On Thursday 14 May 2015, the Thanksgiving Service for graduates of St Andrew’s Orthodox Theological College was celebrated at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady Theotokos (Redfern NSW). The evening’s proceedings began with a Doxological Service chanted by students, past and present. His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, as Dean, recited a benediction over the graduates and conferred them with the College’s Ecclesiastical Certificate.
In his address to the congregation, His Eminence gave thanks to God for the work of the College in the Antipodes and its vital contribution to the service of the Church and the broader community for almost 30 years. He acknowledged the highly valued efforts and collaboration of so many people of good will, both Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike. He described the College’s long-standing membership of the Sydney College of Divinity (SCD) as a particular blessing and warmly greeted Professor Diane Speed who is the current Dean and Chief Executive Officer of the SCD. In conclusion, His Eminence thanked all of the staff wholeheartedly for their tireless work for the good progress of the College, and expressed his deep gratitude to all donors and supporters of this noble task of the Church.
Honouring this important occasion with their presence were His Eminence Metropolitan Ambrose of Korea, representative of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew; His Grace Bishop Seraphim of Apollonias, College Sub-Dean; His Grace Bishop Nikandros of Doryleon; and other colleagues from within the SCD and its member institutions; reverend clergy and Archdiocesan Council Members. There were also College alumni and representatives from the various committees of the College and the Archdiocese.
Both undergraduate and postgraduate awards were bestowed as noted below:
Master of Theology: Fr Kyrillos Zisis (NSW), Fr Siluan Mrakic (Serbia) in absentia. Master of Arts: George Tsikritsakis (NSW). Graduate Certificate in Arts: Theodoros Dimitriou (VIC), Daniel Haitas (VIC), Jacqueline Sarros (VIC) all in absentia. Bachelor of Theology with First Class Honours: Stefan Mastilovic (New Zealand). Bachelor of Theology: Fr Prohoros Anastasiadis (NSW), Fr Evangelos Thiani (Kenya) in absentia, Fr Nectarios Joannou (NSW), Markellos Margelis (NSW), George Papoutsakis (NSW). Associate Degree of Christian Thought and Practice: Fr Jean Mawal (VIC), Dn George Vrionis (NSW). Diploma of Christian Studies: Con Farrugia (NSW), Demetra Petrakis (NSW) in absentia, Chrysovalantis Sideris (SA) in absentia.
The latest group of graduates brought to 134 the total number of graduates – receiving 163 SCD degrees and awards at various levels, but primarily the Bachelor of Theology – since St Andrew’s opened in 1986.
Some of the aforementioned graduates were also present at the Sydney College of Divinity Graduation Ceremony on Saturday morning, 16 May, along with approximately 80 graduates and 400 attendees from other member institutions of the SCD. Here they were conferred their respective degrees and awards in the Great Hall of the University of Sydney by the President of the SCD Council, Mr Peter King. The Occasional Address was delivered by Dr Greg Clarke, Chief Executive Officer of Bible Society Australia and Chair of the Global Literacy Group of the United Bible Societies.
His Grace Bishop Irinej of the Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand of the Serbian Orthodox Church offers, in addition to his own congratulations, that of his clergy, monastics and faithful to our Serbian students, Protosingelos Siluan (Mrakic) and Stefan Mastilovic, as well as to all graduates of St Andrew Orthodox Theological College.