The Evyenios Voulgaris Scholarship Program for Advanced Studies in Orthodox Spiritual Life and Theology

ATHENS – The Saint Maxim the Greek Institute, with the support of the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopaidi, is introducing the Evyenios Voulgaris Scholarship Program. Evyenios Voulgaris (1716-1806) served as principal of the Athoniada School, which had been established by the Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi. In his day, he was the greatest and most important Greek scholar, a theologian, philosopher, polymath, a man of encyclopedic learning, poet, Father and Shepherd of the Church and an influential teacher for the whole of Orthodoxy.

The ‘Evgenios Voulgaris’ is directed towards: Orthodox theologians (up to 37 years of age), holders of or candidates for a doctoral degree. Duration: 1 year (October 1–September 30). Program Language: Modern Greek.

Requirements: Good knowledge of Ancient Greek, Modern Greek and English; High level of theological knowledge and exceptional academic credentials; Competence in Microsoft Office and use of the Internet.

Aim and Purpose of the Program: The aim of the Evyenios Voulgaris scholarship program is to promote the systematic, high-level study of Orthodox spiritual life and theology, through liturgical and spiritual tradition and the experience of the life in Christ.

The program will be run at the Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi and the scholarship students will interact with both representatives of the monastic life and lecturers in theology. The theological method which will be applied is empirical, originating from and expressing the life and faith of the Orthodox Church. In this way, the program will be consistent with the epistemological and hermeneutical principles of Orthodox Patristic Theology. This experiential method represents a fruitful combination of experience, scientific knowledge and understanding. All scholarship holders will be expected to take part in the liturgical and spiritual life of the Monastery, to broaden and deepen their theological studies and to learn from figures who, as living spokesmen on the Tradition of the Church, essentially offer themselves, as well as their ecclesiastical and spiritual experience and their personal spiritual and theological reflections, as objects of study. The program also aims to unify the theological voice of the Orthodox, making it a powerful theological witness in the modern world.

The nucleus of the program is the study of Patristic literature, under the guidance of modern Fathers and hesychasts (Saint Silouan, Elder Sophrony, Elder Iosif the Hesychast, Elder Aimilianos Simonopetritis, Saint Paisios the Athonite, Saint Porfyrios Kavsokalyvitis, Saint Justin Popovic, Saint Amfilohios Makris, Saint Iakovos Tsalikis, Elder Filotheos Zervakos, Elder Cleopa Ilie, Saint Serafim of Virytsa, Elder Tadej of Vitovnica, Fr. Seraphim Rose, and others). Awareness of contemporary reality will be assessed through the study of these Fathers, and the solutions provided by the Fathers to the great problems which torment people today will be identified. The simultaneous participation of the scholarship holders in the liturgical/spiritual life and tradition of the Church, through the monastic round of services and duties, will be a dynamic connection between empirical and academic theology.

The scholars will take part in the Assemblies organized by the Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi, guests at which will be outstanding figures in Church life and theology (university professors, hierarchs, abbots and spiritual fathers). Each scholar will be able to contact each of these on a one-to-one basis throughout the duration of the program.

Scholars must reside in the Monastery for six months of the year (October-November, February-March, May-June). The remaining time will be spent on writing the final dissertation which they will submit.

At the start of the program, non-Greek scholars will be offered lessons in Modern Greek. These will be taught by specialists in the field of teaching Modern Greek to foreigners.

The program will also offer scholars lessons to improve their knowledge of Ancient Greek. These will be taught by specialists and will involve study of Biblical, liturgical and Patristic texts.

Monthly assignments: Each scholar will be obliged to submit short essays (six in all) on a particular subject. He will present each essay to the other scholars at a special assembly, which will be called in the last week of each month.

Dissertation: Moreover, at the end of the program, each scholar will be expected to submit a dissertation of at least 50 pages on a subject of his choice, within the priorities/fields suggested by the program. The choice of subject will be made with the agreement and under the supervision of one of the professors in charge. The dissertations of all the scholars will be presented in the Monastery, and they will be assessed by two examiners, one of whom will be the supervisor. The dissertations will be published in a special volume.

The Maxim the Greek Institute will award a Diploma to those scholarship holders who successfully complete the program. This Diploma is not an academic degree.

The scholarship is for one year and offers: a bursary of 800 euros a month, full board and lodging at the Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi in single rooms, with special study spaces (teaching rooms, library, internet access), and participation in the liturgical and spiritual life of the Monastery (services, refectory, assemblies and so on).

At the discretion of the Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi, who is also the Chairman of the Program, and on the recommendation of the Director of the Program, the scholarship may be extended for an extra year for outstanding scholars, with the aim of allowing them to conduct further research on the Holy Mountain in other Monasteries or in international academic centers.

The Chairman of the Program may decide to revoke a scholarship should it be confirmed that a scholar has not performed his academic obligations or has nor conformed to the conventions of life in the Monastery.


The Director of Studies of the Program is Protopresbyter Constantin Coman, professor emeritus of the Theological School of the University of Bucharest. Before the start of the program, the Institute’s web-site (www.stmaximthegreek.org/evgeniosvoulgaris) will publish:

  1. A complete list of the figures in Church life and theology.
  2. A general overview of the subjects which will be addressed by the visiting, hierarchs, fathers and professors.
  3. Select bibliography – works by contemporary Fathers and books referring to them – biographies, essays and studies.
  4. Select bibliography of the works of the instructors taking part in the program.
  5. A complete list of the Biblical, liturgical and theological texts to be studied in the Ancient Greek course, which are compulsory materials for all scholarship holders.
  6. A general presentation of the administrative and spiritual aspects of the program in which the scholars will be participating.
  7. A list of the subjects which will be the object of the short, monthly essays, and a presentation of the methodology required to complete them.
  8. A list of the subjects for research and the dissertation, and a presentation of the methodology required to complete them.


Regular Contributors

  1. Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol
  2. Metropolitan Ierotheos of Nafpaktos and Ayios Vlasios
  3. Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro
  4. Archimandrite Efraim, Abbot of the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopaidi
  5. Archimandrite Elisaios, Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Simonos Petras
  6. Archimandrite Zacharias Zakharou, Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Saint John the Baptist, Essex
  7. Archimandrite Nicholas Sakharov, Holy Monastery of Saint John the Baptist, Essex
  8. George Mantzaridis, Professor emeritus of the Theological School of the University of Thessaloniki
  9. Protopresbyter Constantin Coman, Professor emeritus of the Theological School of the University of Bucharest
  10. Protopresbyter Vasileios Kalliakmanis, Professor of the Theological School of the University of Thessaloniki
  11. Protopresbyter Nikolaos Ludovikos, Professor at the Ecclesiastical Academy, Thessaloniki
  12. Nikos Nikolaidis, Professor emeritus of the Theological School of the University of Athens

Apart from the above, other visiting contributors will honor the program with their presence.

The Co-ordinating Committee includes: Nikolaos Gouraros – Director of the Saint Maxim the Greek Institute and of the Internet Magazine ‘Pemptousia’; Georgios Manolis – Editor-in-Chief of the Orthodoxy Section of the Internet Magazine ‘Pemptousia’


The procedure for the submission of applications and the selection of scholarship holders follows:

Candidates will submit their applications by post to ΙΝΣΤΙΤΟΥΤΟ ΑΓΙΟΣ ΜΑΞΙΜΟΣ Ο ΓΡΑΙΚΟΣ, ΠΑΝΟΡΜΟΥ 70-72, ΑΘΗΝΑ, 11523, or via the internet at evgeniosvoulgaris@stmaximthegreek.org

The application process will be completed in two stages: a) an assessment of the file submitted and b) an oral interview

Required documentation:

  1. An application for entry, addressed to the Saint Maxim the Greek Institute
  2. A photocopy of the applicant’s identity card or passport
  3. Proof of doctoral degree or registration in a doctoral program
  4. Degree in theological studies
  5. Proof of competency in Ancient Greek, Modern Greek, English
  6. Letter of recommendation from the spiritual father of the scholarship applicant
  7. References from two university professors
  8. A short, detailed C.V.
  9. A brief text in Greek supporting the application

(up to 2 sides)

Applications will be assessed by a special committee under the supervision of Professor emeritus Evangelos Chrysos, President of the Saint Maxim the Greek Institute, while the final approval of the scholarship holders resides with the head of the program, Abbot Efraim of the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopaidi.

The dates for announcement of the program and submission of supporting documents are:

June 7: International announcement by the Institute regarding the scholarship program and its associated requirements

June 10-August 10: Submission of an application and file with the required documents of proof to the program directorate

August 11-September 1: Assessment of the personal files by a committee under the supervision of Professor emeritus Evangelos Chrysos, President of the Saint Maxim the Greek Institute

September 1-10: Oral interview of candidates by a committee chaired by Archimandrite Efraim, Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi

September 20: Announcement of the results

October 1: Start of the program

For further information concerning the program, please send an e-mail to evgeniosvoulgaris@stmaximthegreek.org, or telephone 210-6141171 (10 AM-5 PM).


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