FROM THE FACULTY OF THEOLOGY AT ARISTOTLE UNIVERSITY OF THESSALONIKI
Thessaloniki, Greece - On Tuesday, June 5, 2012, Fr. Gregory Edwards, a priest of the Western American Diocese, successfully defended his doctoral dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Theology at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. He was awarded a doctorate summa cum laude for his work, which was entitled (in English): "'The Diakonia [Service] of the Saints' (1Cor 16.15): Diakonia and Martyria [Witness] According to St. Paul and Contemporary Orthodox Christian Witness in North America." The dissertation focused on the theological criteria for Orthodox mission in North America, and examined in particular the paradigms provided by the lives and work of Archimandrite Ephraim of Philotheou, Hieromonk Seraphim Rose, and New Skete in New York. His work was supervised by Professor Petros Vassiliadis, one of the pre-eminent Orthodox scholars on the New Testament and mission, who examined him at the defense along with six other professors of the School of Theology.
The Rev. Fr. Dr. Gregory Edwards, originally from eastern Pennsylvania, converted to Orthodoxy while studying for his bachelor's degree in Religious Studies at Brown University. For the last six years, he has been studying in Thessaloniki. He has served as a cleric of the Orthodox Church of Greece for the past four years. He and his wife, Popadija Pelagia (Copeland) from Yakima, Washington, have three children.