What is the Sheptytsky Institute?
The Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies is an academic unit of the Faculty of Theology of Saint Paul University in Ottawa. Founded in 1986 at Catholic Theological Union, a Graduate School in Chicago, the Institute relocated to Saint Paul University in 1990. It operates under the financial and moral patronage of the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops of Canada.
What is Saint Paul University?
Founded in 1848, this Catholic University in Canada’s capital is Ottawa’s oldest university, with both a civil and a pontifical charter. It is also federated with the renowned University of Ottawa. With the best theological library in Canada and one of the strongest in all North America, Saint Paul University is a small institution with an influence that far exceeds its size. Five learned journals are published here. Canada’s largest Catholic publishing house, Novalis, is also headquartered here. The Faculty of Theology at Saint Paul University is the only one of its kind in the world, offering degree programs in both Western and Eastern Christian Theology in the same faculty.
What does the Sheptytsky Institute do?
As a centre of higher learning, research, ecumenical understanding and prayer, the Institute offers university degree programs in Eastern Christian Theology, publishes the respected scholarly review, Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies, and also publishes books, audio and video resources on the Eastern Churches. The Sheptytsky Institute offers summer programs in North America and Ukraine, presents continuing education programs for clergy and is engaged in community outreach to parishes, school boards and dioceses. The Sheptytsky Institute acts as a resource centre for journalists and government officials dealing with the intricacies of Eastern Catholic and Orthodox church life. Deeply involved in ecumenical work, the Institute seeks out ways to bring about the true union of Churches.
How is the work of the Sheptytsky Institute supported?
Student fees, the sale of publications and occasional grants may help, but the bulk of the Institute’s support comes from a federally chartered organization called The Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute Foundation. Founded by the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops of Canada in 1989, the board of directors of this charitable organization is primarily composed of lay people who represent the various eparchies of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada, along with some clergy and members from the United States. Each year, the Foundation donates a substantial amount of money to Saint Paul University, to help cover the budget of the Sheptytsky Institute. The principal received from donors, however, is invested long-term, and the work of the Institute is supported mainly through the interest accruing on the principal funds. Our benefactors include people who have left bequests, or made regular donations, both large and small. For some of our donors it is a true sacrifice to give their “widow’s mite” of a few dollars. Others, like Peter and Doris Kule of Edmonton have been able to donate over four and a half million dollars, knowing that their donation will be in good hands, and the interest accruing on it will go to fund worthwhile educational endeavours, preparing leaders for the Church of tomorrow. We always remember our benefactors in prayer and worship at the Institute’s Chapel of Saints Joachim and Anne.
Who studies at the Sheptytsky Institute?
Many students, men and women of various ethnic and religious backgrounds and of varying ages have studied in the many courses and degree programs offered by the Sheptytsky Institute. Ukrainian Catholic Seminarians from Holy Spirit Seminary in Ottawa receive their academic theological training here. Orthodox seminarians, clergy and lay people from several jurisdictions have studied at the Institute. Both clergy and lay students from other Eastern Catholic Churches have taken the Institute’s courses. Of course, Western Christians are also drawn to the offerings of the Sheptytsky Institute, and thus many Roman Catholics, Anglicans and Protestants have enrolled over the years. The Institute is known for its ecumenical climate. Students have come from as far away as Africa, Australia, the Philippines, China, and, of course, Ukraine.
Who teaches at the Sheptytsky Institute?
Professors are carefully chosen by the University through rigorous academic searches. The Institute employs three full-time professors: Father Andriy Chirovsky, S.Th.D., is Peter and Doris Kule Professor of Eastern Christian Theology and Spirituality. Father Peter Galadza is Kule Family Professor of Eastern Christian Liturgy. The Very Rev. Dr. John A. Jillions is Assistant Professor specializing in Eastern Christian Studies and Ecumenism. Some of the sessional lecturers employed by the Institute in recent years have included Archimandrite Dr. Boniface Luykx, Rev. Dr. Alexander Baran, Rev. Dr. Stephane Bigham, Rev. Dr. Andrew Morbey, Bishop David Motiuk, Rev. Josyf Andrijisyn, Prof. Dawn Curkowskyj, Prof. Volodymyr Mezentsev, Prof. Richard Schneider and Prof. Horia Roscanu, to name only a few. Thus teachers are drawn from the Ukrainian Catholic Church, but also from Orthodox and other Eastern Catholic Churches. The emphasis is always on academic qualifications and proven research and teaching skills along with a deep knowledge of the Kyivan tradition and Eastern Christianity in general.
Where does the Sheptytsky Institute offer its programs?
In addition to the Ottawa campus, the Sheptytsky Institute offers summer programs at Ukrainian Catholic monasteries and seminaries in North America (Redwood Valley, California, Orangeville, Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario) and in Univ, Ukraine. Efforts are being made to bring Sheptytsky Institute courses through distance education networks to various communities across Canada and the United States. Continuing education and community outreach programs take Institute personnel to various centres as well.
What does the Sheptytsky Institute do for the Church in Ukraine?
In February, 1990, two months after the Ukrainian Catholic Church was decriminalized in the USSR, the Sheptytsky Institute offered the first public university level course in theology for Ukrainian Catholics since World War II. Sheptytsky Institute professors have lectured at seminaries in L’viv, Ivano-Frankivs’k and Mukachiv. Scholarship funds like the Roman and Nadia Drohobycky Fund, the Alexander and Neonilia Kunyk Fund, and the Catholic Near East Welfare Association Bursary Fund have enabled the Institute to bring both students and professors from Ukraine so that they can return to Ukraine to teach in seminaries and other institutions of higher learning. The Sheptytsky Institute has an especially close relationship with the L’viv Theological Academy, assisting in the re-building of this important institution through curriculum development, library acquisitions and a joint summer program.
What does the Sheptytsky Institute do for the Church in Canada and the United States?
A large number of the Institute’s students are Ukrainian Catholics who will be the future clergy and lay leaders of the Church. They acquire a deeper knowledge of their Eastern Christian roots according to the tradition of the Church of Kyiv in a way that allows them to develop a vision for the Church for the twenty-first century. The Sheptytsky Institute offers many types of assistance to the Church at large, from the laity to the bishops. Its ecumenical thrust is slowly but steadily working for the reconciliation of East and West, for rapprochement between Orthodox and Catholics. In short, the Sheptytsky Institute is a laboratory of thought and learning, where a pastoral vision for the future can be born. Through its integration into a very serious educational environment at a respected Canadian university, the Sheptytsky Institute models professionalism, intellectual clarity and a fervent dedication to deep spiritual life.
Where is the Sheptytsky Institute headed in the near future?
The gathering of a minimum of five million dollar endowment, which would secure in perpetuity four endowed chairs (professorships) and sustain research and publication is a high priority. Once a chair is endowed, it takes care of itself and requires no additional funding. Each endowed chair costs one million dollars (which is then invested and controlled by the Sheptytsky Institute Foundation.) The interest accruing is used to fund the Institute’s budget. The Institute hopes to hire a fourth full time professor. Sessional lecturers and visiting professors help to bring varied and interesting perspectives to the program.
How can I help the Sheptytsky Institute build a healthy future for the Church?
You can show your support by making a memorial gift in honour of a close friend or family member, an annual gift, or by pledging a major gift over a few years. You can plan ahead and make a significant contribution to the future of our Church by leaving a bequest in your will or by naming the Sheptytsky Institute Foundation as beneficiary and owner of your life insurance policy, and receive a significant tax credit. The Foundation gratefully acknowledges all donations, small or large, and issues income tax receipts. Let us help find the method of giving that works best for you.
Spread the word. Encourage your friends. Take up a collection at an anniversary or a funeral or some other gathering. Organize a benefit event or bring in one of the Institute’s professors to share their knowledge and their dreams. For more information please feel free to contact:
The Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies
Saint Paul University
223 Main Street
Ottawa ON K1S 1C4 Canada
Tel: 613-236-1393, ext. 2332
Toll-free in North America: 1-800-637-6859, ext. 2332