Authentic Transparency and Accountability
April 2, 2019
New Letter Issued to HCHC, No Jobs for GOA Seminarians
Massachusetts Department of Higher Education May Revoke Degree-Granting Authority
Time to end the debate about whether the Degree at HCHC is "accredited."
The School may lose its authority to issue degree.
Hellenic College Holy Cross will be graduating its last "large" class of seminarians during the 2019 Commencement held next month. As they prepare for their final exams, there are many senior seminarians concerned that there are no job openings in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.
The reality is that many parishes can no longer afford to hire a lay assistant or assistant priest, especially in the Metropolis of San Francisco. The average student loan debt for 2019 seminarian graduates will be approximately $70,000+, and many of our top graduates have not been able to confirm any employment (whether lay or ordained) following their Commencement on May 18, 2019.
If you combine the fact that many students have a massive student debt by attending HCHC, and with many graduates in desperate need of a job to support their family and children, the Metropolitans of the GOA are once again showing their true character by allowing our seminarian graduates to figure things out for themselves with little direction or support from their respective Metropolises. The spiritual leaders are acting as if they did not know who they gave the blessing to attend to HCHC as a seminarian.
The seminarians are quick to offer remarks that many Metropolitans refuse to even respond to their inquiry about potential employment in the Church because there is poor long-term planning for jobs available for graduates. One senior seminarian indicated that there is a lot of miscommunication. No one knows what is available or who is even looking for a lay assistant.
One seminarian was allegedly told by the Metropolitan that sent them to seminary that they should look somewhere else because there is nothing open in the Metropolis that sent them to the School. What is the point of keeping the School open if there is not jobs for our graduates?
How can our parishes follow Father Chris Metropulos' message to send the "best and the brightest" to the School when there are very few jobs available?
The reality is the Metropolitans of the GOA, who are members of the Board of Trustees for HCHC, sent students to HCHC without properly knowing the financial conditions of the school or their own parishes. The Metropolitans signed the recommendation form for students to study and prepare to serve our Church without even guaranteeing them a job following their graduation. How can our Metropolitans not realize that it is rude and inconsiderate to give the blessing to send students to a school, to accumulate a huge debt, and then offer no employment following graduation. We are witnessing once again how our spiritual leaders are not really leaders.
To make matters even more complicated, many jobs for our seminarian graduates do not offer a salary to cover the basic cost of living standards. There are many assistant priests and lay assistants unable to survive on their current salaries. There are reports that many are looking for a second job just to survive.
The faithful are still waiting for our spiritual leaders to recognize their role and responsibilities in this mess. This is especially important in light of new information that has been confirmed which indicates that the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education sent a letter to Father Chris Metropulos saying they may "conduct an adjudicatory hearing to determine whether to revoke or suspend the institution's degree-granting authority."
The letter, which can be read in its entirety below, is indicating that the School may lose its authority to issue a degree whether it is accredited or not. We have reached a breaking point that may result in students going to a School without the possibility of earning a degree.
The School was required by the Commissioner of Higher Education to submit by last Friday a proposal for a corrective course of action, "which must include reasonable and feasible proposals to stabilize HCHC's finances." The faithful, once again, have not even be privy to those details despite the School continuing to beg us for money.
[ Authentic Transparency and Accountability
April 2, 2019 ]