Gevorkian Theological Seminary

Steeped in tradition, the Gevorkian Theological Seminary was established in 1874, making it the oldest center for higher education operating in Armenia, and the region. Today, Gevorkian Seminary serves an integral role in the formation of ordinands to serve the Armenian Apostolic Church in Armenia and around the world. Gevorkian Seminary continues in the tradition of Vagharshbad (est. 5th c.), Amaras (est. 5th c.), Gladzor (est. 13th c.), Tatev (est. 14th c.) as well as other Armenian universities and centers of science and learning of the Middle Ages. Our mission is to train and inspire young men for ordained ministry in the Armenian Church, spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Armenians in Armenia and abroad.

Programs of Study & Academics
Gevorkian Seminary offers various Bachelors and Masters Degree programs recognized by Armenia’s Ministry of Education and Sciences (since 2001). Our courses of study include
Bachelors Degrees programs in Theology; and
Masters Degrees in:
Church History
Biblical Studies
Dogmatic Theology, and
Pastoral Theology.
Successful applicants must be baptized members of the Armenian Church, have a high school diploma, and pass an entrance exam. Applicants will be required to obtain a letter of recommendation from their parish priest or diocesan primate.

Course work at Gevorkian Seminary is extensive and includes the study of Holy Scripture, philosophy, theology, patrology, church history, doctrine, psychology, comparative religion, Armenian history, literature and language. Classes are generally conducted in Modern Eastern Armenian. Students in then Bachelors program will learn, in a classroom setting, Modern Eastern & Western Armenian, Russian, introductory Classical Greek, introductory Hebrew and Grabar (classical Armenian). Masters Degree program students will learn Grabar. Students are required to pass rigorous examinations in order to earn state accredited bachelors and masters degrees.

Renowned faculty from Yerevan State University and Abovyan Armenian State Pedagogical University as well as Gevorkian Seminary alumni and clergy provide a high level of expertise utilizing classical and innovative teaching methods. All university trained faculty are required to have doctorate level degrees. Class sizes are kept small to maximize student-professor interaction.

Sharing the campus of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin provides Gevorkian Seminary a rich array of facilities, from ancient Christian worship spaces to modern libraries and performance halls. The Seminary lodges its students on campus and provides a private library for students as well as shared access to the 80,000 volumes housed at the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Library. Students worship in a dedicated chapel as well as the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin. A gym, renovated refectory and classrooms, and a state of the art computer lab are well suited to serve the needs of the students.

The seminary contributes regularly to the monthly journal ‘Etchmiadzin’ published by the Mother See. The seminary communicates regularly with its students, faculty, alumni, supporters and clergy through its E-bulletin called ‘Gevorkian Chemaran’ .

Student Life
Extra-curricular activities are part of the life of each seminarian. Clubs include: Artists Club, Debate Club, Choir, Sign Language Club, and Musicians Club. The clubs provide additional creative outlets for seminarians to express themselves.

Seminarians worship as a group twice daily in a church setting and a third time together in their dorms. All seminarians are required to select for themselves a “father confessor” with whom they are advised to meet with regularly. Opportunities for ministry off campus include visits to hospitals and orphanages. Some seminarians engage in local charitable activities by distributing food to the needy. The prayerful atmosphere of the Holy See promotes feelings of brotherly love among the seminarians. Seminarians observe the traditional fasting days as observed by the church calendar, and as such are provided vegan meals on most Wednesdays and Fridays.

To supplement their coursework, seminarians spend their summer breaks serving in church camps or in parishes. Beginning in their second undergraduate year students spend their summers living and working in the dioceses under a mentor priest, and/or in church camps engaging the youth in spiritual discussions.

Our Graduates
Upon graduation seminarians are knowledgeable clergy of the 21st century and are ready to serve Armenian communities worldwide. Gevorkian Seminary alumni, many of which serve the Armenian community as ordained priests, have also contributed to the Armenian Nation as writers, scientists, musicians, historians, teachers and professors. While the seminary’s primary goal is to educate future priests, our graduates have sought creative ways to enrich Armenia and the Armenian diaspora. Prominent figures such as Patriarch Maghakia Ormanian, Patriarch Karekin Hovsepyants, Komitas Vardapet, Catholicos Gevork VI, writers Levon Shant and Avetik Isahakyan, are among the distinguished alumni which constitute the legacy of the Gevorkian Seminary.

Visiting International Students
Various seminaries (Armenian and non-Armenian) from around the world send students to Gevorkian Theological Seminary to familiarize themselves with the traditions and practices of the Holy See, increase their knowledge of the Armenian language and culture and provide opportunities for service to their homeland. Upon graduation select students may study abroad at other institutions of higher learning as part of the continuing education program.

Expanding Possibilities
Seminary continues to expand its programs and facilities to meet the ever growing needs of the Armenian faithful. In 2015 the Karekin I Theological Center opened its doors providing continuing education for Gevorkian graduates and all clergy of the Armenian Church. The center’s goal is to promote the development of theological studies and Christian education, medieval Armenian literature studies, Armenian language education in foreign countries, manuscript studies, and contemporary archiving techniques. In addition to Gevorkian Theological Seminary, the center coordinates with various institutions and departments including the Armenian National Academy of Sciences, the National Library of Armenia and the Faculty of History and Theology of Yerevan State University.

By the Grace of God
In line with the Armenian Church’s centuries old tradition, seminarians are educated through the generosity of the faithful. As such, all students are trained, housed, and provided meals and books at no cost to the student. Efforts are made to make sure students are provided with every opportunity to succeed in a healthy and safe environment, including a balanced diet and free access to basic medical care.

Gevorkian Theological Seminary
Mother See of
Holy Etchmiadzin
Tel. +374 10 517 180/182
Fax +374 10 517 301