When the Foundations are Shaken – Encouragement From the Scriptures and the Saints

dmitri-petrov-the-prayer-of-an-expectant-mother-20052We are pleased to announce that on Sunday, June 11th, Drs. David and Mary Ford will be delivering a lecture in our parish entitled “When the Foundations Are Shaken – Encouragement from the Scriptures and the Saints.” Drawing from many years experience teaching Orthodox theology and praxis in the American context, Drs. David and Mary will speak about an Orthodox Christian response to crises and difficulty with the wisdom of Holy Scripture and the lives of the saints as our essential guideposts. The lecture is open to the general public and will start at 6:00 pm Sunday evening, with a Q&A to follow. Please join us in this awesome opportunity to further our understanding in how Christ’s abundant grace can redeem the tragedies that face us in our daily lives as Christians. Handouts for the lecture and books by Drs. David and Mary will be available at the door.

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Dr. David C. Ford was raised in Wilmington, Delaware, in a nominally Presbyterian home. He went to college at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, where he majored in History. Immediately after graduation he went to Liberia, West Africa, as a volunteer in the United States Peace Corps; he served there for three years in the field of education. While there he became involved with Evangelical and then Pentecostal Christianity through the influence of various missionaries.

In 1977 he entered the M.Div. program at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Here he learned about the Early Church, and through his continuing study of the facts of Church History, he realized that only Holy Orthodoxy has preserved the fullness of the Christian Faith. He was received into the Orthodox Church in January of 1980, at St. Anthony’s Antiochian Church in Tulsa.

Having graduated with the M.Div. degree in May of 1980, he stayed in Tulsa for four years, serving in various ways in the parish there. Then in 1984 he began the Ph.D. program in Church History and Historical Theology at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. In May of 1988 he married Dr. Mary Sanford, who had previously converted to Orthodoxy in England.

Upon graduation from Drew in May of 1989, Dr. David was hired at St. Tikhon’s Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania, where he is now Professor of Church History. (His wife Mary began teaching at St. Tikhon’s at the same time; she is now Associate Professor of New Testament there.) Dr. David has authored multiple books and publications, including Marriage as a Path to Holiness: Lives of Married Saints (which he co-authored with Dr. Mary Ford), Women and Men in the Early Church: The Full Views of St. John Chrysostom, and most recently a translation of The Letters of Saint John Chrysostom to Saint Olympia the Deaconess. 

Dr. Mary Ford was born and raised in Nashville, TN, and went to college at Hollins College, Roanoke, VA. She attended graduate school in Great Britain, and converted to Orthodoxy there in 1977. She received her Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Kent, Canterbury, England, and also studied at St. Andrews, Scotland, and in Oxford, England.

In 1988 she married David Ford, and the following year they both began teaching at St. Tikhon’s Seminary where she is now Associate Professor of New Testament. She has taught a course on the writings of St. John the Theologian, including his Revelation, for 25 of those years, Hermeneutics for almost 20 years, Introduction to Orthodox Spiritual Life for 10 years, and an assortment of others.

In 1994 St. Tikhon’s Seminary Press published Marriage as a Path to Holiness: Lives of Married Saints, which was co-authored by David and Mary Ford, and they adopted their only child, a daughter, from Russia. This book was revised and expanded in 2013. Dr. Mary has also written numerous articles appearing in various Orthodox journals. Her most recent book is The Soul’s Longing: An Orthodox Christian Perspective on Biblical Interpretation which was published by St. Tikhon’s Monastery Press in 2015.

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