Senior Fellows

Father John S. Custer

Father John S. Custer, Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, is Dean and Professor of Biblical Studies at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh.

He earned his S.T.D. degree from the Pontifical Gregorian University and his S.S.L. degree from the Pontifical Biblical Institute. He also holds a B.A. degree in Classics from Seton Hall University.

Father Custer is author of The Old Testament: A Byzantine Perspective, and The Holy Gospel: A Byzantine Perspective, both published by God with Us Publications. A third volume,  The Apostolic Writings: A Byzantine Perspective, is due out shortly. He regularly publishes and lectures on Byzantine, patristic, and Scriptural topics.

In addition to his academic work, Father Custer has pastored parishes in Danbury, Connecticut, and Philadelphia and has been active in youth ministry and priestly formation.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Oideas Gael, Gleann Cholm Cille, Tir Chonaill Éire. Thirty hours of advanced Irish language study for teachers of the Irish language (2004)
  • B.A.,  Seton Hall University (1979) Classics
  • S.S.L., Pontifical Biblical Institute (1985) 
  • S.T.D., Pontifical Gregorian University (1987) 

Professional Positions

  • 2004: Adjunct Professor, Graduate Dept. of Theology, Duquesne University
  • 1995-1998: Visiting Professor: St. Gregory the Theologian Seminary Permanent Diaconate Program, Newton MA
  • 1995-present: Member, Intereparchial Liturgical Commission
  • 1993-1996: Assistant Professor: Dean of Students, Director of Formation, Recruitment Officer, College Division, Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus OH
  • 1991-1999: St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Overbrook PA
  • 1990-1993: Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church, Philadelphia PA
  • 1987-1990: Pastor: St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church, Danbury CT
  • 1987-1989: Adjunct Professor: Western Connecticut State University
  • 1983: Ordained to the priesthood for the Eparchy of Passaic. 

Publications and Presentations

  • The Akathist Hymn to the Mother of God (Introduction, text, translation, commentary) (Paulist Press, forthcoming 2008)
  • The New Testament: A Byzantine Perspective, Vol. 2: The Apostolic Writings (Pittsburgh: God with Us, 2005)
  • “The Akathist Hymn to the Mother of God” lecture presented at Archeparchy of Pittsburgh Catechist Formation (2005)
  • “Called to Discipleship” director of Day of Recollection for Young Adults; Eparchy of Passaic, Basilian Fathers’ Monastery, Matawan NJ (2004)
  • “Keynote Address” at Intereparchial ByzanTEEN rally, Frazier Park, CA (2004)
  • “Byzantine Catholic Answers to Life’s Three Most Pressing Questions” presented workshop at ByzantTEEN rally (2004)
  • “The OT Background of the Liturgy” lecture at Byzantine Catholic Churches of Phoenix AZ (2004)
  • “A User’s Guide to the Bible: For absolute beginners” lecture at Byzantine Catholic Churches of Phoenix AZ and Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, Catechist Formation (2003-2004)
  • The New Testament: A Byzantine Perspective, Vol 1: The Holy Gospel (Pittsburgh: God with Us, 2004)
  • “Through the Church Year with the Gospel according to St Matthew” Eparchial Convocation, Eparchy of St Nicholas of Chicago (2003)
  • The Liturgy of the Church and the Word of God (Fairfax, VA: Eastern Christian Publications, 2003)