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Eagle River Institute: Previous Speakers
The Eagle River Institute of Orthdox Christian Studies

The Eagle River Institute of Orthodox Christian Studies began in 1995, and is sponsored by Saint John Orthodox Cathedral of the Antiochian Archdiocese.  It is held each summer from August 1-5, and offers sixteen hours of college-level instruction in a variety of Orthodox topics, including theology, history, liturgy, spirituality, and Biblical studies.  While the primary aim of the Institute is to offer continuing education to Orthodox Christians in Alaska, it is open to any who wish to attend.



The Eagle River Institute exists to educate Americans – Christian and non-Christian – about the faith and Tradition of the Orthodox Church and to build up the Orthodox Church in Alaska.




The Institute lectures are audio-taped and will be made available through the Cathedral's bookstore, Patmos Books & Icons.  Email stjohnassistant@gmail.com if you would like to order a copy of the recordings.


NEW!  Select lectures from previous Institutes are now available in the new podcast “Everyday Theology.”  To listen, visit: Ancient Faith Podcasts.

Past speakers

Click here.



2016 - ERI Brochure - PDF

2016 - ERI Brochure - Word


Registration or Questions

To register or ask questions, send your name, address, phone number, and church affiliation to:


Eagle River Institute
St. John Orthodox Cathedral
P.O. Box 1108
Eagle River, AK 99577
Phone: 907.696.2002
Email: stjohnalaska@aol.com



- $50 per "Track."

- No cost for students, but registration is still required.

A Letter From The Pastor

Fr. Marc Dunaway
Fr. Marc Dunaway
Fr. Marc Dunaway


We are very excited to host two Orthodox professors from Fordham University at our 2016 Eagle River Institute: Dr. Aristotle Papanikolaou and Dr. George Demacopoulos. I believe their lectures will especially challenge and appeal to young people in the Church as we explore and contemplate the topic of “Orthodoxy and Culture: Past, Present, and Future.” Look carefully at their lecture titles included on the website and this year’s brochure.

Also this year, we have worked with Ancient Faith Ministries to publish podcasts of the best lectures from previous Institutes. Listen to  "Everyday Theology" on Ancient Faith Podcasts.

All of us at Saint John’s invite you to join us August 1-5. We are always greatly blessed to host guests, and lodging is available right on the cathedral grounds. This website contains all the information you need to know about this year’s Institute, including the schedule and lecture titles, along with some general information about our local community. You will also find the 2016 brochure which can be printed or downloaded for use on your tablet or smartphone.

We would love to see you at this summer's Institute!

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Marc Dunaway

2016 - Eagle River Institute - Speakers

Aristotle Papanikolaou is the Archbishop Demetrios Chair of Orthodox Theology and Culture at Fordham University, and the Co-Director of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center. He is also Senior Fellow at the Emory University Center for the Study of Law and Religion. In 2012, he received the Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in the Humanities. He is the author of The Mystical as Political: Democracy and Non-Radical Orthodoxy. He was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and he enjoys Russian literature, Byzantine and Greek music, and is a bit of a foodie.


Track 1

1. Why Religion? Why be Orthodox?

2. What’s the point of spiritual practices like fasting and confession?

3. War, violence, and virtue

4. Can there be a Christian secularism?

George E. Demacopoulos is the Fr. John Meyendorff and Patterson Family Chair of Orthodox Christian Studies at Fordham University, and the Co-Director of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center. A native of Tennessee, Dr. Demacopoulos came to Fordham in 2002 after earning his PhD in Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a specialist in the history of Christianity, and has served on the executive board for the Center for Medieval Studies and was, for many years, a regular teacher in the Rose Hill Honors Program. His most recent book is Gregory the Great: Ascetic, Pastor, and First Man of Rome.


Track 2

1. Was Byzantine Christianity the normative Orthodox experience?

2. The origins of asceticism and monasticism

3. War and violence in early and Byzantine Christian reflection

4. Tradition without fundamentalism

2016 - Eagle River Institute - Schedule

Sunday, July 31
7p - Paraklesis

Monday, August 1
3:30 – 5:30p – Dr. Papanikolaou – 1
7p – Daily Vespers
7:30 – 9:30p – Dr. Demacopoulos – 1

Tuesday, August 2
9a – Matins
10a - Liturgy
3:30 – 5:30p – Dr. Demacopoulos – 2
7p – Daily Vespers
7:30 – 9:30p – Dr. Papanikolaou – 2

Wednesday, August 3
3:30 – 5:30p – Dr. Demacopoulos – 3
7p – Daily Vespers
7:30 – 9:30p – Dr. Papanikolaou – 3

Thursday, August 4

3:30 – 5:30p – Dr. Papanikolaou – 4
7p – Daily Vespers
7:30 – 9:30p – Dr. Demacopoulos – 4

Friday, August 5
7p – Great Vespers of Transfiguration
8-9p – Final Session - Q&A

Saturday, August 6
9a – Matins of Transfiguration
10a – Divine Liturgy of Transfiguration
Salmon Potluck

St. Herman of Alaska Pilgrimage - August 6-9

There is an opportunity for a very special "add-on" to the Eagle River Institute. Each year, Holy Resurrection Orthodox Cathedral in Kodiak hosts an annual pilgrimage to Spruce Island on August 9th - the anniversary of the canonization of St. Herman of Alaska in 1970. The schedule of events and activities is normally available on the Diocese of Alaska web site.  For further information please contact Rev. Innocent Dresdow at 907-486-3854.

There used to be a warning on the itinerary that said "Subject to Change", referring to the unpredictable weather and ocean conditions. It isn’t there now, but the weather can still be unpredictable and play havoc with the pilgrimage plans-there have been years when the visit to Spruce Island had to be delayed or canceled due to bad weather. In any event, you would still be able to venerate the relics of St. Herman during the Divine Liturgy at the Kodiak cathedral.

Weather permitting, the fishing boats that carry pilgrims to Spruce Island depart the Kodiak docks around 8am. Weather conditions are often cool and damp, so it would always be prudent to have a windbreaker or other wet weather clothing on hand. Lunch is provided at the beach on Spruce Island by the women of the church following Divine Liturgy. You may want to bring a small bottle to fill with holy water from the spring, and a bag or small container for soil from the island.

Both Alaska Airlines and Era Aviation operate flights from Anchorage to Kodiak. Since Era Aviation is a regional carrier that only operates in state, they have no security screening requirement. Alaska Airlines does not operate separate check-in gates for in-state destinations, so all their passengers are processed through the same security gate.

For a more adventuresome and leisurely connection, the Alaska Marine Highway System operates a ferry between Homer and Kodiak. Their Anchorage office may be reached at 907-272-4482.

The high-end commercial lodging is the Best Western Kodiak Inn (907.486.5712). They offer an airport shuttle service, which makes hiring a taxi unnecessary. Once in Kodiak, everything is within easy walking distance - in fact, the Inn is directly across from the boat harbor where the pilgrimage departs from. Of the other two establishments, the Russian Heritage Inn (a modest motel, actually, despite the name) is the most centrally located, and folks who’ve stayed there reported that they were entirely satisfied with their rooms.  For a little bit of charm, try Mrs. Potts B & B.

Previous Institutes

Metropolitan KALLISTOS (Ware)
Metropolitan KALLISTOS (Ware)
Metropolitan KALLISTOS (Ware)

Miss an Institute? Or want to hear it again?

Previous Eagle River Institute recordings are now available through the Cathedral's bookstore. Cost is $5 per series/lecture track, and are provided in mp3 format. Email stjohnassistant@gmail.com to place an order, or pick-up a copy in the Cathedral bookstore.

Previous ERI recordings are still available through Orthodox Christian Cassettes.  Lectures are recorded and made available by Orthodox Christian Cassettes for Institutes up through 2011. For information, contact:

Orthodox Christian Cassettes
2919 N. 56th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
Email: occassette@aol.com
Web: http://www.orthodoxtapes.org

Click here for a list of past speakers.

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