St. Andrew’s Center for Orthodox Christian Studies


"Saint Andrew the Apostle"

23300 Davison Avenue, Detroit, Michigan


What is it?


The "St. Andrew the Apostle" Center for Orthodox Christian Studies is an autonomous corporation under the omophorion of His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel, a member of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of America.  As an affiliated institution of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of America, the Center for Orthodox Christian Studies is subject to the authority of the Archbishop and complies with the Constitution and By-Laws of the aforementioned Diocese, but that it has an autonomous existence, as do the monasteries or seminaries as “autonomous entities”. It has its own Board of Directors, of which Archbishop Nathaniel is the president.


The Diocese is not responsible for the administration or maintenance of the Center. The Diocese is not liable for any debts or contracts of the Center. The Center does not draw funds from the Diocese budget.


At the same time, the Center "belongs" to the Church. It  is an Orthodox Christian institution. It does have the authority, given by the Diocese Congress, to solicit and accept funds and contributions from the Diocese, the parishes and faithful members of all jurisdictions, and non-denominational organizations and institutions.


Whom Will it Serve?


Like the founding Diocese, the Center’s calling is to serve the whole Church, and has in its membership faithful and clergy of almost every ethnic origin. It serves in both English and Romanian, as the need may be.


In the same way, the Center, besides its primary mission to serve the needs of the Romanian Diocese, welcomes students and participants of any origin, and strive to promote Holy Orthodoxy in this land.


The Center is not designed to compete with or replace other seminaries or programs. It is designed to address the specific needs of  the founding Diocese, which presently are not met by other programs of study. Those from other jurisdictions who may participate in the work of the Center will participate with that understanding.


The vision and programs of the Center continue to evolve, as clergy and faithful make known the needs of our people. At present, the Center is envisioned as having the following areas of activity:


1. A chapel and retreat center where faithful may come for spiritual guidance and renewal,


2. A community center where various of  Church organizations may have their offices,


3. A school to prepare clergy and lay leaders for service in the founding Diocese, and to provide for their continuing education.


Clergy and Lay Education


The Clergy and Lay continuing education program will be organized on four tracks, according to the needs of the Diocese and the students:


(1) An ongoing program of continuing education for Romanian Orthodox clergy in North America. This program will be taught in English and/or Romanian, according to need, and will consist of workshops and institutes held periodically during the year. Clergy will be able to attend these sessions while maintaining their present positions. It is hoped that the first of these sessions will be offered in the autumn of 2000.


(2) A program of public Orthodox Christian education for Orthodox faithful. This will consist of retreats, workshops and lectures for those who want to grow and learn more about the Orthodox faith, but who do not seek to enroll in a formal program of academic study. These sessions will be offered in English and/or Romanian, according to need.


(3) A one-year, residential program for graduates of Romanian theological schools who wish to further their studies in America, and for clergy presently in our Diocese who are able to enroll in a year of full-time study. As of this writing, a draft proposal for the program has been drawn up, and was briefly described to the Diocese Council. It is hoped that this program will begin in the fall of 2001.


(4) A late vocations program of studies for those who desire a theological education but who cannot attend a full-time seminary program. This program will be designed to prepare priests, deacons, and other church workers. It will consist of correspondence work as well as attendance at short institutes held during the year.


At this time, much work remains to be done. Funding must be found to support the facilities and programs. Qualified instructors are needed to present the programs and courses that are planned. Governmental, legal and financial requirements must be met. And a proper spiritual life must be established on the premises.


But by the grace of God, all this will be accomplished. Generous faithful and parishes are already coming to the support of the Center, even though no formal fundraising program has been announced. And we continue forward in the faith that God will bless a great work, for the building up of His Church and the glory of His Holy Name.


A Description of The Center For Orthodox Christian Studies


The site is approximately seven acres of land. The building was constructed in 1930 and is a three-story brick edifice with reinforced concrete frame. The approximate square footage is 40, 173. There are nine double-room suites, four single-bedrooms on the second and third floors; offices on the first floor; a 52 seat chapel on the ground level; a large monastery church on the second floor; kitchen, dining-room and pantry; lounge on the second floor; library on the third floor; common bathrooms and lavatories on all floors; basement; attic; garage.


The building has been in continuous use until now. A custodian is living on the premises and a care-taker comes for a weekly inspection of the grounds.


Bishop Policarp's Dream Fulfilled; Archbishop Valerian's Work Continues


In 1935, sixty-five years ago, the first Hierarch for Orthodox Christian Romanians outside Romania, Bishop Policarp Morusca, was consecrated in Bucharest, came to the United States and began to minister to his flock in North and South America and the Pacific. Two years after, "Vatra Romaneasca" was purchased and the bishop re-organized his plans for his pastorate. Among these was included the project of establishing a seminary. Bishop Policarp left America in 1939 to attend a meeting of the Holy Synod but was unable to return. The project to establish a seminary had been implanted in the soul of the Diocese and was not lost. In a special publication, "The Vatra in Celebration: July 16, 1944," the project to establish a seminary was promoted as "yet to be fulfilled."


During the pastorate of Archbishop Valerian D. Trifa (1952-1984), this project took the shape of a correspondence course of theology, "Andrei Saguna." It was established for individuals who had a "late vocation" to serve the Church. Not a few members of our clergy were graduated from this course. Candidates for ordination were tested in their knowledge and practice of the Orthodox faith and liturgics. The Archbishop was adamant that graduates should be equipped to fulfill all priestly obligations.


Later, still during the pastorate of Archbishop Valerian, the "Andrei Saguna"program was set aside in favor of other programs which had been made available. The idea continued, however, that a pastorate in the Romanian Diocese called for unique responses to the particular pastoral needs and concerns of its parishes. Adding to this the present reality that there are many emigrants to North America who need new missions and parishes, Archbishop Nathaniel concluded that either the "Andrei Saguna" program should be revived and revamped or a new program for pastoral theology must be developed to educate clergy for the missionary and contemporary pastoral concerns of our day.


Having given due consideration to programs already existing in Orthodox institutions, it was decided that the needs of the Diocese would yet best be fulfilled as designed and implemented by the Diocese. To accomplish this, two major aspects were considered: the actual program of education and the site.


About this time, the Diocese Office was presented with the possibility to purchase the St. Paul Monastery of the Passionist Fathers in Detroit, Michigan, an institution which had been built for the purposes of educating clergy and a site for holding retreats. The price-tag was $400,000.00 for a building of approximately 40,173 square feet.


On February 10, 1998, His Eminence sent a letter to members of the Diocese Council offering two major considerations: the establishment of a "Finishing Seminary" project and the purchase of an existing facility which would be appropriate for the site of residence for the program and the students. The Council unanimously favored the Program but was reluctant to enter a financial obligation for a building and its operation.


The Diocese Council meeting of July 1, 1999, did, however prepare two resolutions which were presented to delegates at the Diocese Congress:


"That the Diocese Congress establish a school for the preparation and further education of clergy and that such school be chartered as a legal entity, pursuant to Article VII, Section 1, (b) of the Diocese Constitution and By-Laws," and "That the educational institution be permitted to solicit funds and other assistance from the Parishes of the Diocese and other individuals."


Both motions passed unanimously.


In the time after the Congress, attention was given to the preparation of a Diploma Program in Applied Pastoral Theology. In September 1999, Rev. Fr. Ian Pac-Urar, Ph.D., submitted a draft proposal for this program. This program "is intended for graduates of theological institutes and seminaries abroad who wish to continue their in-depth preparation for work in Orthodox Christian parishes and missions, and for practicing clergy who wish to develop and deepen their skills." According to the mandate of the Congress, the diploma program will be chartered as a separate legal entity. 


The next step was to determine where to hold the sessions. Having given due consideration to various institutions being offered for sale and noting that the Vatra was not equipped to be the site, His Eminence responded to the invitation to offer a proposal for the St. Paul Monastery property. After a revision of the initial offer, a final offer of $375,000.00 was accepted by the Passionist Fathers. The first payment is for $75,000.00 at the date of closing and $75,000.00 per year for four years with no interest except for payment default. Final closing will be determined by minor realignment of utility and property facilities.


As of October 11, the building was incorporated in the State of Michigan as a non-profit organization. The Center For Orthodox Christian Studies will initiate a blanket fund-raising effort in the near future.


A Five-Year Action Plan has been drawn up covering purchase and renovations of the facilities; the development of the Applied Pastoral Theology (APT), Community Education Program (CEP) and accreditation; funding project.



Proposed Table of Contents for the Center’s Business Plan


1.0    Executive Summary

1.1  Objectives

1.2  Mission

1.3  Keys to Success


2.0 Company Summary    

         2.1 Company Ownership     

         2.2 Start-up Summery

         2.3 Company Locations and Facilities


3.0 Service

         3.1 Service Description       

         3.2 Competitive Comparison  

         3.3 Sales Literature   

3.4 Fulfillment 

         3.5 Technology        

         3.6 Future Services  


4.0 Market Analysis Summary   

         4.1 Market Segmentation

         4.2 Service Business Analysis

         4.2.1 Business Participants  

         4.2.2 Competition and Buying Patterns        

         4.2.3 Main Competitors        


5.0 Strategy and implementation Summary    

         5.1 Competitive Edge 

         5.2 Marketing Strategy        

         5.2.1 Positioning Statement   

         5.2.2 Pricing Strategy

         5.2.3 Promotion Strategy

         5.3    Sales Strategy  

         5.3.1 Sales Forecast 

         5.4 Milestones


6.0 Management Summary        

         6.1 Management Team

         6.2 Management Team Gaps

         6.3 Personnel Plan


7.0 Financial Plan                                             

         7.1     Important Assumptions        

         7.2     Key Financial Indicators       

         7.3     Break-even Analysis 

         7.4     Projected Profit and Loss

7.5       Projected Cash Flow 

7.6      Projected Balance Sheet      

         7.7     Business Ratios