox youth to Kosovo each year where they hold friendship camps for about 1,500 Muslim Albanian children as part of the social and philanthropic work of the Orthodox Church of Albania.

Born and raised in Colombia, South America, Nathan is a graduate of Wheaton College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.  He has served in Albania for more than 16 years.  Gabriela, a native of Albania, is a graduate of the Resurrection of Christ Theological Academy and the University of Tirana.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Children’s and Family Ministry from Bethel Seminary.  The Hoppes have three children.  Podcasts with Nathan may be accessed on Ancient Faith’s “Speaking the Truth in Love.”

Both presentations are free and open to the public.