The Antiochian House of Studies (AHOS) has been offering programs of theological study in a distance-learning format for over 35 years. AHOS currently offers two Master of Theology degrees: M.Th. in Applied Orthodox Theology and M.Th. in Pastoral Care & Counseling. Both degrees are granted by AHOS in partnership with the Saint John of Damascus School of Theology of the University of Balamand in the Republic of Lebanon, under the aegis of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch.
The Master of Theology in Applied Orthodox Theology is an accredited three-year distance-learning graduate program designed for those interested in a rigorous graduate education in theology across a range of topics – Scripture, Doctrine, Fundamentals of Orthodoxy, Liturgical Theology, Pastoral Theology, Church History, Patristics, Canon Law, and Spirituality. An overview of the general Applied Orthodox Theology curriculum is provided below. In addition, concentrations are offered for those who would like to specialize in one of the following subjects: Youth Ministry, Musicology, Byzantine Iconology, and Oriental Orthodox Studies.
General Theology Curriculum
(For students who do not select a Concentration)
The directed-reading courses of the Applied Orthodox Theology general curriculum are as follows (course list will differ slightly for students selecting one of the Concentrations – see links above):
• Fundamentals I: An Introduction to Orthodoxy
• Church History I: The Christian Church from Its Foundation through the Seventh Century
• Liturgical Theology I: Introduction to Liturgical Theology, Baptism and Eucharist
• Church History II: The Orthodox Church from the Seventh Century to 1453
• Holy Scripture I: The Old Testament
• Liturgical Theology II: Sanctification of Life and Time
• Holy Scripture II: The New Testament
• Patristics: The Fathers of the Church During the First Five Hundred Years
• Doctrine I: The Doctrine of Knowledge in the Tradition of the Church
• Pastoral Theology I
• Doctrine II: The Orthodox Doctrine of the Holy Trinity
• Canon Law: The Canon Law of the Orthodox Church
• Master’s thesis
The directed-praxis courses are offered in the spring semester of each year (Units II, IV, and VI). They will include a proposal submitted for approval to the relevant Faculty member and the Praxis Mentor; the directed Praxis itself; and a Praxis paper with supporting detail.
An intensive week-long Residency takes place in late August or early September of the first three academic years, and is held at the Antiochian VIllage Conference & Retreat Center in western Pennsylvania.
Students who successfully complete the required coursework of the Applied Orthodox Theology curriculum, and who satisfy the other prerequisites, may enter the final phase of the Master’s Degree program which will include research and thesis composition focusing on a practical application of Orthodox Theology. The students is advised to begin thinking about his or her thesis no later than the spring semester of the second year. Preparation would include the following:
• Presentation of a Thesis Proposal (abstract)
• Thesis research and preparation
• Completion and defense of the Master’s thesis.
For a more detailed description of the Applied Orthodox Theology program, including course descriptions, please see pp. 3-11 of the AHOS Catalog.
Please note that the programs of the House of Studies do not guarantee ordination. All policy regarding ordination resides with the student’s respective hierarchy.