Preparing leaders for service in the Armenian Church since 1961
St. Nersess Faculty Spotlights

The Rev. Canon Nicholas T. Porter
Instructor of Homiletics (English)

Since 2008, the Rev. Canon Nicholas T. Porter has been teaching Homiletics each semester at St. Nersess Seminary. Homiletics is the art and craft of preaching, and his approach is very interactive and experiential. The aim for each student is to develop the confidence, writing and
speaking skills in order that each can be meaningful preachers in Armenian parishes. Because great preachers are made and not born, this requires practice, practice, and more practice. It also involves encouraging their Biblical knowledge, pastoral skills and prayer-life. His direct style and the challenge of the course generally keeps the seminarians engaged.

Fr. Nicholas Porter has wide-ranging interests and believes in life-long learning. He received his specialized education of Theology and Middle Eastern History from Yale University; Middle Eastern Studies from the American University in Cairo; and Middle Eastern Security from King's College, London, England. His education opened doors for him in the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem, Paris, and Geneva where, in addition to his time at a vibrant parish in Connecticut, Fr. Nicholas honed his preaching and teaching skills.

While working as the aide-de-camp of the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem during the mid-1990s, Fr. Nicolas was invited by the Armenian Patriarch Archbishop Torkom Manoogian,  to teach Church History and Pastoral Care at the Theological Seminary of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem. At the seminary, he soon became friends with St. Nersess professors Dr. Roberta Ervine, Professor of Armenian Studies, and the Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, Professor of Liturgical Studies, who recruited him to teach. Fr. Nicolas is also the founder of Jerusalem Peacebuilders, which now provides a unique Leadership and Peace Studies course at the Sts. Tarkmanchatz Armenian School in Jerusalem for Armenian high school students.

Dr. Herand M. Markarian
Instructor of Homiletics (Armenian Public Speaking)

Dr. Herand M. Markarian is an Adjunct Instructor who teaches Armenian Public Speaking, as part of the Homiletics course at St. Nersess Seminary. He has held this position since 2013.

This is a two-semester course. In the first semester, students learn the general theories, concepts and structure of writing general speeches. Dr. Markarian focuses on syntax and grammar of the Armenian language and its comparison with those of English. Emphasis is placed on clarity of the text. The second major part in this semester covers the components of good delivery of speeches. Components of impromptu presentation and class participation is the focus here.

The second semester focuses on writing: concept, structure, and components. All exercises are taken from Armenian religious events and the lives and accomplishments of Armenian saints. It focuses on the events and specifically emphasizes their impact on today's reality and lessons learned. The course encourages the participants to interact. The course weighs heavily on peer critical analyses and constructive evaluation of the presented homilies. Opportunities are sought for the students to participate in local church events and present short speeches on special occasions.

Dr. Markarian has been trained in public speaking, attending courses at Fairleigh Dickinson University, NJ. He took a course with the world-renowned Robert Gurney, the founder of the "Fog Index" concept, a standard measuring stick for clarity of writings. He has delivered papers in national professional societies and has presented a massive number of lectures on a variety of topics including Armenian national and literary subjects.

He holds a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry and an M.S. in Management of Technology. He did his post-doctoral studies at Columbia University, became an assistant professor at College of Saint Elizabeth, NJ, then a senior research scientist and head of the Chemistry Department at Bristol-Myers pharmaceutical company. He was a professor at SUNY Rockland County Campus for ten years. Dr. Markarian is also an accomplished playwright, poet, director and literary critic. His plays have been presented in Armenia and Diaspora, also on Off-Broadway, New York.

Board of Directors Meet

Members of the St. Nersess Board of Directors met on Saturday, May 20, in Armonk, NY, for their semi-annual board meeting. The meeting was presided by His Eminence Abp. Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) and President of the St. Nersess Board of Directors.

During the morning meeting, the board reviewed the finances of the seminary, its fundraising objectives, and facilities updates. In his report, Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Dean, announced that seminarian Levon Asdourian would be graduating from St. Vladimir's later that day and that he and two part-time students, Dn. Eric Vozzy and Dr. Andre Markarian, would be receiving their diplomas from St. Nersess in the evening. He also discussed the summer activities of the seminarians, including four students who will be completing their Clinical Pastoral Education requirement, and the applications received for the 2017-18 academic school year. Fr. Mardiros reviewed the eight parish visits and presentations he made during the 2016-17 academic year, and the June Clergy Continuing Education workshop to be held at the seminary and presented by Villanova University.

Two new members were elected to board. We congratulate Haig Nalbantian of New York and Gregory Melconian of New Jersey on their new positions. The board will gather again in the fall.
First Clergy Continuing Education Workshop Held at St. Nersess Seminary 
A Parish Management Workshop, co-sponsored by St. Nersess Armenian Seminary and the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) was held June 5 - 7 at the seminary in Armonk, New York. This workshop was presented as part of a series of continuing education programs which St. Nersess will offer to parish priests.

The workshop was taught by four faculty members from the Villanova University School of Business (VSB) through its internationally recognized Center for Church Management and Business Ethics. The first of its kind in the nation, the center provides faith-based managerial education to church leaders to
help in their parish administration and approach to temporal issues.

Sixteen participants, both newly ordained priests and those with some experience, attended five lectures with an interconnected range of topics over the three days. The subjects presented included: Organizational Management,
Information Technology, Stewardship and Development, Strategic Pastoral Planning, and Safeguarding Your Parish. << MORE
Graduation Ceremony Held on the Beautiful St. Nersess Campus
On Saturday, May 20, over 200 guests including friends, family and clergy celebrated the graduation of Dn. Levon Asdourian, Dn. Eric Vozzy, and Dr. Andre Markarian who received their diplomas from St. Nersess Seminary.

The day began with Divine Liturgy, celebrated by the Rev. Fr. Garabed Kocharian, in the St.Hagop chapel. During the service, seminarian Levon Asdourian was ordained a deacon by Abp. Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese and President of the St. Nersess Board of Directors, the first ordination on the new campus. The Rev. Fr. Armash Bagdasarian, a recent graduate of St. Nersess, was Dn. Levon's sponsoring priest. At the end of service, Abp. Khajag Barsamian consecrated a baptismal font which was recently installed.

The graduation was held in a festive tent, where the Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Seminary Dean, opened the graduation ceremony by welcoming all present and describing the graduates as a "beautiful mosaic". "A mosaic has many pieces of different sizes and shapes and colors and all those who support the ministry of priesthood and those serving in lay ministry are part of a mosaic," he commented. <<MORE
Fr. Arten Ashjian Remembered

On May 13, St. Nersess remembered the Rev. Fr. Arten Ashjian on the one year anniversary of his death with a grave blessing performed by the V. Rev. Fr. Simeon Odabashian, Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Dean, and the St. Nersess Seminarians. Also participating was the Rev. Fr. Arsen Mirzoyan, a visiting priest from Holy Etchmiadzin.

Fr. Arten was one of the senior most clergyman of the Armenian Church. He was a former St. Nersess board member and a long time faculty member at the seminary. Fr. Arten was the sponsoring priest for Fr. Mardiros' ordination into the priesthood.
486 Bedford Road, Armonk, NY 10504 
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