He gained his Bachelor of Arts in Russian studies at Fordham University in 1960, followed by a Master of Divinity degree at Saint Vladimir"s Orthodox Theological Seminary in 1963. He later completed a master"s degree in philosophy at Duquesne University in 1968 and a Doctor of Philosophy in theology at Fordham University in 1982.
He was the Dean of Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary from September 1992 until July 1, 2002 and taught dogmatic theology there from 1968 until 2002. In retirement, he carried the honorary title of Dean Emeritus. His ancestors are linked to the Rusyn village of Naviczke near the city of Uzhorod.
At Saint Vladimir"s Seminary, Hopko studied with such renowned Orthodox theologians as French
Alexander Schmemann, French John Meyendorff, Nicholas Arseniev and Serge Verkhovskoy.
He was ordained to the priesthood in 1963 and served several parishes in the states of Ohio and New New York In 1968 he began to teach at Saint Vladimir"s and eventually succeeded his teacher Serge Verkhovskoy as professor of dogmatic theology.
He was elevated to the rank of archpriest in 1970 and, upon his election as dean, to the rank of protopresbyter (1995).
Hopko was an Orthodox Christian lecturer and speaker, known both in Orthodox and ecumenical circles. He was also President of the Orthodox Theological Society in America (1992-1995). In retirement, he had several popular podcasts on Ancient Faith Radio.
Hopko died of complications from congestive heart failure due to amyloidosis on March 18, 2015, in the Pittsburgh suburb of Wexford, Pennsylvania.