The People of St. Irenaeus Institute

Michael G. Tsichlis, PhD



Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Tsichlis is a lifelong member of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, with family roots dating back to the founding of the parish in 1917. He went on to receive a B.A. in Political Science and Russian from Saint Louis University and later earned both an M.A. in Public Administration and a doctorate in Public Policy Studies from the university. He also spent a year doing graduate research in Russian language and slavic culture studies the University of Illinois-Urbana. In 2012 he completed an M.A. in systematic theology at Aquinas Institute of Theology. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in theology and culture at Concordia Seminary.


Dr. Tsichlis taught political science at the undergraduate level as well as a course on Greek immigration. He has had a longstanding research interest in St. Louis area history, including the development of the Greek-American community, and has published and given presentations on the subject. He is a past Advisory Committee member of the Greek Studies Program at UM-St. Louis, and was a former president of AHEPA Chapter 395 in St. Louis. He is a member of the Hellenic American Progressive League, one of the oldest, continually functioning Greek-American fraternal groups in the nation.


For the past twenty-four years Dr. Tsichlis has worked in the field of non-profit management and instiutional advancement. During this time he has been employed at institutions such as Saint Louis University, Jefferson College, Provident Counseling, and Aquinas Institute of Theology. He has also provided consulting services to numerous non-profit groups, schools, and churches and has served on the boards of various civic, educational, and social service agencies. In 2013 he was elected a member of the Board of Alderman in the city of Crestwood, Missouri.


While in college, he co-founded one of the early campus-based Orthodox Christian Fellowship groups. He was a high school-level Sunday School teacher for three years and later served for five years as chair of his parish scholarship committee. He has also served on the local board of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, the St. Nicholas parish capital campaign committee, the parish library committee, and was past director of the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting in St. Louis. 


During his graduate studies at Aquinas Institute, Dr. Tsichlis pursued extensive research on the doctrine of the Dormition (kemisis or "falling asleep") of the Mother of God which led to the publication of his first book on Orthodox theology, For the Hope of Humanity. In addition to Aquinas Institute and Concordia Seminary, he has taken graduate level coursework at Kenrick Theological Seminary, Eden Seminary, and Saint Louis University.


Dr. Tsichlis has been married to Vasilika (Terss) Tsichlis for seventeen years. They live in Southwest St. Louis County with their eleven-year-old son George and Buddy, their Boston Terrier.

Zachary L. Kostopoulos

Associate Director


Zachary Kostopoulos was born and raised in Massachusetts, where he attended Sts. Constantine and Helen in Cambridge and St. Athanasius in Arlington while growing up. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University in 2008, majoring in History and minoring in Art History. From there, he attended Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA, where he earned a Masters of Theological Studies in Church History and Patristics (2010). He is now a doctoral candidate in Historical Theology at Saint Louis University where he is writing a dissertation on Origen of Alexandria. He also teaches undergraduates in the history of Christianity and New Testament for the Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University.    


Zachary currently attends St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in St. Louis with his wife, Joanna Kostopoulos, and their son, Alexios (18 months). There, he teaches Sunday school to high school juniors and seniors and assists with the church's library committee. When he is not busy with work for school, Zachary enjoys time with his family and their adopted dog, Ebbie, in and around the city of Saint Louis.

Fr. Douglas Papulis

Advisory Board Member

Proistamenos (chief pastor), St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church


Father Douglas Papulis was born and raised in Massachusetts, and enrolled in
Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA where he received his B.A. and later his Master of Divinity degree in 1983. Father Doug was the valedictorian at both his College and Graduate Schools' ceremonies.


Father Doug worked and traveled for the Office of Admissions of Hellenic College/Holy Cross until his ordination to the Deaconate in New Bedford, Massachusetts on April 29, 1984. The following Sunday, May 6, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood in St. Vasilios Church in Peabody, Massachusetts.


After serving at St. Vasilios Church in Peabody, Massachusetts for two years,  he was assigned to the Dormition of the Mother of God Church in Racine, Wisconsin - a lakeside community between Chicago and Milwaukee.


Highlights in his ministry included watching the beginnings and development of the St. John Chrysostom Monastery in nearby Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin where he celebrated Services on a regular basis. Twice, he lead groups of his
parishioners to the Holy Land and Constantinople. He also was able to travel to
Mount Athos and witness the ordination of his brother-in-law Father Seraphim


In 1997, Fr. Doug began serving at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in St. Louis. He lives in Manchester, Missouri with Presvytera Christina.They have three grown sons - Alex, Peter and George, and one canine daughter - Lady. 

St. Irenaeus Orthodox Theological Institute

4967 Forest Park Ave

Saint Louis, MO 63108


Phone: 314.265.1961


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Available by appointment. please call 314-265-1961.



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