John H. Erickson

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John H. Erickson is an Eastern Orthodox American scholar, with specialization in the areas of Orthodox canon law and church history. From 2002 until 2007 he served as the Dean of Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in the United States. His term as dean expired on June 30, 2007 and he was replaced by Fr. John Behr.

After growing up in northern Minnesota, Erickson joined the Orthodox Church in 1964. He studied at Harvard (B.A., 1966), Yale (M.Phil., 1970), and St Vladimir's Seminary (M.Th., 1984).

Erickson began teaching canon law and church history at Saint Vladimir's Seminary in 1973. Over the years, he has been a member of the OCA’s Canonical Commission, Department of External Church Relations, Statute Commission, and Department of History and Archives.

December 14, 2001 he was elected Dean of Saint Vladimir Orthodox Theological Seminary by the school’s trustees.[1] He became Dean in July 2002 following the retirement of Father Thomas Hopko. Erickson became the first layman to hold the post and first convert and first person of non-Russian background to hold the position of Dean since the seminary.[2]

After four years at the head of the seminary, he was ordained deacon on January 30, 2006 and priest on May 7 of the same year. Both ordinations were performed by the Seminary President, Metropolitan Herman (Swaiko) of the Orthodox Church in America.

On June 29, 2006 Metropolitan Herman announced that, in accordance with the decision of the Seminary's Board of Trustees, Fr. Erickson will step down as the Dean of the Seminary after the completion of his current term. He continued teaching at the seminary as Peter N. Gramowich Professor of Church History until his retirement after the 2008/2009 academic year.[3]

In October 2014, Erickson presented "The Eastern Catholic Churches: An Orthodox Perspective" at the conference "The Vatican II Decree on the Eastern Catholic Churches, Orientalium ecclesiarum - Fifty Years Later" organized by the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies held at the University of Toronto.[4]


  • Associate editor, Orthodox America, 1794-1976 (Orthodox Church in America, 1975).
  • Erickson, John H. (1991). The Challenge of Our Past: Studies in Orthodox Canon Law and Church History. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press.
  • Erickson, John H. (1992). "The Local Churches and Catholicity: An Orthodox Perspective". The Jurist. 52: 490–508.
  • The Quest for Unity: Orthodox and Catholics in Dialogue, with John Borelli (SVS Press and United States Catholic Conference, 1996).
  • Orthodox Christians in America (Oxford University Press, 1999).
  • Editor and translator. Vladimir Lossky, In the Image and Likeness of God (SVS Press, 1974).
  • Co-editor, five volumes of Orthodox liturgical music (SVS Press).



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