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Eagle River Institute: Previous Speakers

The Eagle River Institute of Orthodox Christian Studies began in 1995, and is sponsored by Saint John Orthodox Cathedral of the Antiochian Archdiocese.  It is held each summer from August 1-5, and offers sixteen hours of college-level instruction in a variety of Orthodox topics, including theology, history, liturgy, spirituality, and Biblical studies.  While the primary aim of the Institute is to offer continuing education to Orthodox Christians in Alaska, it is open to any who wish to attend.



The Eagle River Institute exists to educate Americans – Christian and non-Christian – about the faith and Tradition of the Orthodox Church and to build up the Orthodox Church in Alaska.




The Institute lectures are audio-taped and will be made available through the Cathedral's bookstore, Patmos Books & Icons.  Email stjohnassistant@gmail.com if you would like to order a copy of the recordings.


NEW!  Select lectures from previous Institutes are now available in the new podcast “Everyday Theology.”  To listen, visit: Ancient Faith Podcasts.

Past speakers

Click here.



2017 - ERI Brochure - PDF

2017 - ERI Brochure - Word


Registration or Questions

To register or ask questions, send your name, address, phone number, and church affiliation to:


Eagle River Institute
St. John Orthodox Cathedral
P.O. Box 1108
Eagle River, AK 99577
Phone: 907.696.2002
Email: stjohnalaska@aol.com



- $50 per "Track."

- No cost for students, but registration is still required.

Fr. Marc Dunaway
Fr. Marc Dunaway
Fr. Marc Dunaway


We are very excited to host two Orthodox professors at our 2017 Eagle River Institute: Dr. Peter Bouteneff and Dr. Gayle Woloschak. The theme of this year's Institute will address such topics as evolution and creation, genetics, technology, and other questions related to Faith and Science. Since Christians believe that all truth comes from God, it should be fascinating and challenging to engage these two speakers, who combine expertise in both theology and science. Please join us for what we hope will be a very valuable Institute.

Also, we have worked with Ancient Faith Ministries to publish podcasts of the best lectures from previous Institutes. Listen to  "Everyday Theology" on Ancient Faith Podcasts.

All of us at Saint John’s invite you to join us August 1-5. We are always greatly blessed to host guests, and a limited amount of lodging is available right on the cathedral grounds.

We would love to see you at this summer's Institute!

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Marc Dunaway

Dr. Peter Bouteneff from St. Vladimir's Seminary

What the Early Christian Tradition has to Say about Genesis 1-3


Peter Bouteneff teaches courses in ancient and modern theology and spirituality at St Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary, where he is Professor of Systematic Theology. After taking a degree in music in 1983 he lived and worked in Japan, and traveled widely in Asia and Greece. He has an M.Div. from St Vladimir’s Seminary and a doctorate from Oxford University, where he studied under Bishop Kallistos Ware​. He conceived of and edits the "Foundations" series for SVS Press, to which he has contributed a volume called Sweeter than Honey: Orthodox Thinking on Dogma and Truth. In 2008 he authored a study of how early Christians read the Genesis creation accounts, called Beginnings: Ancient Christian Readings of the Biblical Creation Narratives.



  1. From the Old Testament to the Fathers: The Journey of the Creation Accounts
  2. Genesis 1-3: The Earliest Readers
  3. Genesis 1-3: The Cappadocian Fathers
  4. Lessons from the Tradition for Today

Dr. Gayle Woloschak from Northwestern University

Faith, Science, and Mystery

Dr. Gayle Woloschak is currently a professor of Radiation Oncology at Northwestern University in Chicago and an adjunct professor of Religion and Science at Lutheran School of Theology Chicago, and at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Toledo (Medical College of Ohio), and a D.Min. in Eastern Christian Studies from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Her laboratory interests include molecular biology, radiation biology and nano-biotechnology, and her science-religion fields include biological evolution, stem cell reasearch, and ecology. At St Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary she teaches Bioethics. She is also the current president of “The Orthodox Christian Association of Medicine, Psychology, and Religion.”


  1. Religion and Science: Interface
  2. Technology: Where are We Going?
  3. Evolution: Creation and Eternity
  4. Becoming Human: Genetics and Personhood


Tuesday, August 1
3:30 – 5:30pm – Dr. Bouteneff – 1
7pm – Daily Vespers
7:30 – 9:30pm – Dr. Woloschak – 1

Wednesday, August 2
3:30 – 5:30pm – Dr. Woloschak – 2
Dinner 7pm– Daily Vespers
7:30 – 9:30pm– Dr. Bouteneff – 2

Thursday, August 3
3:30 – 5:30pm – Dr. Bouteneff – 3
Dinner 7pm – Daily Vespers
7:30 – 9:30pm – Dr. Woloschak – 3

Friday, August 4
3:30 – 5:30pm – Dr. Woloschak – 4
7pm – Daily Vespers
7:30 – 9:30pm – Dr. Bouteneff – 4

Saturday, August 5
7pm – Great Vespers of Transfiguration
8-9pm – Final Session - Q&A

Saturday, August 6
9am – Matins of Transfiguration
10am – Divine Liturgy of Transfiguration
Salmon Potluck

There is an opportunity for a very special "add-on" to the Eagle River Institute. Each year, Holy Resurrection Orthodox Cathedral in Kodiak hosts an annual pilgrimage to Spruce Island on August 9th - the anniversary of the canonization of St. Herman of Alaska in 1970. The schedule of events and activities is normally available on the Diocese of Alaska web site.  For further information please contact Rev. Innocent Dresdow at 907-486-3854.

There used to be a warning on the itinerary that said "Subject to Change", referring to the unpredictable weather and ocean conditions. It isn’t there now, but the weather can still be unpredictable and play havoc with the pilgrimage plans-there have been years when the visit to Spruce Island had to be delayed or canceled due to bad weather. In any event, you would still be able to venerate the relics of St. Herman during the Divine Liturgy at the Kodiak cathedral.

Weather permitting, the fishing boats that carry pilgrims to Spruce Island depart the Kodiak docks around 8am. Weather conditions are often cool and damp, so it would always be prudent to have a windbreaker or other wet weather clothing on hand. Lunch is provided at the beach on Spruce Island by the women of the church following Divine Liturgy. You may want to bring a small bottle to fill with holy water from the spring, and a bag or small container for soil from the island.

Both Alaska Airlines and Era Aviation operate flights from Anchorage to Kodiak. Since Era Aviation is a regional carrier that only operates in state, they have no security screening requirement. Alaska Airlines does not operate separate check-in gates for in-state destinations, so all their passengers are processed through the same security gate.

For a more adventuresome and leisurely connection, the Alaska Marine Highway System operates a ferry between Homer and Kodiak. Their Anchorage office may be reached at 907-272-4482.

The high-end commercial lodging is the Best Western Kodiak Inn (907.486.5712). They offer an airport shuttle service, which makes hiring a taxi unnecessary. Once in Kodiak, everything is within easy walking distance - in fact, the Inn is directly across from the boat harbor where the pilgrimage departs from. Of the other two establishments, the Russian Heritage Inn (a modest motel, actually, despite the name) is the most centrally located, and folks who’ve stayed there reported that they were entirely satisfied with their rooms.  For a little bit of charm, try Mrs. Potts B & B.

Metropolitan KALLISTOS (Ware)
Metropolitan KALLISTOS (Ware)
Metropolitan KALLISTOS (Ware)

Miss an Institute? Or want to hear it again?

Previous Eagle River Institute recordings are now available through the Cathedral's bookstore. Cost is $5 per series/lecture track, and are provided in mp3 format. Email stjohnassistant@gmail.com to place an order, or pick-up a copy in the Cathedral bookstore.

Previous ERI recordings are still available through Orthodox Christian Cassettes.  Lectures are recorded and made available by Orthodox Christian Cassettes for Institutes up through 2011. For information, contact:

Orthodox Christian Cassettes
2919 N. 56th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
Email: occassette@aol.com
Web: http://www.orthodoxtapes.org

Click here for a list of past speakers.

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