Catholicosate of Cilicia
Antelias - Lebanon
The Theological Seminary has had an immediate and strong impact on all dimensions and aspects of the life and work and Diaspora-wide mission of the Catholicosate of Cilicia. Furthermore, the presence of hundreds of graduates, both clergy and laity, serving our Church and people in different parts of the world, testifies to the profound role that it continues to play in the life of our Church.
The history of the Theological Seminary is an inseparable part of the rhythm of the changing circumstances of the Armenian people. After the Armenian Genocide, in 1915, the Catholicosate, together with its people, was exiled from its centuries-old homeland. In 1930, it took refuge in Antelias, Lebanon. Same year, Catholicos Sahak II established the Theological Seminary, which, in the course of time, has grown qualitatively and quantitatively, and has become ‘the heart’ and ‘the backbone’ of the Catholicosate.
The Theological Seminary has contributed significantly to the missionary and educational task of the Armenian Church, as well as to its spiritual renewal. Thousands of seminarians have been educated there. It has struggled heroically in the face of the difficult Armenian Diaspora situation. It has met the challenges of changing times and the growing needs and demands of the Armenian people scattered all around the world, and it has done so with supreme courage and with a profound sense of responsibility.
Today, new priorities and perspectives are emerging in the life of the Armenian Church and people:
With the re-establishment of a free and independent Republic of Armenia, our Church in Armenia is faced with a major task of re-evangelizing Armenia, which has lost so much of its Christian identity under an atheistic and totalitarian regime.
Our communities in all different parts of the world have profound spiritual and educational needs. We urgently need new priests, teachers of Christian education and deacons; we need devoted and well-trained people who can teach and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to our people responsibly.
The Armenian Church and people are currently celebrating the 17th Centenary of the Proclamation of Christianity in Armenia. This celebration requires tremendous energy, resources and leadership. Today, the Theological Seminary is called more than at any other time to play a pivotal role in the life and witness of the Armenian Church.
It is with this vision and perspective that His Holiness Aram I has paid particular attention to the needs and development of the Theological Seminary, by clearly stating that it will remain “a top priority” for him and that he will do his utmost to breathe new vitality and efficiency into its activities.