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Thomas Hopko (born March 28, 1939, Endicott, New York) is an Orthodox Christian priest and theologian. He was the Dean of Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary from September 1992 until July 1, 2002 and taught dogmatic theology there from 1968 until 2002. Now retired, he carries the honorary title of Dean Emeritus.
Life and education
Thomas Hopko is of Rusyn descent. His ancestors are linked to the Rusyn village of Nevitskoe near the city of Uzhorod. He was baptized and raised in St. Mary’s Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek-Catholic Church, Endicott, New York. He gained his B.A. in Russian studies at Fordham University in 1960, followed by a Master of Divinity degree at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in 1963. He later completed a master's degree in philosophy at Duquesne University in 1968 and a PhD in theology at Fordham University in 1982.
At St. Vladimir's Seminary, Hopko studied with such renowned Orthodox theologians as Father Alexander Schmemann, Father John Meyendorff, Nicholas Arseniev and Serge Verkhovskoy. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1963 and served several parishes in the states of Ohio and New York. In 1968 he began to teach at St. Vladimir's and eventually succeeded his teacher, Serge Verkhovskoy, as professor of dogmatic theology. He was elevated to the rank of archpriest in 1970 and, upon his election as dean, to the rank of protopresbyter (1995).
Activities and affiliations
Father Hopko is a prominent Orthodox Christian lecturer and speaker, well-known both in Orthodox and ecumenical circles. He served as a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches and as a delegate from the Orthodox Church in America to the Assemblies of WCC in Uppsala, Sweden and Nairobi, Kenya. He was also President of the Orthodox Theological Society in America (1992–1995).
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