Dr. Elena Nelson, herself a former student of the Summer School of Liturgical Music,  has taught the course “Introduction to Church Slavonic” at the School since 2013.  She is also a full-time instructor at Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary, teaching Russian I, Russian II, Advanced Russian, and Church Slavonic II.  Dr. Nelson received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, Department of Slavic Languages and Literature in 2010, after the acceptance of her dissertation, “Tradition and Innovation in Russian Church Slavonic Hymnography.”  Dr. Nelson came to the Orthodox faith in college, after her Russian class had an excursion to Holy Trinity Monastery.  

In 2001, she took Archimandrite Joasaph McLellan’s (of blessed memory) Church Slavonic course at  SSLM, which inspired her to continue studying Church Slavonic and Slavic Linguistics.  She has taught various languages since 1997 at institutions including the University of Rochester, the University of California, Berkeley, St. John of San Francisco Orthodox Academy, the International Language Institute at Rambouillet (France), Saint Petersburg State University (Russia), and online for CALCampus.