His Grace Bishop Dr Anba Suriel

BSc., Dip Ed., MA (Religious Education), PhD

Chancellor and Dean of SACOTC, Lecturer in Religious Education, Comparative Religions & Pastoral Theology

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His Grace Bishop Suriel is the Dean of St. Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Theological College (SACOTC) and lecturer in Religious Education, teaching units in religious education, youth ministry, comparative religions and pastoral ministry.

In 1991 he was tonsured a monk in the 4th century monastic Desert of Scetis at St. Bishoy Monastery, and served there as secretary to His Holiness Pope Shenouda III of blessed memory. 

His Grace was ordained a priest in 1993 and served as parish priest at St. Mark parish in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1996-7. He was ordained general bishop in June 1997 and appointed to oversee the Coptic Archdiocese in New Jersey and to serve the youth of the tri-state. On December 4, 1999 Bishop Suriel was enthroned as Bishop of Melbourne and its Affiliated Regions.

Whilst in the USA Bishop Suriel commenced theological studies at both Chaminade University, HI and later at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, NY. After being appointed to Melbourne he completed his Masters in Religious Education at ACU. Several of Bishop Suriel’s papers have been published by academic journals and he has published two booklets through St. Athanasius Press. His Grace successful defended his doctoral dissertation titled “Habib Girgis, Coptic orthodox Educator and A light in the Darkness” at Fordham University, NY on 20th March, 2014.

Academic Qualifications:

  • B Sc (Pure & Applied Mathematics) University of Sydney, 1985
  • Dip Ed Sydney Institute of Education, 1985
  • Masters Religious Education, Australian Catholic University, 2001
  • PhD, Fordham University New York, 2014

Major Teaching Areas:

  • Religious Education
  • Youth Ministry
  • Comparative Religions
  • Homiletics and Pastoral Theology

Previous Teaching Experience:

  • SACOTC 2001 to present
  • Relevant In-service Experience & Professional Development:
  • Local, National and International Seminars and Conferences
  • High School Teacher 6 years

Research Areas:

  • The Contribution of Archdeacon Habib-Jirjis to Coptic Christian Education in Egypt.
  • Modern Coptic history
  • RE curricula in the Coptic Church


  • “Mormonism, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. An Ancient Deception in a Contemporary World.” St Athanasius Press 2008.
  • “Christian Education and the Fathers of the Church of Alexandria in Late Antiquity,” in Studia Patristica Vol. XXXIX, 441-446 (Leuven : Peeters, 2006).
  • “Christian Education In The Church Of Alexandria In the First Five Centuries.” St Athanasius Press 2002.
  • “The Monastic Concerns Regarding Unity and Reconciliation of Traditions,” in St. Nersess Theological Review Vol. 3:1-2. St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, New Rochelle, NY 1998.

Professional Societies/Associations

  • Religious Education Association, USA
  • Australian Association for Religious Education
  • American Academy of Religion
  • International Association of Patristic Studies
  • The North American Patristics Society

Administrative Experience:

  • Head of Diocese
  • Trustee of The Diocese of Melbourne Property Trust
  • Chairperson of several entities within the Diocese of Melbourne
  • Member of Australian Heads of Churches Meeting
  • Member of Victorian Heads of Churches Meeting

Community and Professional Service:

  • Bishop of the Diocese of Melbourne and its Affiliated Regions
  • Head of Coptic Hope Charity Organisation
  • Head of Coptic Human Rights Organisation