The teachings of Fr. Thomas Hopko are some of most influential in modern times leading many Protestants to Orthodox conversion. Most would agree, Fr. Thomas has a gift for teaching, especially the more difficult doctrines of Eastern Orthodox Christianity using language and concepts that Protestants in the West can understand, yet he never seems to compromise Orthodox dogmatic teachings and Tradition. All three of his podcast series on Ancient Faith Radio are relevant to catechumen and long-time Orthodox alike. Likewise, “The Orthodox Faith” volumes 1-4 are a great aid for those interested in converting to Orthodoxy. Fr. Thomas exudes a genuine love for Christ and His Bride, the Church, and thus is an example to us of Orthodoxy of the Heart.
The following is a short biography of Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko according to Saint Vladimir’s Theological Seminary, where Father Thomas served for many years:
Father Thomas [1939–2015] graduated from Fordham University in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in Russian studies. He graduated with a theological degree from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in 1963, from Duquesne University with a master’s degree in philosophy in 1969, and he earned his doctorate degree in theology from Fordham University in 1982.Ordained to the Holy Priesthood in August 1963, Fr. Thomas served the following parishes as pastor: Saint John the Baptist Church, Warren, OH (1963–1968); Saint Gregory the Theologian Church, Wappingers Falls, NY (1968–1978); and Saint Nicholas Church, Jamaica Estates, NY (1978–1983). Father Thomas was honored with the clerical rank of Archpriest in 1970 and the rank of Protopresbyter in 1995.
Beginning in 1968, Fr. Thomas began his long service to St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. Over the years, Fr. Thomas held the following positions: Lecturer in Doctrine and Pastoral Theology, 1968–1972; Assistant Professor of Dogmatic Theology, 1972–1983; Associate Professor of Dogmatic Theology, 1983–1991; Professor of Dogmatic Theology, 1991–1992; Dean, Rector of Three Hierarchs Chapel, and Professor of Dogmatic Theology, 1992–2002.
During his years of priestly ministry, Fr. Thomas authored numerous books and articles. Most well known of these publications is The Orthodox Faith: An Elementary Handbook on the Orthodox Church. A prolific speaker and preacher, he spoke at conferences, retreats, public lectures, and Church gatherings of all kinds, many of which were recorded. Father Thomas performed countless duties on behalf of the Orthodox Church in America, including representing the Church at intra-Orthodox gatherings and ecumenical meetings.
Thank you Fr. Thomas for your love, patience and concern for all Christians, for your many years of preaching and teaching the Truth and for your lifelong service to the Church. Pray for us.
Memory Eternal +
- Saint Vladimir’s Theological Seminary
- Monastery of the Transfiguration (memorium)
- The National Herald (memorium)
- The Orthodox Faith Vol 1 – Doctrine and Scripture
- The Orthodox Faith Vol 2 – Worship
- The Orthodox Faith Vol 3 – Church History
- The Orthodox Faith Vol 4 – Spirituality
- The Names of Jesus
- The Lenten Spring: Readings for Great Lent
- The Winter Pascha
- Christian Faith and Same-Sex Attraction
- Women in the Priesthood
- Additional Writings and Essays
- 55 Maxims for Christian living