By Fr. James Coles, St. Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Church , Mesa, AZ
A new, and lively, cohort of doctoral students gathered May 19-24, 2013 at the Antiochian Village to begin a three-year journey  toward, as St. Gregory The Theologian put it, "hieratiki syneithesis" (priestly consciousness) in the D. Min. program through the Antiochian House of Studies . Under the tutelage of Director The Very Rev. Dr. Joseph Allen, and with the wonderful opportunity of the participation of The Right Rev. Bishop Nicholas of Brooklyn as a fellow student, we spent five days delving deep into the knowledge and love of God the Father. Our aim at the beginning of the program, was to better understand the tension of ministry that Fr. Joseph described to us as, "where the face of the Church meets the face of the world."
The experience was more enjoyable—while at the same time more daunting—than we were expecting. We are grateful to His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, our bishops, Fr. Joseph Allen, our families, and our parish communities, who all enabled us to participate in this program. It is a gift for us brothers to be undertaking doctoral studies together.