Sunday, September 16, 2012

St. Nersess Armenian Seminary moving to new location

( - On September 6 St. Nersess completed its purchase of a beautiful property in Armonk, New York, which will become its new home. The site, formerly known as Promise Farm, sits on 5.5 scenic, tree-adorned acres. It is located in an upscale suburban community about 16 miles north of the current New Rochelle campus.

On the site St. Nersess will construct a new 8,400 square-foot Theological Center to be named after the late Catholicos Karekin I, who was a great advocate of learning and education. The Center will include the St. Hagop chapel, library, classrooms and offices. The construction of the Theological Center and chapel, as well as the purchase of the property have been made possible by the generous donation of Haig and Elsa Didizian of London, England.

In addition, three existing structures on the site will be renovated, expanded and adapted to meet the needs of the Seminary, including housing for single and married students and faculty, as well as the summer youth conferences, and a dean's residence. There will also be recreational facilities for the use of the seminarians. The Seminary will soon launch a fundraising campaign for the new site, specifically including naming opportunities for the renovated buildings. Additionally, the Board of Directors will begin the process of selling the New Rochelle location.

"As we close the fiftieth anniversary commemoraiton, we launch into an exciting new era for our beloved St. Nersess," stated Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern). "Tiran Srpazan's vision of creating a Seminary in North America is alive and strong, and now with this next step in its remarkable history, will be propelled into the next five decades to thrive for generations to come."
During the last year, St. Nersess worked to secure the ncessary approvals from the Town of North Castle, where Armonk is located. This included a special use permit from the Town Board, along with the approval of its site plan application by the Planning Board. St. Nersess plans to begin construction at the new site this Fall, with a 2014 targeted completion date.

"This land is compelling and has the potential to be even more beautiful than New Rochelle," shared Board member Suzanne Akian. "No doubt future generations will create similar amazing memories as generations past because the same spirit of St. Nersess will live on within the walls of this new campus."

The new site will be an all-inclusive and funcitonal campus for the continued and more effective spiritual nourishment of our people and parishes. The new facility, along with the ultimate sale of New Rochelle, will allow St. Nersess to have a more sound financial foundaiton, and build upon its already renowned theological program while also providing opportunities for our youth to flourish in their faith and culture. By staying in Westchester County, St. Nersess will be able to maintain important ties with St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, as well as remain close to the Diocesan Complex in New York City. There is easy access to the property from exit 3 off I-684.

St. Nersess is committed to the growth of the Armenian Church by meeting and serving the unique needs of the dioceses of North America. This is achieved through the preparation of leaders in ordained and lay ministries, nurturing our youth in the apostolic life, and offering continuing education, mission outreach, and public lecture programs. St. Nersess is also a centralized source for perpetuating the scholarly teachings of the Armenian Church. It is the only Armenian seminary in the western hemisphere.

Founded in 1961 with its first classes held in 1962, the Seminary first opened its doors to the Ouzoonian House in Evanston, Illinois. Seventeen years later, the Seminary relocated to New York in order to continue its work and has been located at 150 Stratton Road in New Rochelle since 1978.

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