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Master of theological studies

Oriental Orthodoxy

The Oriental Orthodox Concentration is specifically for students who are members of Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, Ethiopian, and Indian Orthodox churches. Students outside of these traditions should select the General Track or one of the other Concentrations.

Courses Required for Oriental Orthodox Students

The three courses specific to the Oriental Orthodox Concentration are listed below in green, with asterisks (*). All other courses are in common with the General Track curriculum:

Unit I:

  • Fundamentals: An Introduction to Oriental Orthodoxy*
  • Church History I: The Christian Church from its Foundation through the Seventh Century
  • Liturgical Theology I: Introduction to Liturgical Theology, Baptism and Eucharist

Unit II:

  • Church History II: Oriental Orthodox History after the Fifth Century*
  • Holy Scripture I: Old Testament
  • Project I

Unit III:

  • Holy Scripture II: New Testament
  • Liturgical Theology II: Oriental Orthodox Liturgical Theology*
  • Patristics I: The Fathers of the Church During the First Five Hundred Years

Unit IV:

  • Pastoral Theology I
  • Doctrine I: The Doctrine of Knowledge In the Tradition of the Church
  • Project II

Unit V:

  • Doctrine II: The Orthodox Doctrine of the Holy Trinity
  • Pastoral Theology II
  • Canon Law

Unit VI (Master’s students only):

  • Master’s Thesis

*Courses specific to the Oriental Orthodox Concentration

Review the Application Process or Apply Now.

Directed-Project Courses

The directed-project courses of the Oriental Orthodox Concentration are offered in the spring semester of each year (Units II and IV). They will include a proposal submitted for approval to the Projects Director; the directed Project itself; and a Project paper with supporting detail.


An intensive week-long Residency takes place in late August or early September at the start of the first two academic years, and is held at the Antiochian VIllage Conference & Retreat Center in western Pennsylvania.

Program Completion

Students who successfully complete the required coursework, and who hold a Bachelor’s degree, may choose to pursue a Master’s thesis, leading to the degree of Master of Theological Studies. Students who do not wish to pursue the Master’s degree will receive the St. Stephen’s Certificate in Orthodox Theology.

Master’s Thesis

Master’s students who successfully complete the required coursework, and who satisfy the other prerequisites, may enter the final phase of their program which includes research and thesis composition focusing on a practical application of Orthodox Theology. Master’s students will also be enrolled in a thesis-preparatory course titled “Master’s Thesis: Sources and Methods” which covers:

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

For more information, please review the Application Process or Apply Now.

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