The 3rd ‘Evyenios Voulgaris’ Scholarship Programme for Advanced Studies in Orthodox Spiritual Life and Theology

20 May 2021

Scholarship Programme


The Saint Maxim the Greek Institute, with the support of the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopaidi, is introducing the ‘Evyenios Voulgaris’ Scholarship Programme. 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 encyclopaedic 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 40 years of age), holders of or candidates for a doctoral degree.

Duration: 1 year (October 4 – September 30)

Programme Language: Modern Greek


  • 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 Programme

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

The programme 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 programme 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 programme also aims to unify the theological voice of the Orthodox, making it a powerful theological witness in the modern world.

The nucleus of the programme 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 Païsios the Athonite, Saint Porfyrios Kavsokalyvitis, Saint Justin Popović, 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 programme.

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.

Intensive courses in Modern Greek

At the start of the programme, 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.

Intensive courses in Ancient Greek

The programme will offer scholars lessons to improve their knowledge of Ancient Greek. These will be taught by specialists and will involve the 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.


Moreover, at the end of the programme, 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 programme. 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.

Certificate of Attendance

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

The Scholarship

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 Programme, and on the recommendation of the Director of the Programme, 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 centres.

The Chairman of the Programme 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 Study Guide to the Programme

The Director of Studies of the Programme is Protopresbyter Constantin Coman, professor emeritus of the Theological School of the University of Bucharest.

Before the start of the programme 2021 – 2022 the Institute’s website ( 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 a bibliography of the works of the instructors taking part in the programme.
  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 programme 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.


Figures in Church life and theology

Invited Contributors of 2020 – 2021 Program 

  1. Metropolitan of Batska, Eirinaios
  2. Metropolitan of Limassol, Athanasios
  3. Metropolitan of Nafpaktos and Aghios Vlassios, Ierotheos
  4. Metropolitan of Patras, Chrysostomos
  5. Metropolitan of Nea Krini and Kalamaria, Ioustinos
  6. Elder Archimandrite Ephraim, Abbot of the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi
  7. Elder Archimandrite Elisseos, Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Simonos Petra
  8. Elder Archimandrite Iakovos Halil, Dear of Balamand Theological School, Lebanon
  9. Elder Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou, Holy Monastery of St. John the Baptist – Essex, UK
  10. Protopresbyter Constantin Coman, Professor, School of Theology, University of Bucharest
  11. Protopresbyter Vassilios Kalliakmanis, Professor, School of Theology, University of Thessaloniki
  12. Protopresbyter Nikolaos Loudovikos, Professor, University Ecclesiastical Academy of Thessaloniki
  13. Georgios Mantzaridis, Professor, School of Theology, University of Thessaloniki
  14. Christos Economou, Professor, School of Theology, University of Thessaloniki
  15. Nikos Nikolaidis, Professor, School of Theology, University of Athens
  16. Michael Tritos, Professor, School of Theology, University of Thessaloniki
  17. Simeon Paschalidis, Professor, School of Theology, University of Thessaloniki, Chairman, Pastoral and Social Theology Department
  18. Panagiotis Skaltsis, Professor, School of Theology, University of Thessaloniki; Chairman, Theology Department
  19. Constantinos Kornarakis, Professor, School of Theology, University of Athens
  20. Nenant Milosevic, Professor, School of Theology, University of Belgrade

The Invited Contributors for the scholarship program 2021-2022 will be announced on our website soon.

Co-ordinator of Program 

Nikolaos Gouraros – Director of Development of Saint Maxim the Greek Institute

Procedure for the submission of applications and the selection of scholarship holders

Candidates will submit their applications by post to ST MAXIM THE GREEK INSTITUTE, PANORMOU 70-72, ATHENS 11523, GREECE, or via the internet at [email protected]

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 programme
  4. Degree in theological studies
  5. Proof of competency in Ancient Greek, Modern Greek
  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. Letter in Greek to support the application (up to 3 pages). As regards the final assessment and the decision regarding choice of scholarship candidate, particular weight will be given to the understanding of the aim and purpose of the program and the corresponding grounds for participation, as these are demonstrated both in the said letter and also during the interview process. 

Applications will be assessed by a special committee under the supervision of Professor emeritus Apostolos Nikolaides (School of Theology – University of Athens) , President of the Saint Maxim the Greek Institute, while the final approval of the scholarship holders resides with the head of the programme, Abbot Efraim of the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopaidi.


Dates for the announcement of the programme and submission of supporting documents

20 May 2021: International announcement by the Institute regarding the scholarship programme and its associated requirements

24 March – 30 July 2021: Submission of an application and file with the required documents of proof to the programme directorate

30 July – 13 August 2021: Assessment of the personal files by a committee under the supervision of Professor Emeritus of Theology of the University of Athens Mr Apostolos Nikolaides, President of the Saint Maxim the Greek Institute

2 – 6 September 2021: Oral interview of candidates by a committee chaired by Archimandrite Efraim, Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi

15 September 2021: Announcement of the results

4 October 2021: Start of the programme

For further information concerning the programme, please send an e-mail to [email protected], or telephone 210-6141171 (between 10:00 and 17:00).