Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute

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Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute
Type Seminary
Religious affiliation Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
Location Berkeley, California, United States

The Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute (PAOI) is a member of the Graduate Theological Union,[1] an ecumenical and interfaith consortium of nine independent seminaries and ten affiliated centers based in Berkeley, California. The Institute is a unique, independent, not-for-profit teaching and research institution.[2] The PAOI exists to educate, communicate, promote and sustain the traditions, values, teachings and culture of Eastern Orthodox Christianity.[3] It is the only independent and permanently endowed Orthodox educational center with a physical presence at a North American university.[4]

The PAOI is chartered by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in modern-day Istanbul, Turkey,[5] and is named in honor of Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople 1948-1972.


The PAOI offers the Master of Arts in Eastern Orthodox Christian Studies as a two year degree program. It is the only program in Orthodox theology in North America outside of those offered by the Orthodox seminaries in the Eastern United States.[6]


The Paul Manolis Distinguished Lecturer Series brings prominent Orthodox scholars from throughout the world. Previous lecturers include Metropolitan Kallistos Ware and former vice-rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, Fr. Robert Taft.[7]

The Institute's Campus Ministry assists with the social and spiritual needs of Orthodox Christian students, and is a sponsor of the Cal Berkeley chapter of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship.[8][9]

The InterOrthodox Press is the publishing arm of the Institute; it makes available for purchase books and other materials reflecting the work of the Institute as well as works written by scholars on topics of concern to the Orthodox Church.

Community Outreach[edit]

The Institute regularly offers educational programs to the faithful of the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. These range from courses in Byzantine Chant, seminars and workshops, to the annual Summer Institute.

The Institute has been active with local history groups, working to collect, preserve, and share the history of the Greek-American community[10] in the United States.


Metropolitan Nikitas Lulias is the director of the Institute .[11] Fr. Tom Paris, pastor emeritus of Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Oakland, CA, is the chaplain and former board chairman.


  1. ^ "Centers of Distinction | Graduate Theological Union". Retrieved 20-10-22.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. ^ "Evolving Visions of the Orthodox Priesthood in America". Retrieved 20-10-27.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. ^ "Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute | Belief, Religion, Christian, Orthodox -". Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  4. ^ "PAOI website, accessed October 21, 2012". Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  5. ^ "Patriarchal Institutions Around the World | Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople". Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  6. ^ "Higher Education — Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America". Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  7. ^ "Byzantine Scholar to Deliver Manolis Lectures at PAOI", Orthodox Observer 20 (1213), January 5, 2005: 12 
  8. ^ "PAOI - Orthodox Christian Fellowship". Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  9. ^ "University of California - Berkeley - Orthodox Christian Fellowship". Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  10. ^ "Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute, Berkeley". Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  11. ^ "Fr. Evagoras Constantinides — Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America". Retrieved 2012-10-26.