A long-desired goal of our Church has been to found a theological institute, a place where young men could learn about the faith and be trained for the priesthood. This was something that was being planned in Greece from the 1960's and 70's; in fact, Archbishop Chrysostomos expressly spoke about it in his inaugural address in 1986. Our own Metropolitan Pavlos has often said that a school of theology is one of his greatest desires for our Metropolis. Unfortunately, because of various problems that have plagued our Church during the past few decades, and especially because of Greece's restrictive laws against founding private universities, our Church in Greece has never been able to realize this long sought after hope. Nevertheless, it has not been forgotten, and due to our recent growth, our Church in America is now in a position to turn dream into reality.
The benefits that will accrue to our Metropolis as a result of having a properly accredited seminary are incalculable. A theological school will attract earnest young men to our Church. It will provide us with priests to serve our parishes, and solve the chronic problem of a lack of clergy. Our school will greatly raise the prestige of the True Orthodox among those outside our Church; it will increase the awareness of the problem of Ecumenism and bring back the conservative New-Calendarists to the teachings of the Fathers; and it will strengthen unity among the Greek and Russian traditionalists. It will both spread the Faith and inculcate Orthodox spirituality and an Orthodox mindset in the students. Its very existence will serve as a reminder to all of what is genuine Orthodox teaching, of what is the faith that was once delivered to the saints
In founding a seminary, we will be following the injunctions of the holy Fathers, who warn that ignorance is the beginning of every vice. The Church has a long tradition of dispelling the ignorance of the soul through schools that offer instruction in the Holy Scripture and the writings of the Fathers: usually these schools were attached to monasteries, but some were connected to a cathedral, such as the Patriarchal school in Constantinople. Our school will be of the former type, and will emphasize not only intellectual rigor, but also hesychastic and liturgical practice.
On September 2/15, 2011, the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Hellenic Orthodox Traditionalist Church in America blessed the foundation of the Holy Three Hierarchs Orthodox Theological Institute. You may find their Encyclical regarding the institute here.