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Graduation ceremony in Conciliar Chamber
On July 12, 2017, on the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, a graduation ceremony took place for students of the university in the main building of Saint Tikhon´s Orthodox University (the historical Moscow Eparchy House in Lihov Lane).

A Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the Church of Saint Vladimir. The service was led by His Eminence Archbishop Eugene of Vereya, the principal of the Moscow Theological Academy and president of the Educational Comittee of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Very Rev. Archpriest Vladimir Vorobyov, rector of Saint Tikhon´s University, concelebrated with the Bishop, as did the Very Rev. Archpriest Pavel Khondzinsky, Dean of the Faculty of Theology; the Very Rev. Archpriest Alexander Saltykov, Dean of the Faculty of Church Art; Fr. Andrei Posternak, Dean of the Faculty of Church Music; the Very Rev. Archpriest Georgiy Orehanov, Deputy Rector for International Relations; the Very Rev. Archpriest Konstantin Polskov, Deputy Rector for Academic Work; Fr. Pavel Ermilov, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Theology; as well as other teachers and faculty members of the university who are in holy orders. The Liturgy was attended by graduates of the university from 2017 and previous years, current students, and parishioners of the renovated Church of Prince Vladimir of Kiev.
After the end of the service, the University´s Rector, Fr. Vladimir Vorobyov, greeted all those in attendance, including Bishop Eugene.

Next, Bishop Eugene addressed the graduates, saying: "I hope that God has granted you wisdom. You must understand that the totality of knowledge cannot per se save any man. It is possible to know a lot about God without knowing God. We have to live according to the Gospel. This is the task of each and every Orthodox Christian. Otherwise, Christianity becomes but one of many philosophical theories," he emphasized. He remarked that, "as early as the turn of the last century, Archbishop Fyodor Pozdeevsky asked, ´Why is it that we, who call ourselves Christians, are still living under the Old Covenant? It is because Christianity has not become our very life, but has remained a theory.´ May God grant that the theory you have learned during your studies will become life for us and a path to salvation."

Archbishop Eugene and Fr. Vladimir distributed the diplomas to the university graduates. In 2017 alone, 343 students graduated from Saint Tikhon´s University. Of them, twelve attended the Saint Tikhon´s Orthodox School of Theology that operates within the university, and five of them received advanced degrees (doctorates).

"We have had over 7,000 students graduate from Saint Tikhon´s University over the course of the last quarter century, and they are working now all over the world," Fr. Vladimir announced. "I am pleasantly surprised that, wherever I go, throughout many different countries, I am always greeted by people who tell me, ´I studied at your University!´ We are proud to count amongst our graduates around 1,000 priests and 12 bishops. Many of our graduates are working as teachers in schools and universities, in the media, or as administrators at various levels of society."

In his words, one of the most successful faculties is the Faculty of Church Music, where 100% of graduates are in employment. "Many who didn´t even get to finish and receive a certificate are already singing in choirs", he said. "The same is true of the graduates of the Faculty of Church Art."

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A very important group of graduates for us are those who remain in our university as teachers or employees. We take only the very best of them, and to a large degree, our faculty consists of former students", Fr. Vladimir said. "When those who have now graduated first came to study here, we told them that the goal of Saint Tikhon´s University is to prepare experts who are prepared for a labor of service to the Church and the strengthening of the faith of our people. I hope that, after they graduate from our university and receive their diplomas, they will remember this and work for the good of the Church."

Ivan Myzdrikov, a graduate of the Faculty of Theology, was glad that he had "reached the end of the road and that [he] can begin [his] own, adult life." He went on to say that, "while I understand that we have been given a huge amount of knowledge while strict demandsh have been made of us, all along it was uncommonly interesting and informative."

As Natalia Iurievna Suhova, who holds Ph.Ds in History and Ecclesiastical History and currently runs the Center for Research in Theology and Theological Education of the Saint Tikhon´s University Faculty of Theology, said, everyone present was experiencing all of these events afresh because it was the first time that students had been studying in the main building of Saint Tikhon´s University.

"This is highly significant, because this is the year that our University turns 25, and this anniversary coincides with the centenary of the 1917 Local Council of the Russian Church. The present graduates will go down in history as jubilee graduates. As for myself, I can only speak about the graduates of the Faculty of Theology. In this year, the level of the students was very high. I would like to remark that the exams went very well, that the graduates gave very good presentations and gave thoughtful replies to the examiners. This is important because it demonstrates that they not only penetrated the topic of their coursework, but also theology in general," Natalia Iurievna stated with conviction. "They are able to respond to complex questions in the language of theology and put their thoughts into words. The fact that they are being bestowed with their diplomas on the Feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul is also significant. They are endowed with a great burden of responsibility, and it is up to them now to validate the trust that they have been shown."

Saint Tikhon´s Orthodox University of the Humanities offers educational programs in 10 different faculties in preparation for 26 Bachelors degrees, 17 Masters degrees, and 8 Doctorates, all with state accreditation, as well as two Specializations and a vocational education program.

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