The Antiochian House of Studies (AHOS) was established on December 29, 1980 – with the blessing of Metropolitan Philip (Saliba) and under the aegis of the unbroken tradition of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch – with the express purpose of offering a distance theological education to as broad a public as possible through a directed-reading curriculum.
With its programs of guided readings, written examinations, residency units and required field ministerial praxes, AHOS offered a unique home-study opportunity for Orthodox Christians, and others, to increase their knowledge of the faith and to acquire practical skills in church work. The original program was placed under the patronage of the Protodeacon and Protomartyr Stephen, and was entitled the St. Stephen’s Diploma Program in Orthodox Theology.
In 1988 an additional year was added to the St. Stephen’s Program, in order to produce the Master of Theology in Applied Orthodox Theology Degree. The fourth year consisted of the composition of a fifty-page research paper with full scholarly apparatus, under the guidance of a faculty member.
For almost forty years St. Stephen’s Programs have been offering specialized training on a professional level as well as the support system to buttress the training. Each course is guided by a mentor who is a specialist in his field. This mentor guidance, the praxis and residency programs, place our distance programs on the highest professional level, making them more than mere reading programs.
The M.Th. in Applied Orthodox Theology program exists in partnership with the Balamand University, Lebanon.