by the Very Rev. Dr. Michel E. Najim, Director
Welcome to the Antiochian Orthodox Institute (TAOI) Ph.D. Program in Orthodox Studies established as a department of the Antiochian House of Studies (AHOS), the first program of its kind to be established within an English-speaking framework in North America. It is my personal humble honor and joy to be the Director of this fledgling program, leading a group of eminently qualified scholars versed in the culture and ethos of the Orthodox Church, who will help to prepare future educators and theologians. Building on the remarkable success of the AHOS M.Div. and D.Min. programs, by which, since 1980, more than 4,000 students have drawn from the living waters of our Holy Orthodox Tradition, it seemed proper to take our contribution to theological formation to the next and highest level. By raising the bar of further education in our Archdiocese in particular, and more generally in North America and beyond, it is hoped that our specialists in Orthodox theology will help to elevate the knowledge and ethos of all the Orthodox faithful in this continent, and abroad, helping them to acquire the Orthodox mind (phronema) so as to meet the great challenges of our times. It is my pleasure, moreover, to extend my invitation also to scholars of various backgrounds whose desire it is to discover the rich Biblical and Patristic tradition of the Orthodox Church. Indeed, one of our fundamental goals is to promote informed and balanced dialogue between Orthodox Christians and the world around us, because it is our conviction that such a dialogue can only be fruitful if it is based on the inexhaustible treasury of the Orthodox faith. The Prospectus in hand will offer the reader an outline of the purpose and structure of the TAOI Ph.D. Program in Orthodox Studies. It is our sincerest hope that this program represents a true springtime of Orthodox Christian education and leadership for North America and beyond.