At its commencement on Saturday, May 19, 2018, Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary [SVOTS] will confer honorary doctorates to three people for their contributions to the Orthodox Church: composer Mitred Archpriest Sergei Glagolev, Seminary Trustee Emeritus Protodeacon Peter Danilchick, and University of Kentucky Professor David Bradshaw, Ph.D.
“Their contributions align so fittingly with important facets of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary’s mission, namely, leadership and stewardship, academia, and the sacred arts,” said Archpriest Chad Hatfield, SVOTS President. “As such, we could not be more pleased to honor these three distinguished individuals.”
Father Sergei Glagolev, whose work was recently performed and honored at the seminary, is widely known for his pioneering efforts in introducing English-language musical compositions into Orthodox Christian church services.
“Father Sergei’s impact as a composer, teacher, and conductor of sacred music cannot be overstated,” said Robin Freeman, SVOTS Director of Music. “Grounded in the ancient musical traditions of the Orthodox Church, Father Sergei was a trailblazer in setting and composing new liturgical music for the English-speaking faithful of the western world, and his work is still widely sung today. He was also an influential teacher of sacred music, both at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary and, more broadly, through his music, which sparked a wave of new American Orthodox compositions.”
Father Sergei, a retired priest of the Orthodox Church in America, was born in 1928 in Gary, IN. His father emigrated from Russia to France after the Bolshevik revolution, and later moved to the United States. Father Sergei began serving as a choir director while still a teenager, and later went on to study at Oberlin, Julliard, New York University, and Saint Vladimir’s Seminary. He received a theological degree from the seminary in 1949 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from New York University. In the years that followed, he coupled his musical ministry with his work as the Pastor of Saint Peter and Paul Church, Lorain, OH, and Saint Innocent Church, Encino-Tarzana, CA; then as Dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral, San Francisco; and finally as Pastor of Holy Trinity Church, East Meadow, NY. He also gave presentations at numerous workshops and conferences throughout North America for decades, and taught at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary; Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, PA; and Saint Herman’s Seminary, Kodiak, AK.
Protodeacon Peter Danilchick, another of the honorary doctorate recipients, is being recognized for his leadership and service to the Orthodox Church on the national and international levels, including his work as a Trustee on the Board of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary. Recently, he played a pivotal role in the revitalization of the Doctor of Ministry program [D.Min.] as the first hybrid online/residential program at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary.
“Thanks to his penetrating questions about institutional preparedness, and his advice on how to solve problems, the D.Min. program was successfully launched, and because it was established on a firm foundation, the program continues to thrive,” explained Priest Sergius Halvorsen, Director of the program.
Protodeacon Peter and his wife, Tanya, also established the Danilchick Family Endowment for Pastoral studies, which enables the seminary to offer scholarships to D.Min. students.
“Protodeacon Peter exemplifies what it means to cultivate and share the talents God has given us,” added SVOTS Trustee Tatiana L. Hoff.
Protodeacon Peter Danilchick is a retired executive of ExxonMobil, where he spent over three decades in international operations, planning, and management. He is also an ordained deacon in the Orthodox Church in America, serving parishes and missions for over 40 years, domestically and overseas. While he worked in six different countries for ExxonMobil, he supported the Orthodox Church in these locations through existing parishes or by establishing new missions. He also served on two national church governing boards in the United States and Southeast Asia, and served as the Board Chairman of a major European international school. Protodeacon Peter is the author of Thy Will Be Done: Strategic Leadership, Planning and Management for Christians, published by SVS Press.
A third honorary doctorate will be granted to Professor David Bradshaw, Ph.D, who will also serve as the seminary’s 2018 commencement speaker. Dr. Bradshaw is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Kentucky and a member of Saint Athanasius Church [OCA], Nicholasville, KY. He earned his doctorate at the University of Texas, Austin, and he currently specializes in ancient and medieval philosophy, philosophy of religion, and the interactions of theology and philosophy.
“Professor Bradshaw has standing as a senior academic among the many Orthodox Christian professors teaching in various universities and colleges, in philosophy departments, and in the field of bioethics,” said Father Chad Hatfield. “As an author, he has gained a global standing and respect that always reflects back on his deep commitment to the Orthodox Christian faith. He has had a deep influence on many of our own current seminarians and alumni.”
Dr. Bradshaw is a contributor to Turning East: Contemporary Philosophers and the Ancient Christian Faith [ed. Rico Vitz; SVS Press, 2012]. He is also the author of Aristotle East and West: Metaphysics and the Division of Christendom, a comparative history of philosophical thought in the Christian East and West, for which he was awarded the Morris D. Forkosch prize sponsored by the Journal of the History of Ideas. Additionally, he is the editor of Philosophical Theology and the Christian Tradition: Russian and Western Perspectives and Ethics and the Challenge of Secularism: Russian and Western Perspectives.
Commencement day will open with a Service of Thanksgiving in the seminary’s Three Hierarchs Chapel at 2:00 p.m. on May 19, 2018. Commencement Exercises in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium of the John G. Rangos Family Building will follow at 2:30 p.m.