Bishop Hovakim Manukian
His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukian (baptismal name Vardkes) was born on October 19, 1976, in the village Voskehat, Republic of Armenia. He received his primary education at the secondary school of the village starting in 1983 and graduating in 1993. He entered the Vaskenian Theological Academy at Lake Seven in 1994 and 1999 transferred to the Gevorkian Theological Seminary at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and graduated in 2000. He also took a course at the Bossey Ecumenical School, Geneva, Switzerland in 1998 and a course in Social Theology at the Diaconal School in Aarhus, Denmark in 2001.
He was ordained to the diaconate on July 16, 2000, by His Eminence Archbishop Mesrop Grigorian. Upon his graduation in 2000, he was assigned to serve in the Inter Church Relations Department of the Armenian Church. On October 22, 2001 he successfully defended his thesis entitled “Extracts from the History of the Coptic Orthodox Church ” and received a mark of very good.
He was ordained as a celibate priest in November 2001, by His Eminence Archbishop Voskan Galpakian and given the priestly name of Hovakim. He departed Armenia for further study, and from 2002-2004, studied at the Spiritual Academy in Sergiev Posad, Moscow.
He returned to Armenia in June, 2004 and was reappointed to serve in the Inter Church Department of the Mother See. He was appointed to serve as the Director of the Inter Church Office in August, 2005, where he still serves today. He presented and successfully defended his doctoral thesis entitled “Ecumenism in the 20th Century and the Armenian Church” and on April 23, 2006 received the rank of Archimandrite (Vardapet) at the St. Mesrop church of Oshakan by His Eminence Archbishop Yeznik Petrosian.
From 2008-2009 he attended classes at the Yerevan University School of Political Studies. He is a lecturer at the Gevorkian Seminary and the Vaskenian Academy on the History of the Universal and Armenian Churches.
Since 2005 he has served as member of the Trustee Committee of the Armenian Round Table Charitable Foundation. He served as a member of the Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) from 2004 to 2009. He was appointed to serve as a member of the Central Committee of the CEC in 2009. Since 2004, he has served as the Ecumenical Officer of the Armenian Church to the World Council of Churches. He is the author of several scientific, public and apologetic articles.
In June 2015 Bishop Hovakim was appointed Primate of the Armenian Churches of the United Kingdom by His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos and Supreme Patriarch of All Armenians.