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St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology

Latest from the Academy:

December 2011 Newsletter: Zossima

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

My name is Zossima, a former prisoner and graduate of Saint Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (SAAOT). I did my course work under the guidance of Father Jack N. Sparks (may his memory be eternal!) and later, Paul Goetz.

In my former life, I was a member of a very conservative fundamentalist denomination who loves nothing more than to hate on catholicism and what even appeared to be Catholic, including Orthodoxy.

Having been so busy condemning others, while finding spiritual satisfaction in it, I found the perfect lazy man's excuse not to see nor even tend to my own, more serious problems – problems eventually landing me in prison.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

November 2011 Newsletter: Apostle Peter and Paul Prisoner Education Scholarship Program

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

Before losing my personal freedom to the cold of prison, I was a Protestant pastor for nearly a quarter century, a child of dedicated missionary parents.

I witnessed most Protestant beliefs, coming to prison believing in Jesus alone. Half way through my time, I was introduced to orthodoxy and came to understand the Christ.

It was a conversion one might liken to St. Paul on the road to Damascus. I was knocked off my high horse, or in my case, jolted off the hard steel springs of my bed.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

October 2011 Newsletter: Seeking Partners To Help Bring The Good News

As a friend of the Academy, we need your help.

Our ministry is to bring Apostolic teachings to prisoners through our interactive study. We have studied with 1,000's of prisoners since 1992. Our program is essay-based only and demands the prisoner-student do more than read and repeat. Here are three proofs this works.

First, they meet and exceed every challenge. Why? Because we care, and much more, there is a person, Jesus, who loves and gives them hope and promise.

Second, our prisoner-students do not return to prison.

Third, they give thanks to God for being in prison, realizing only in prison could they have found Jesus, the One Lord Who came for them – His lost sheep.

To expand our out-reach, we need many partners. Please consider a monthly gift of 5, 10, or 20 dollars.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full newsletter and to download a monthly pledge card.

September 2011 Newsletter: Apostle Peter and Paul Prisoner Education Scholarship Program

As a friend of the Academy, we need your help.

The Academy brings the depth and breath of Orthodox teachings to our prisoner-students through our inter-active education-program. It was started in 1991 by Fr. Duane Pederson and Fr. Jack Sparks of the Academy, as essential to his OCPM outreach ministry. They understood the importance of an education-based study program to bring the fulness of the faith to prisoners. We have continued this vision for twenty years.

Our program is not true/false or fill in the blank. They are essay and we demand the prisoners commitment to the study. They have accepted the challenge, and exceed every expectations. For them, we offer not just a grade or letter, but more – detailed comments and questions to further challenge and expand their thinking and love of the Lord.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.