LANGUAGE PROGRAM (Prerequisites)

AncIent Greek is a prerequisite for the AHOS PhD in Orthodox Studies, in addition to which one other ancient tongue is required, such as Latin, Syriac, Hebrew, Coptic, Armenian, Romanian, Slavonic, Georgian, Arabic.

Proficiency is also required in at least one modern language other than English. French and German are strongly recommended, but proficiency in other modern languages might also be acceptable, depending on the character of the proposed topic of research.


The stages through which students accepted into the TAOI Ph.D. Program must pass before achieving the academic title, Ph.D. in Orthodox Studies, may be described as follows:

  • Matriculation (Supplicant Status). Students are initially matriculated into the TAOI Ph.D. Program as Supplicants. Supplicant status signifies acceptance into the first two years of the TAOI Ph.D. Program, which consists of 12 credit hours of regular coursework for the first year; and 6 credit hours of Coursework plus 6 credit hours of Seminars /Tutorials for the second year of the program (see Course Descriptions above).
  • PhD Candidate (Doctorandus) or ABD Status. Upon successful completion of the first two years of doctoral studies, the student attains to the status of Ph.D. Candidate (Doctorandus), which is oftentimes referred to as the “All But Dissertation” or ABD status.
  • PhD Thesis Supervisor and Topic. In the third year of the Ph.D. in Orthodox Studies, the Ph.D. Candidate will concentrate exclusively on writing his or her doctoral dissertation, having chosen a topic approved by the Faculty as worthy of original research at the highest academic level, based, that is, on a unique investigation of sources in the relevant original ancient tongue(s), in consultation with the best secondary sources available in their respective languages, under the aegis and supervision of a specialist appointed by the TAOI Ph.D. Faculty.
  • Appointment of Examiners. The Ph.D. dissertation being submitted in a timely manner, that is to say, within the maximum period allowed of no more than seven academic years from matriculation, the TAOI Ph.D. Faculty will appoint 1 internal and 1 external examiner, who, together with the Ph.D. thesis supervisor, will read the thesis diligently and prepare questions for the Defense (Viva Voce).
  • Graduation Ceremony. On the appointed day, the successful Ph.D. Candidate will present him- or herself before Congregation, that is to say, before the Metropolitan, Board of Trustees, Faculty, Students, and the wider community, whereupon he or she shall be recognized as, and proclaimed, Doctor of Philosophy in Orthodox Studies. The Graduation Ceremony will be followed by a celebratory Graduation Banquet.


The Faculty of the AHOS PhD Program currently consists of four core members: the Very Rev. Dr. Michel E. Najim, Director of the PhD Program and Professor of Patristics and Church History; Dr. Renos K. Papadopoulos, Professor of Psychology and Christian Ministry; Dr. Christopher Veniamin, Assistant Director of the PhD Program, Registrar, and Professor of Patristic Theology and Dogmatics; and the Most Rev. Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos of Nafpaktos, Professor of Ascetic and Pastoral Theology.

Click here to view more information about the Ph.D. faculty.


For further details regarding the AHOS Ph.D. Program in Orthodox Studies, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Office of the Registrar
Ph.D. Program in Orthodox Studies
106 Hilltop Road
Waverly Twp, PA 18414

(570) 470-7804 phone
(570) 319-1348 fax email