About Dr. Mark Tarpley

Dr. Mark Tarpley was born in Commerce, TX, a small, university town.  He grew up in a home of educators in which his dad was a university professor and his mom was an elementary school teacher.  During his college years, he met his wife, Sophia, and shortly after, they were received into the Orthodox Church together. Today, they have seven children, ages 5 – 17.

Mark earned his B.A. in Religious Studies from Southern Methodist University, and his M.Div. from St. Tikhon’s Theological Seminary.  His thesis at St. Tikhon’s was entitled, “Toward a Chaste Union: The Ascetic Ethos of Christian Marriage in the Patristic Tradition of the Orthodox Church.” His thesis was under the guidance of The Most Reverend Archbishop Michael Dahulich, Ph.D. and Dr. Christopher Veniamin, Professor of Patristics at St. Tikhon’s Theological Seminary and Dean of the Antiochian House of Studies.

Mark’s area of focus in his doctoral work, also at SMU, was centered on Patristics, family, and education.  His dissertation examined the issue of moral pluralism in light of the teaching of St. Gregory the Theologian on family and public life.  His dissertation was entitled, “Between Martyrdom and Christendom: A Consideration of Family and Public Life in the Thought of St. Gregory the Theologian.”  Among his doctoral committee members, he had the privilege of again working under the guidance of Dr. Christopher Veniamin.


Professionally, Mark has taught in public and private schools and holds a teaching certificate in math 8-12.  His instructional experience includes middle school, high school, undergraduate, master’s level, and doctoral level courses.  He has taught a variety of courses including the following: upper school math courses, Patristic and Medieval history, Latin, logic, moral theology, the problem of evil, and St. John Chrysostom and St. Gregory the Theologian on family, marriage, and children.  Recently, Mark contributed an article entitled “St. Gregory the Theologian, ‘the Stamp of God,’ and Raising Christian Children Today” in the book Glory and Honor: Orthodox Christian Resources on Marriage published by SVS Press.  

Further, Mark started an Orthodox education site entitled LivingOrthodox.org that includes forthcoming publications.  He has served as Director of Education for a medical education company for five years. He also is the founder of a test prep company that specializes in integrated classroom instruction and individual student preparation. Currently, Mark serves as an administrator in the role of Academic Specialist at Christian Life Preparatory School in Fort Worth, TX - a hybrid education model of classroom instruction and homeschooling.

Mark has been very active working with youth and college students.  He has led several local OCF groups as well as worked regionally and nationally with OCF.   In addition, he has been the leader of local youth groups as well as served as the Director of Education in a local parish.

Dr. Mark Tarpley is scheduled to speak at the St. Emmelia West Conference in November 2018. His presentations are as follows:

Friday, November 9, 2018

Seeking Virtue: Why an Orthodox Approach to Virtue is Critical to Educating Our Children Today

Q&A on Wisdom, Virtue, and Education

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Teaching Our Children History within an Orthodox Ethos

Q&A on Classical Education