The Rt. Rev. Dr. Andrew Vujisić, légalement, Dr. Zoran Vujisić, FRAS, FRSA, FRSPH, MRSNZ, MRSSAf, CFT, was an Archimandrite of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Mexico, Central America and the Islands of the Caribbean and Archiepiscopal Vicar with responsibility for the General Secretariat for Pan-Orthodox Ministries.
In 2017, he led his parish out of the Orthodox Church to be an Eastern Rite Catholic parish.
Zoran Vujisić, the first child of the late Vojislav and Sofija Vujisić (née Jovović), was born on January 30, 1957, and is a Montenegrin of the Moračani clan. He lived in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia until he was 12 years old. In 1969, his family moved to West Germany, where he lived for two years, before immigrating to Australia in 1971. He completed his secondary education in Greater Western Sydney. He is fluent in English, German, Montenegrin, Serbo-Croatian, and Spanish.
The young Zoran Vujisić completed his undergraduate studies at Thomas Edison State College (US) and a Licentiate of Sacred Theology at St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Seminary (US). He later earned an M.A. Ed. (TESL), with Honors, at the Puerto Rico campus of the University of Phoenix. He was also awarded the degree of Doctor of Ministry in Marriage and Family Therapy (summa cum laude) from Southern Christian University (now Amridge University, US). He was subsequently registered as a Certified Family Therapist by the National Credentialing Academy. His D. Min. thesis was published under the title Religious Orientation and Mental Health: Client Preference for the Inclusion of a Religious Module in the Counseling Process. He later completed two research doctoral degrees, including a Ph.D. in English and Applied Linguistics at Rhodes University (ZA), and a Th.D. from the University of South Africa (ZA). His Ph.D. research, which was published under the title of The Role of Achievement Motivation on the Interlanguage Fossilization of Middle-aged English-as-a-second-language Learners, is groundbreaking in that it presents evidence that interlanguage fossilization is not necessarily a permanent phenomenon. He was awarded a Th.D. in Practical Theology for his doctoral research on The Impact of Neptic-Psychotherapeutic Treatment on Self-Reported Depressive Symptomatology and Comorbid Anxiety, which was published under the title of Orthodox Psychotherapy: A Study in the Treatment of Depression and Anxiety. He also completed the requirements for a Ph.D., a.b.d., in General Psychology at Northcentral University (US). Dr. Vujisić is currently enrolled as a part-time student for the Professional Certificate in [Executive and Transformational Life] Coaching at the University of Cambridge (UK). He was elected to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges in recognition of his academic accomplishments and scholarship.
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Vujisić is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK), a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health (UK), a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society (UK), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (UK), and a Fellow of the Society for Values in Higher Education (US). He is also a Senior Fellow of the Sophia Institute (US).
In addition to the fellowships, Dr. Vujisić holds membership in: the Cambridge University Commonwealth Society, the Faculty of the History and Philosophy of Medicine and Pharmacy – Society of Apothecaries, the International Association of Patristic Studies, the Australian Association for Byzantine Studies, the Old Rhodian Union, the UNISA Alumni Association, the American Counseling Association, Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling, the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, Fulbright Association, PRTESOL, the Linguistic Society of America, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors, the American Psychological Association, the American Society for Philosophy, Counseling, and Psychotherapy, the Society for General Psychology, the Association for Informal Logic and Critical Thinking, the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science the Cambridge University Scientific Society, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, the Faculty of Conflict and Catastrophe Medicine – Society of Apothecaries, the Royal Society of South Africa, and the Royal Society of New Zealand. He is also a member of the International Institute for Inter-Religious Diplomacy (fostering high-level dialogue between Christianity and Islam).
Dr. Vujisić has been awarded certificates from the US Addiction Technologies Transfer Center, the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative, the US National Institute of Health, and the UCSD Human Research Protections Program. Additionally, he has coaching accreditation from the Australian Soccer Federation and the National Coaching Accreditation Program of the Australian Department of Sport and Recreation.
As a layman, Zoran Vujisić was director, from 1982 through 1988, of St. Mary’s Orthodox Community Welfare Center (in Sydney, Australia), which served people from 105 ethnic backgrounds, including his beloved Montenegrins, and other immigrants from the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. He was also coordinator of the parish’s Community Refugee Sponsorship Program, which provided housing and support for immigrants and refugees. He continued in those capacities after his ordination to the diaconate on January 29, 1988 and to the priesthood on February 15, 1989 by Archbishop Gabriel, after which he was assigned as priest of St. Mary’s Pan-Orthodox parish. Several of his spiritual children now serve as Orthodox clergymen and monks. The miracle of the Myrrh-streaming Icon of the Crucified Christ occurred at St. Mary’s Church from 1994 to 1995 during his tenure. For his arduous work, he was awarded the Patriarchal Medal of the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, His Beatitude Ignatius IV. While at St. Mary’s, he also served (on loan) at Holy Annunciation Romanian Orthodox Parish and St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Parish (OCA), both in the Sydney metropolitan area. During his priestly service in Australia, he was the administrator of the Archdiocesan Community Housing Program, which provided low cost housing for underprivileged and struggling immigrant families. Additionally, he served as Archdiocesan Religious Education Coordinator for Public Schools from 1991 through 1995, which attended the religious educational needs of hundreds of children from the Former Republic of Yugoslavia.
Puerto Rican Mission
In 1996, Fr. Zoran Vujisić arrived in the Caribbean where he established St. Spyridon’s Orthodox Mission in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was elevated to the rank of archimandrite by Metropolitan Athenagoros of Mexico on December 13, 1999 and served as such for over nine years in the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Archdiocese of Mexico (which covers 22 countries in Latin America and the islands of the Caribbean). In December 2008, he transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia but was canonically released back to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, prior to his election to the Episcopacy, upon the personal request of Metr. Athenagoras to Metropolitan Hilarion.
St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Institute
While under the omophorion of Metr. Hilarion, the Right Reverend Archimandrite Dr. Andrew, (in the secular world, Dr. Zoran Vujisić) established the St. Basil of Ostrog Orthodox Theological Institute, a Spanish-language theological studies program. The Institute was also transferred to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, with the blessing of Metr. Hilarion, in August 2009, and was expanded to include an English-language program under the patronage of St. Gregory Nazianzen. The combined programs now have 72 students from 17 countries, all but three, on full-scholarship. Through the efforts of Dr. Vujisić, (and the bilateral agreements that he authored), St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Institute became an academic unit of the Universidad Rural de Guatemala, and is authorized to grant bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in Orthodox Studies, Business Administration, Computer Science, Education, General Studies, Hellenic Studies, and Slavic Studies. Dr. Vujisić is the rector of St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Institute.
Election to the Episcopacy
On September 29, 2009, the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate unanimously elected Dr. Vujisić as Bishop of Tralles. The Patriarchal announcement of his election was cited by the official election notice of the Archdiocese of Mexico, which was published worldwide. It references the growing number of Orthodox immigrants in Latin American countries in need of pastoral care, and states that the Bishop-elect would assume the responsibility of establishing and administering Pan-Orthodox communities wherever necessary. Regarding the news of Dr. Vujisić’s election to the episcopacy, Metr. Hilarion (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia) writes to Metr. Athenagoros: “Throughout the years,…Bishop-Elect Andrew has earned and enjoyed an unblemished reputation as being a model of true godliness and eminent piety, which is indeed evident to all those who meet him. His life has been marked by self-sacrifice and hard work….”. Metr. Amfilohije (of the Serbian Orthodox Church) writes: “With joy have I received the news of the consecration of His Grace, Bishop-Elect Andrew (Vujisić) to the Episcopacy by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople… We attest that His Grace has served with me in Montenegro and Australia, and has also served with other Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church on numerous occasions and that we know… [of his unassailable character] personally…”. On December 13, 2009, after personal discussions with His All Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew I, in Constantinople, Dr. Vujisić submitted a petition to the Holy Synod requesting that his consecration be temporarily postponed (it would later be declined). His petition was accepted, but two weeks later, upon the insistence of Metr. Athenagoros, he was elevated to the rank of Archiepiscopal Vicar of the General Secretariat for Pan-Orthodox Ministries. As Archiepiscopal Vicar, he was responsible for the reception into the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the 527,000 members of the former Orthodox Catholic Church of Guatemala in January 2010.
Life as an Educator
In addition to his pastoral duties, Dr. Vujisić has served as a professor of the School of Human and Social Sciences at the University of Turabo in Puerto Rico, and as a counselor/therapist at the University’s Resource Center for Counseling and Professional Orientation. He is also the Director of the University’s Language Research Center and the editor of Puerto Rico’s only ambilingual linguistic journal, Glossa, which is distributed in 112 countries. Glossa is affiliated with the following prominent journals: Balkanskaya Rusistika, Revista Literaria Baquiana, EntreCulturas, Moenia, The Nordic Journal of English Studies, Sayyab, and Viceversa.
Publications and Interests
The author of numerous published articles on ethics, linguistics, neptic-psychotherapy, philosophy, psychology, and spirituality, Dr. Vujisić's research interests include Applied Linguistics, English-as-a-Second-Language, Fossilization, Interlanguage, International Law, Inter-Religious Diplomacy, Psycholinguistics, South Slavic Languages, Bowenian Family Therapy, Existential Phenomenology, Structural Family Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Psychology, Grief and Bereavement Counseling, Individual Psychology, Logic-Based Therapy, REBT, Social and Developmental Psychology, Conflict and Catastrophe Medicine, Neuroscience, Tropical Medicine and Health, Byzantine Studies, Eastern Mystagogy, Hesychasm, Neptic and Social Theology, Neurotheology, and Orthodox Psychotherapy. His paper on Transcending the Limitations of Worldview and Achieving Mental Health, Self-Actualization, and Tolerance through Religious Psychotherapeutic Methodologies: A Call for Scientific Investigation has been included in the sessions of the UNESCO World Philosophical Forum.
Dr. Vujisić’s published books in 2010 include: Orthodox Psychotherapy: A Study in the Treatment of Depression and Anxiety; Modern Psychologies: An Orthodox Perspective; Overcoming Interlanguage Fossilization: New Insights; and The Art and Science of Healing the Soul: A Guide to Orthodox Psychotherapy. The following titles are now in progress: From Neptic-Psychotherapy to Orthodox Psychiatry: A Cognitive Neuroscientific Proposal; When Love Hurts: Spiritual Healing for Emotional, Psychological, Verbal, and Physical Abuse; Understanding Schizophrenia; Ethics in Counseling: Framework and Guidelines; Eating Disorders in Adolescence: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment; Theories of Personality: A Review; Theories of Psychology and Therapist Personality: Interactions and Interconnections; Psychological Pathologies: Deviance, Distress, Dysfunction, and Danger; The Effects of Scholasticism on Ministry in Contemporary Society: An Orthodox Christian Perspective; Civil Religion in America: The Star-Spangled Threat to Orthodoxy; El Octóijos: El Libro de los Ocho Tonos [The Octoechos: The Book of Eight Tones]; Iniciación Cristiana: El Texto, la Teología, y la Explicación [Christian Initiation: The Text, Theology, and Explanation]; El Gran Eucologio: El Libro de Misterios y Servicios [[[The Great Euchologion: The Book of Mysteries and Services]]]; The Child Abuse / Neglect Survivor Workbook; Overcoming Depression and Anxiety; The Divine Liturgy: Rubrics for Priests and Deacons; The Complete Services of Holy Week: Texts and Rubrics (5 Volumes), and Saved by the Crown: The Case for Constitutional Monarchy.
Dr. Vujisić is also currently working on several projects, including (a) The Ecumenical Patriarchate as a Subject of International Law, (b) The Impact of Orthodox Neptic-Psychotherapeutic Treatment on Depressive Symptomatology, Electroencephalograph Asymmetry, and Regional Serotonin Transporter (5-Hydroxytryptamine) Binding, (c) Assessment of the Impact of Religious Psychotherapeutic Methodologies on Mental Health, Worldview, and Self-Actualization, (d) The Petrović-Njegoš Dynasty, and (e) The Orthodox Montenegrin Identity.
- A Short Biography of the Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Dr. Andrew (Vujisic). Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos/St. Spyridon’s Orthodox Church (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico (EP)).
- PRESS RELEASE. General Secretariat for Pan-Orthodox Ministries. From the Office of the Holy Metropolis, Mexico City, April 7, 2010.