Rev. Dr. Solomon Alexander Nigosian
By Mihran Jizmejian, President AMAC
Solomon, also known as Solo, was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1932. He grew up in an Armenian Evangelical family and a larger church family – The Armenian Evangelical Church of Alexandria.
He received his general certificate of education (GCE) in 1949 and a Sunday School teacher’s certificate from the Evangelical Teacher Training Association, USA in 1953. He received a certificate of mechanical drafting in 1956 from Montreal Institute of Mechanical Drafting, and in 1957, he was awarded a diploma in estimating from the Toronto Graphic Arts Association.
In 1955 he left Egypt with his family and settled in Toronto, Canada, where he started and organized the Sunday School at the Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Toronto from 1957-1960.
A small group of Armenian Evangelical families resolved to establish an Armenian Evangelical Church in Toronto in 1960. They elected a Church Council of five members and selected Solo as their lay preacher. Soon after the Armenian Evangelical Union of Eastern States took the newly formed church under its umbrella, they ordained Mr. Nigosian to Christian ministry in 1963.
Rev. Nigosian was a full-time minister until 1968. He served diligently, helped establish organization in the Church, strengthened the ties of his Church with other Armenian churches, and with the help of the Church Council, drafted the Church’s Constitution and published the Canada Armenian Press. From 1968-1970, he served as the interim Minister of the Armenian Congregational Church of Greater Detroit. During this period, he was involved in the Armenian Evangelical Union of Eastern States and Canada and became Moderator of the latter from 1968 to 1969. Prior to his election, he was a member of the Union’s Board. In 1971, when the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America (AEUNA) was formed, the new Board appointed him Associate Editor of the Armenian-American Outlook.
Upon his resignation from the Church, Rev. Nigosian pursued an academic career and received his B.A. degree from the University of Toronto (Victoria College) in 1968. In 1970, he received his M.A. degree in religious studies from McMaster University and in 1975 the McMaster University awarded him a doctorate degree, with a major in ancient Near East (Hebrew Bible) and minors in early Christianity and Hindu religious history.
Academic Career 1972-2012
While still at the University, Rev. Nigosian started his teaching career, teaching Hebrew Bible, New Testament and World Religions and became a Professor of Religion and Near Eastern Studies. Having achieved language competence in Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, French, Armenian, Syriac and Koine Greek, Rev. Nigosian indulged in research work.
Publications: Books and Articles
Over the years, Rev. Nigosian authored the following books: World Religions, Occultism in the Old Testament, Modes of Worship, Judaism, Islam, Date of the Song of Moses, World Faiths, From Ancient Writings to Sacred Texts: The Old Testament and the Apocrypha, The Zoroastrian Faith: Tradition and Modern Research, The Middle Eastern Founders of Religion: Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Zoroaster. He also published over 20 articles in academic scholarly journals and over 30 articles in church periodicals.
Rev. Nigosian has received over 20 scholarships from different sources, including the Department of External Affairs (Government of Canada), Ministry of Culture and Recreation (Ontario Government), and Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council. He is the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award from the School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto. In 2012 he was named Associate Emeritus, Victoria College University of Toronto.
Rev. Nigosian and his wife, Hnazant, who passed away in 2007, had two children (a boy and a girl); four grandchildren (three boys and a girl) and two great grandchildren (a boy and a girl). Rev. Nigosian currently resides in Toronto where he enjoys his grandchildren and great grandchildren.