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A vardapet or vartabed (Armenian: վարդապետ, Armenian pronunciation: [vɑɾtʰɑˈbɛd] in Western Armenian or [vaɾda'pεt] in Eastern Armenian) is a highly educated archimandrite in the Armenian Apostolic Church tradition who holds a Doctorate in Theology. Members of this order of ecclesiastics frequently have charge of dioceses, with episcopal functions.
In the English-speaking world, one of the best known of the doctor-monks of Armenia is Mekhitar of Sebaste, founder of an Armenian Catholic community of monks, the Mechitarists.
Tsayraguyn vardapet (Armenian: ծայրագույն վարդապետ), on the other hand, is the rank of supreme doctor of Christian dogma in the Armenian Apostolic Church. It is bestowed upon a vardapet, a pastor, who has shown outstanding educational and leadership qualities.
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