The Rev. Fr. Arten Ashjian was born in Aleppo, Syria in 1919. In 1947, responding to the invitation of Bishop (later Archbishop) Tiran Nersoyan, he started his graduate theological studies which culminated in a Master of Sacred Theology in 1950 from the General Theological Seminary and a Master of Theology from Harvard Divinity School in 1961. He was ordained a priest in 1948 and served in various parishes until his recent retirement. Over a period of two decades, until 1992, he was an instructor of Armenian Church History at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary.