The Scholarship of St. Basil the Great was established in 1991 by the late Bishop Henry Gordon Hill through the encouragement of the Archbishop of Canterbury, to facilitate a student exchange between members of the Anglican Church of Canada and members of the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Assyrian Church of the East.
The following churches are included in the exchange:
- The Armenian Apostolic Church (in Armenia and Lebanon)
- The Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt
- The Ethiopian Orthodox Church
- The Eritrean Orthodox Church
- The Syriac Orthodox Church of Syria and India
- The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (in India)
- The Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East
- The Anglican Church of Canada
St. Basil Scholars have a unique opportunity to enrich their spiritual lives by immersing themselves in another dimension of the Christian life. But it is not only the Scholars who benefit. Wherever the Scholars worship, study, and live, there is an exchange of ideas and experiences, which enables Christians to appreciate the diversity that exists within the Body of Christ. When Scholars return home, they are better equipped to lead others to discover the fullness of the witness to Jesus Christ. St. Basil Scholars have an opportunity to influence their communities in positive ways, encouraging a more ecumenical spirit and sharing the diversity of the Christian Church.
The advisory committee of the Scholarship is actively seeking the next candidate.
The late Bishop Henry Hill, a former Bishop of Ontario, established the scholarship out of his ongoing concern for deepening Christian friendship between Canadian Anglicans and members of the Eastern Orthodox Churches. This concern was made stronger in the early 1980s when he visited all the Oriental Orthodaox Churches as the representative of Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury.
Bishop Hill attended the World Council of Churches Assembly of 1983, when the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican delegates met with the representatives of the Eastern Churches. A second visit came in 1985 when a joint theological forum was held at St. Alban’s in the United Kingdom. A third notable visit took place during the Lambeth Conference in 1988. The three visits were historic occasions as there had not been a meeting of these churches for 1,600 years.
Following years of careful planning, the Scholarship of St. Basil the Great was established to bring the renewed friendships between these churches to practical expression, so that Christians may nurture one another and learn together.
The first scholarship was awarded in 1995 to a member of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the amount of $20,000.
The second scholarship was awarded to the Rev. Sargis Boyajyan of the Armenian Apostolic Church, who arrived in Canada in September 1997. He studied theology and English, and attended services at St. Mary Magdalene, St. Martin-in-the-Fields and other Anglican parishes. He also assisted in the liturgy of the Armenian Church in Toronto, ON.
The third scholarship recipient, the Rev. Canon Philip Hobson, travelled to Armenia and Jerusalem where he spent four months sharing in the life of the Armenian Apostolic Church and lecturing on the Anglican Church.
A video detailing Canon Hobson’s experience with the Armenian Apostolic Church is available here: http://youtu.be/HknceHAGPPU
In 2012, the Venerable Edward Simonton received a scholarship to travel and work with the Saint Thomas Christians of India. He wrote about his experiences in the following papers:
In 2015, the Rev. Canon Dr. Gary Thorne received a scholarship to travel and study among the Coptic Orthodox Christians in Egypt.
Applications are accepted year-round.
Please apply online at the AFC grants application portal.
If you have any questions about the application process, please consult the detailed information above or contact the Foundation office by email.