Diploma in Pastoral Theology

The program Diploma in Pastoral Theology is required of candidates for ordination to minor Order in the Byzantine Orthodox Catholic Church and for those who have not graduated from an Orthodox theological seminary seeking major orders. The programs is open to:

  • Any Orthodox Christian interested in studying Orthodox theology, but unable to attend an Orthodox seminary.
  • Orthodox clergy or laypeople interested in increasing their knowledge of the Faith.
  • Other Christian faith who have chosen to serve in the Orthodox Priesthood



  • To provide students with an academically sound Orthodox theological education through the media of online distance education.
  • To prepare clergy for service to the Church through emphasis on practical application of knowledge to ministry, and to contemporary problems and issues facing the Church.
  • To prepare knowledgeable pastors to serve local parishes and missions of the Byzantine Orthodox Catholic Church throughout the world
  • To accept students from all canonical Orthodox jurisdictions who subscribe to the goals of the School.
  • To train and certify catechists, readers to prepare catechumens and sponsors for baptism, as well as those who wish to be wed in the Church in accordance with the decision of the Synod of Bishops of the Byzantine Orthodox Church

The program seek to prepare those who are called to serve the local Church. Such individuals will partially make up for their lack of seminary on-campus experience by active participation in the liturgical life of their parish, attendance at a summer residence program, and through participation in virtual campus activities, as well as inter-seminary student conferences and activities.

Structure & Process

The program is a distance education based diploma program. Courses are provided through web-based classrooms and students are directed by qualified faculty and mentored by their local clergy who provide support, guidance, and direction for the student.

Completion of written examinations, assigned papers, e-classroom attendance and participation are required for each course. A senior thesis as well as a practicum are required during the last year of study on a topic/project chosen in consultation with the student’s mentor, and approved by the Dean.

All Pastoral Theology candidates, unless a specific waiver is obtained from the Dean of the School, must attend a summer residence program offered by the Liturgical Music Program at St Anthony De Great Pro Cathedral, Makogi Ogun State. Students must successfully complete the courses in English and in Liturgics offered through that Program, or the equivalent e-classroom courses offered by the Pastoral School.

At the completion of the program candidates for graduation must pass an oral examination administered by a panel consisting of the Pastoral School’s President, Vice-President, Dean, and at least one additional member appointed by the President.

Graduates will receive the Diploma or Catechist Certificate offered by the Pastoral School of the Byzantine Seminary.

Duration & Schedule

The program duration the Diploma in Pastoral Theology (PTh.D) program the Diploma in Orthodox Studies (OS.D) programs is Two Year.

The Catechist program is completed in one academic year, i.e., two (2) semesters of study for the one-year certificate (this program cannot be spread over multiple academic years, as the program is structured to be completed with one cadre of students and mentors in one academic year), with an additional four (4) semesters of study for those who complete the first year successfully and choose to matriculate into the Orthodox Studies (OS.D) diploma program.

Applications should be submitted by September 1 for the fall semester, February 1 for the winter semester, and June 1 for the summer semester.

The Diploma must be completed within seven (7) academic years.

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