Programmes

The fundamental subjects offered by our Theological School on the Internet are based on the curriculum of the Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville and the Teachings of Bishop Alexander (Mileant) with other related Church Fathers. As applicable, we will utilize here its textbooks, converted into electronic format. To fill in missing materials we shall also utilize textbooks of other authoritative Russian and Syrian learning institutions.

Here is a list of texts already available or contemplated:

Entry level subjects:

 

The Sacred History of the Old and New Testaments

Orthodox Christian Catechism, Met. Philaret

Church History (Major events)

Knowledge of the Church Rubrics, most important prayers, and hymns by memory.

Ability to read Church Slavonic correctly.

 

Core subjects for our Bachelor of Arts Degree Program includes:

The sacred history of the Old and New Testaments (seminary level):

Sacred Scripture (introduction and the study of):

Categories and content of the books of the Old Testament. The theme and content of each book. The messianic prophecies. The categories and content of the books of the New Testament. Information about the four Evangelists: the author, characteristics of each Gospel. The Book of Acts: the author, events described in the book. The general epistles and the 14 epistles of St Paul: name them, the character and general content of each one. Facts about the Book of Revelation of St. John general content and significance of the book.

Orthodox Christian catechism:

The sources for Orthodox Christian Catechism. Understanding of dogma, the Creed. Attributes of God. The main texts upon which the dogma of the Holy Trinity is based: Mt. 28:19:2, II Cor. 13:13, I Jn. 5:7, Eph. 4:6. The truth of Christ’ divinity — I Jn. 1:2, 14:3-13 and 16:10-30, I Timothy 3:16, I Jn. 5:20 and others. The truth of the procession and the hypostatic existence of the Holy Spirit – Jn. 15:26, II Cor. 12:11, Mt. 12:32. The teaching about angels. Man’s beginning and significance. The immortality of the soul. Divine Providence. Man’s fall and God’s divine economy for our salvation. The Chalcedon teaching of the dogma of the God-man. The Church and her attributes. The Holy Mysteries, their divine institution and the activity of each mystery. The teaching about the heavenly Church. The final fate of the world and man.

The history of the Christian Church:

The beginning of Church history. The period of persecution. Heresies and schisms. The fathers of the Church 4th-5th centuries. The Ecumenical Councils. The falling away of the Western Church from the Eastern Church and the rise of Protestantism. The later history of the eastern patriarchs. Sts. Cyril and Methodius and the enlightenment of the Slavs. St. Vladimir and the baptism of Russia. The state of Christian development in Russia from the 11th-12th centuries. The Church during the Mongol yoke. The transfer of the church center to Moscow. The Metropolitans of Moscow from the 15th-16th centuries. The establishment of the Patriarchate. The patriarchs of Moscow. The Russian church during the time of troubles. Patriarch Nikon. The rise of the Old-believer schism. Southwestern Russia in the areas of Lithuania and Poland. The Union of Brest-Litovsk. Metropolitan Peter Mogila of Kiev. The union of the Kievan metropolia with the patriarchate of Moscow. The abolishment of the patriarchate and the establishment of the Holy Synod. The conditions of the Russian Church during the synodal period in the 18th-19th centuries. The glorification of saints and the outstanding hierarchs in the 18th-19th centuries. The reestablishment of the patriarchate in 1917. The rise of monasticism and its significance in the history of the Russian Church and government.

The Church rubrics with information from liturgics:

How Orthodox Christian Divine services developed, their basics… The make up of the daily, weekly, yearly and moveable cycles of the Orthodox Divine Services. The outline of the daily Vesper, Matins and Vigil services. Particularities of the Feast Day Services. Particularities of the Services during Great Lent. The outline of the Proskomedia and Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil the Great. The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. Essential preparation of clergy to serve the Divine Liturgy. The Service of Needs: the sequence of the services of Baptism, Chrismation, Confession, Communing the Sick, Marriage, Unction, the Funeral Service and Burial. The Moleben and Panykhida.

Pastoral theology and its sources in canon law:

The high calling of pastorship and the significance of pastoral service. The three aspects of pastoral service: instruction, divine services, and spiritual care. Qualities demanded of the candidate for the priesthood. The moral demands on the wife of the priest and the possibility of celibacy. Preparation for the priesthood. Pastoral attitudes and the grace-filled gift of co-suffering love, given in the mystery of ordination. The choice of candidate and ordination to the priestly rank. Temptations for the priest and the means to struggle with them. The necessity of constant moral self improvement and expanding ones knowledge. The parish, its structure and the place of the pastor. The Mystery of Repentance as a powerful means of caring for the soul. The pastor and politics.

Understanding the Church Canons. The Book of Cannons of the Holy Apostles, of the

Ecumenical and Local Councils, of the Holy Fathers. The “Nomocanon” and the “Rudder.”

Homiletics:

Eloquence of the Church and its basic rules. An understanding of the sermon. The sermon 1) as a form of oration, 2) as fulfillment of ones service to the Church. Types of sermons according to their content: 1) the Homily, 2) the Talk, 3) The catechetical instruction, and 4) the polemical sermon on contemporary themes. The nature of the sermon: its spiritual, biblical spirit and popularity. Preparation for a sermon. What is improvisation and when is it permissible? The more famous preachers in the ancient Church and Russian Church

Comparative theology and knowledge of the sects:

The beliefs of the apostate Roman Catholic church. The general character of Protestantism. The main characteristics of Lutheranism and the Reformed Churches. Anglicanism. The latest sects, for example: Baptists, Adventists, and new sects which have arisen in America. The dogmatic errors of Protestantism. The Old-Believers, their divisions within their schism, and characteristic traits.

Standards

Our study program is based on the 5-year curriculum of the Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville. Whenever possible we do translate into electronic format the textbooks used by that Seminary.

Besides, we will step by step augment our site with other needed authoritative textbooks from other Russian theological seminaries and academies — pre-revolutionary and contemporary.

We wish to present to our extension students and readers the pure and irreproachable Orthodox teaching — in the spirit of Holy Fathers of the Church and traditional Russian theology, free from innovation and modernism.

 

 

 

 

The Deacon is ordained Priest if found Worthy of Holy Priesthood