St. Sava's Serbian Orthodox Seminary

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The monastery church of Saint Sava

St. Sava Serbian Orthodox School of Theology (Serbian: Српска православна богословија светог Саве; Srpska pravoslavna bogoslovija svetog Save) in Libertyville, Illinois is the professional theological school in the Serbian Orthodox Church in the USA and Canada. The school is collocated with the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery.

St Sava provides a four-year theological education for the priestly and religious education vocations in a program that grants a Bachelor's degree upon graduation. The classes are open to both male and female students. Classes are taught in both English and Serbian. The student body of St. Sava school is currently 23 (2006). The school possesses a library of 8,000 titles.


The monastery was founded in 1923 by Montenegrin Serb Bishop Mardarije as a school for the Serbian Orthodox Church.[1]

Dionisije Milivojević was appointed bishop of the American-Canadian Diocese in 1939. During World War II, the Libertyville monastery became an American refuge for Orthodox Serbs. In 1964, Serbian Patriarch German II defrocked American Bishop Dionisije Milivojević over political and administrative issues. This forced a split between the Serbian and North American branches of the church. The result was two separate North American churches—the Serbian Orthodox Church in the USA and Canada in Libertyville and the Diocese of New Gracanica – Midwestern America in nearby Third Lake. The Illinois Supreme Court deemed that this schism was a violation of the mother church's regulations and forbade recognition of Bishop Dionisije. However, in 1976, the United States Supreme Court ruled that this was in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in Serbian Orthodox Diocese v. Milivojevich.[2]

Peter II of Yugoslavia, the last Serbian king, lived at the monastery after being exiled by Josip Broz Tito. He died at the church in 1970 and his will stipulated that he wished to be buried there. More than 10,000 attended his funeral. He lay there until his remains were repatriated to Serbia in 2013.[3][4]

The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


  1. ^ Hucke, Matt; Bielski, Ursula (1999). Graveyards of Chicago. Chicago, IL: Lake Claremont Press. p. 202. ISBN 0964242648. 
  2. ^ Cox, John K. (2002). The History of Serbia. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 117. ISBN 0313312907. 
  3. ^ Tarm, Michael (4 March 2007). "King's body in U.S. may head to homeland". The Boston Globe. Associated Press. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "HM King Peter II Returns Home after 72 Years". Business News. 20 January 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 

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This article incorporates text from St. Sava's Serbian Orthodox Seminary (Libertyville, Illinois) at OrthodoxWiki which is licensed under the CC-BY-SA and GFDL.