Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary's AXIOS Program seeks to answer two questions: "Where will I go when I graduate?" and "Who will replace batushka when he retires?" While the role of HTOS has always been to train and prepare priests for the parishes of the Russian Orthodx Church Outside of Russia, the process of getting graduates into parishes has always been more informal. The AXIOS Program seeks to formalize and solidify the 'seminary-to-service' pipeline and make the essential connections between seminarians and parishes during the seminarians' course of study.
The AXIOS Program is a means by which seminarians and parishes will mutually benefit from nurturing a relationship during the seminarian’s time at HTOS. In effect, the AXIOS Program seeks to have a parish waiting for a seminarian at the end of his training, while at the same time giving parishes the relief of having a young man ready to come and serve the parish in liturgical and pastoral roles. The AXIOS Program will serve as a means of developing seminarians, as well as supporting them, in preparation for pastoral service.
Thankfully, many seminarians arrive at HTOS from a supportive home parish to which they will return, but many of them, for a variety of reasons, have no parish to return to and serve in upon completion of their studies. The AXIOS Program is designed with these students in mind, helping them to determine where they will carry out their future service to the Church. All students enrolled in the AXIOS Program have been selected on the basis of their good character, high academic performance, and love for the divine services.
The AXIOS Program is based on the very simply premise of creating and nurturing relationships between parishes and seminarians. Parishes looking for future clergymen can view the seminarian profiles here and, if one seems to be a good fit for the parish, they can establish contact with him through the AXIOS Program Director to begin a conversation. Once contact has been established, it is up to the parish and the seminarian to determine how to proceed - the organic nature of the AXIOS Program allows for a high degree of flexibility in deciding how to cultivate the parish-seminarian relationship. Some of the suggested means are as follows:
- Providing opportunities for the seminarian to gain on-the-ground pastoral experience through regular short/medium-term visits, involvement in parish work, Sunday school teaching, preaching, choir, outreach activities, etc.
- Providing opportunities for the seminarian to pre-integrate into the parish community through participation in its major events.
- Providing a parish ‘internship’ to the seminarian over the summer months.
- Providing financial and material support to the seminarian.
- Regular communication with the parish and updates from the seminarian his life and studies.
- Prayerful support for one another.
Any questions about the AXIOS Program or requests to make contact with a seminarian should be addressed to the AXIOS Program Director, Hieromonk Theodore: firstname.lastname@example.org
For full listings of HTOS seminarians enrolled in the AXIOS Program, log in here. Contact Hieromonk Theodore for access.