Rev. Fr. Simeon Johnson has been serving at St. Andrew since November 2019. Raised in a nominally Lutheran family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, his first exposure to Orthodox Christianity was a Greek great-uncle that he saw pray regularly. Later in confirmation class, he heard the word homoousion or of one essence from the Nicene Creed which made a deep impression him. This word and the example of his great uncle prompted a search for a more complete understanding of Christ which in turn lead him to the Ecumenical Councils and the Orthodox Church during his first year in college. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee with a bachelor’s degree in history and political science, he studied at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary from which he graduated in 1976. He was fortunate to have studied under the Frs. Alexander Schmemann and John Meyendorff during his seminary years. This was followed by further year of study of Orthodoxy in America and ecclesiology.
Fr. Simeon was ordained to the diaconate on February 16, 1980, and to the priesthood on August 16, 1981. He has served in parishes in Milwaukee, Minneapolis and throughout the Chicago metro area including St. George, Annunciation Cathedral, St. Nectarios, and now St. Andrew. His move to Chicago was prompted by educational opportunities but provided opportunities to serve and teach in our parishes. He specializes in Adult Religious Education. On November 30, 2018, His Eminence, Metropolitan Nathanael, elevated Fr. Simeon to the rank of Archimandrite.
Since graduating from seminary, Fr. Simeon has, also, focused on higher education. He holds a Master of Arts in Russian and Modern European History from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee with a thesis entitled “Russian Orthodox Clergy in the Duma and Senate, 1906-1907: A House Divided”. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy in History in 2005 with his dissertation entitled “Imperial Commission or Orthodox Mission: Nikolai Iliminskii’s Work among the Tatars of Kazan, 1862-1891”. Once again, his work was in Russian and Modern European History. Fr. Simeon teaches at a local university.