Brief Bio

The Very Rev. Dr. Michel Elias Najim is the Director of the TAOI Ph.D. Program, Professor of Patristics & Church History at AHOS, Professor of Christian Ethics at PTS, and Dean of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Los Angeles, CA.

Fr. Michel was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, and joined Balamand Ecclesiastical School in 1962 under the tutelage of Patriarch Ignatius IV, and graduated from St. John of Damascus School of eology in 1974.  He obtained his M.Th. (1976), and his doctoral degree in theology (1985) from the University of Thessalonica, where he studied under Fr. John Romanides and Prof. Nikos Matsoukas, while serving as Dean of the School of theology in Balamand.  After moving to the USA with his family, he worked with the newly-converted Evangelical Orthodox at St. Athanasius Academy, from 1987 to 1996.  Unassuming in his demeanor, Fr. Michel is a bearer of the authentic Antiochian heritage, a deeply dedicated churchman and scholar.  He is personally acqauinted with many spiritual and ecclesiastical figures. Throughout his ministry, Fr. Michel has taught thousands of clergy, including hierarchs, lay theologians and professors.

Positions Held

Director of the Ph.D. at the Antiochian House of Studies (2016)

Director of the antiochian orthodox institute (2016)

Cathedral Dean and Pastor
St. Nicholas Cathedral, Los Angeles, CA (1987-2016)

Professor, Antiochian House of Studies
Balamand University and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, PA (1992-2016)

Professor, Fuller Seminary, Azusa Pacific University, Claremont Graduate School of Religion (1992-2005)

Catechismal instructor
St. Athanasius Academy, CA (1987-1996)

St. John of Damascus School of Theology, Balamand, Lebanon (1979-1987)

St. John of Damascus School of Theology, Balamand, Lebanon (1978-2015)

Additional Academic and Ecclesiastic Positions

Representative and Member
World Council of Churches (1983-2009)

Visiting Professor
St. John of Damascus School of Theology, Balamand, Lebanon (1999-2015)
Claremont Graduate University (2000-2005)

Adjunct Professor
Azusa Pacific University, Los Angeles, CA (2001)

Adjunct Professor
Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA (1994-1998)

Official Orthodox and Roman Catholic Dialogue. (2000-2012)

Official Antiochain Chalcedonian and non-chalcedonian dialogue (1985-1987) Co-Chairman
Department of Liturgics and Translation, Antiochian Archdiocese (1988-1997)

Liturgical Translations Committee Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops of America (1993-1995)

St. Athanasius School of Theology, Santa Barbara, CA (1987-1992)


Doctor of Theology
Aristotelian University, Salonica, Greece (1985)

Master of Theology
Aristotelian University, Salonica, Greece (1974-1976)

Master of Divinity
Balamand University, Tripoli, Lebanon (1971-1974)

The Theotokos according to Saint  John of Damscus

Published Works


Understanding the Orthodox Liturgy (with T. L. Frazier, Oakwood Pub. 1995),

Orthodox Study Bible (Translation/Contributing Editor),

The History and Legacy of Arab Christianity in the Pre-Islamic Period (1980). 

The Liturgical Books of the Orthodox-Catholic and Apostolic Church Origins, Introduction, and Use by the V. Rev. Michel Najim and the Rev. Patrick B. O’Grady (2015)

“The Characteristics of Arabic Christian Theology” (Balamand 1999),