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DIOCESE OF CHICAGO AND MID-AMERICA: October 4, 2011 
The Orthodox Pastoral School Begins its School Year  

On September 6/19, 2011, the first Monday after the church calendar year, the new year of the Orthodox Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America began. This year, the school has its largest enrollment of first-year students in its seven-year history. Eighteen students from throughout the world are participating, from various dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, as well as other Local Orthodox Churches. The school year began with a moleben headed by Protopriest Martin Swanson, Dean of the Orthodox Pastoral School. After the moleben, the teachers and students began their work in earnest. 

The Orthodox Pastoral School operates with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and of His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland, Administrator of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America. Bishop Peter is also the President of the school. The program is a distance education based diploma program. Courses are provided through web-based classrooms and students are directed by qualified faculty and mentored by their local clergy who provide support, guidance, and direction for the student. 

Completion of written examinations, assigned papers, e-classroom attendance and participation are required for each course. A senior thesis as well as a practicum are required during the last year of study on a topic/project chosen in consultation with the student's mentor, and approved by the Dean. 

Further information on the Orthodox Pastoral School can be found here: http://www.orthodoxtheologicalschool.org/   

Protopriest Gregory Joyce 
Assistant Dean