Date of Graduation

7-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in History (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

History

Advisor

Tricia Starks

Committee Member

Alessandro Brogi

Second Committee Member

Donald Kelley

Abstract

Bishop Tikhon Bellavin spent eight years serving as the head of the Aleutian and North American Diocese for the Russian Orthodox Church. During this period the Diocese underwent structural changes that have had a lasting impact on the church. Tikhon was the right Bishop to lead these transformations because, as this thesis argues, he was educated in new theological thoughts and practices. He was forced into these decisions by the following major changes in the United States: a massive increase in immigration from Eastern Europe containing Orthodox parishioners, settlement of these parishioners predominantly on the east coast, a change in Federal subsidy policy towards missionary contract schools, and Tikhon's desire for an autonomous diocese.

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