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Master of Divinity (M.Div.)

Master of Divinity

The Antiochian House of Studies (AHOS) has been offering programs of theological study in a distance-learning format for over 35 years. The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree is designed to equip students with comprehensive theological knowledge and train them for various ministries in the Church. It is also intended to prepare qualified Orthodox students and seminarians to be ordained to the priesthood and/or pursue postgraduate degrees. In this professional degree, the Master of Divinity students become well-versed in Orthodox history, Biblical and Patristic writings, and in practical methods that can be applied in priestly practices. The essential value of this degree lies in nurturing students’ spiritual, personal, and vocational formation under the guidance of their professors and spiritual Fathers.

Courses & Requirements

The courses and general requirements of the Master of Divinity program are as follows:

Unit I:

  • 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
  • New Testament Greek I
  • Old Testament Hebrew I
  • Church Music I

Unit II:

  • Church History II: The Orthodox Church from the Seventh Century to 1453
  • Holy Scripture I: The Old Testament
  • New Testament Greek II
  • Old Testament Hebrew II
  • Church Music II
  • Homiletics I
  • Teleliturgics I
  • Project I

Unit III:

  • Liturgical Theology II: Sanctification of Life and Time
  • Holy Scripture II: The New Testament
  • Patristics I: The Fathers of the Church During the First Five Hundred Years
  • Homiletics II
  • Teleliturgics II
  • Church Music III

Unit IV:

  • Doctrine I: The Doctrine of Knowledge in the Tradition of the Church
  • Pastoral Theology I
  • Homiletics II
  • Biblical Studies (Patristic perspective)
  • Church Music IV
  • Clerical Ethos
  • Church Administration / financial management
  • Project II

Unit V:

  • Doctrine II: The Orthodox Doctrine of the Holy Trinity
  • Pastoral Theology II: Spiritual Care to Suffering Persons
  • Canon Law: The Canon Law of the Orthodox Church
  • 3 credits in elective courses (Bioethics, Arabic language, Spanish language, French language, Youth Ministry, History of Antioch/ Antiochian Heritage and local councils, Christian/Islamic Studies, Church Byzantine Music, Missions and Evangelism)
  • Antiochian Seminarians: required to take three additional courses in Arabic language.

Unit VI:

  • Master of Divinity Thesis
  • Project III

Project Courses

The Project courses are offered in the spring semester of each year. They will include a proposal submitted for approval to the relevant Faculty member and the Projects Director; the directed Project itself; and a Project paper with supporting detail.

Residency

All M.Div. students are required to attend four intensive 2-week Residencies over the course of their studies: one at the start of each of the three academic years and a final Residency at the end of the last academic year. These take place in late August/early September, and are held at the Antiochian Village Conference & Retreat Center in western Pennsylvania.

Master’s Thesis

Students who successfully complete the required coursework of the Master of Divinity curriculum may enter the thesis phase, which includes:

  • Presentation of a Thesis Proposal (abstract)
  • Thesis research and preparation
  • Thesis approval process and deadlines
  • Completion and defense of the Master’s Thesis.

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.

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