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Course Catalog

Below we list each course in our Correspondence Study Program. Following the course title is a brief description. A detailed description may be found further down the page. The courses are independently designed, so that you may take them individually. The lower numbers designate the lower level (in an academic sense) courses (which also take less time).

Each course is ten lessons and a final examination. You may register and start a course at any time -- and you may proceed at your own pace. We grade each lesson as we receive it, making comments and attempting to answer any questions the student may have, as well. Thus, students are actually entering into a tutorial relationship.

Courses in the program may be taken individually by anyone who wishes to do so. Upon approval by the faculty, a program consisting of selected courses will be devised individually for those who indicate their intent to pursue the DIPLOMA PROGRAM. That individual program will consist of ten courses, including two Individual Studies (IS400) planned for that particular student.

Church History
CHST 100
2 Hours Credit

History of the Church in the First Century

A chronological study, progressing from the Ascension and Pentecost through the end of the first century. In addition to following the activities of the Apostles, course material provides data on the context within which the Church was established and grew. Natural events as well as political events are covered, and their consequences are examined. Along with the Scriptures, the writings of the early Church fathers and historians are used to provide a picture of the development of the Church in the first century.
Tuition   $200.00     

Text Book: Church History — Eusebius

Order   copies at   $11.95   each.   
CHST 201
2 Hours Credit

The Apostolic Fathers, Part I: Clement and the Letters of Ignatius

An historical and theological introduction, stressing the continuity of these writings with the New Testament, and their inherent orthodoxy. Attention is given to the historical significance of the authors and various other people whose names come up in the course of study. Each letter is examined from beginning to end, and the sections most pertinent theologically, ecclesiologically, and liturgically are given particular attention. In addition to dealing with the historical contexts underlying specific issues, contemporary applications are made wherever appropriate.
Tuition   $200.00     

Text Book: Apostolic Fathers — Fr. Jack Sparks

Order   copies at   $11.95   each.   
CHST 202
2 Hours Credit

The Apostolic Fathers, Part I: Clement and the Letters of Ignatius

A continuation of studies in Church History 201, centering on the letter and martyrdom of St. Polycarp and on the second century document, The Shepherd, written by Hermas of Rome. The relationship of each to the doctrine and practice of the Church is given special attention.
Tuition   $200.00     

Text Book: Apostolic Fathers — Fr. Jack Sparks

Order   copies at   $11.95   each.   
CHST 311
4 Hours Credit

Christological Issues of the Fourth through the Eighth Centuries

A study of those issues concerning the Son of God and His Incarnation which the Church dealt with in its famous Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Fourth through the Eighth centuries. The theological issues, historical circumstances, personalities, and other pertinent background materials provide the setting for a study which concentrates on how these matters relate to Christian belief, our salvation, life and worship.
Tuition   $250.00     

Text Book: The Seven Ecumenical Councils — Percival
Additional Materials: Supplementary Text — Fr. Jack Sparks

Order   packets at   $45.00   each.   


CTHS 102
2 Hours Credit

The Incarnation: Basic Considerations

A detailed study of those aspects of the Incarnation of the Son of God dealt with by St. Athanasius of Alexandria in his famous work commonly called On the Incarnation. The significance of St. Athanasius historically and theologically receives first attention, and this is followed by a study of his book from beginning to end. Topics range from the Fall and the resulting dilemma, through implications of the Incarnation, death and resurrection of Christ, to refutations of both Jewish and Gentile unbelief. The course closes with a discussion of the great and holy things we gain in Christ.
Tuition   $200.00     

Text Book: On the Incarnation — St. Athanasius

Order   copies at   $7.95   each.   
CTHS 103
2 Hours Credit

Salvation and Spiritual Growth

A step-by-step development and presentation of the Orthodox Christian answer to our dilemma as human beings descended from Adam, of God's plan for salvation and our response. Includes an examination of the nature of spiritual combat, the unseen warfare -- who our real enemy is, Who God is and Who Christ is, what it means that God forgives our sins, how we are joined to Christ, and where we go from there. Provides assistance with prayer and other vital aspects of the life of a Christian, relating the personal to the corporate.
Tuition   $200.00     

Text Book: Divine Energy — Fr. Jon Braun

Order   copies at   $10.00   each.   
CTHS 301
2 Hours Credit

A Study of the Spiritual Direction of St. John Climacus

A study of the teachings of St. John Climacus (John of the Ladder) contained in the work which earned his nickname, The Ladder of Divine Ascent. In that classic presentation, said to be, next to the Holy Scriptures, the most widely read in the whole Eastern Church, John sets forth thirty steps one may take in growth in Christ. The course examines those thirty steps in detail and leads the student along a path designed to encourage spiritual growth.
Tuition   $200.00     

Text Book: The Ladder of Divine Ascent — St. John Climacus

Order   copies at   $13.95   each.   
CTHS 302
3 Hours Credit

Foundations of Orthodox Christian Ethics

Introduces some basic issues involved in ethics from an Orthodox perspective, establishing the theological foundations and relating them to philosophical and practical issues. Evil and sin are discussed in terms of experience and therapy. Human moral capacity, natural moral law and related issues are covered in connection with the Scriptures and the Fathers. Deals with ethical decision-making, the evangelical ethic and conformation to the image and likeness of God. Upper level course. Some background in theology and philosophy helpful.
Tuition   $250.00     

Text Book: Toward Transfigured Life — Stanley Harakas

Order   packets at   $15.00   each.   
CTHS 303
3 Hours Credit

The Use of the Holy Scriptures in the Orthodox Church

A study of the history of use of the Scriptures in the Church from ancient days to the present, including an analysis of the relationship between the Scriptures and Tradition. Subjects include: What is the Bible? How did we get the Bible? Doctrine -- what shall we teach and how do we know? How do we interpret the Scriptures? The relationship between history and Tradition. The nature and task of the Church. History of Orthodox Tradition and how to discern between the true Tradition and "old error."
Tuition   $250.00     

Text Book: The Bible & the Orthodox Church — Fr. Jack Sparks
Additional Materials: Supplementary Texts — Fr. Jack Sparks

Order   packets at   $30.00   each.   
CTHS 305
4 Hours Credit


We will use St. John of Damascus’ On the Orthodox Faith as our major textbook. St. John of Damascus (ca. 675-749) is generally regarded as the last great figure of Greek patrology. Outstandingly important for his support of images in the Iconoclastic Controversy, this priest-monk of St. Sabbas near Jerusalem is known also for his treatment of Christian morality and asceticism (the Sacred Parallels), for a small but precious group of powerful sermons, and even for verse contributions to the Greek liturgy. "On the Orthodox Faith" is a comprehensive presentation of the teaching of the Greek Fathers on the main doctrines of Christianity, especially the Trinity, Creation, and the Incarnation. But what emerges is not a compilation but rather a synthesis, marked by originality in the mode of treatment and by a remarkable clarity of expression. We will also use Vladimir Lossky, Orthodox Theology: An Introduction, John Meyendorf, Christ in Eastern Christian Thought, and Thomas Oden's 3 volume Systematic Theology.
Tuition   $300.00     

Text Book: On the Orthodox Faith — St. John of Damascus
Text Book: Orthodox Theology: An Introduction — Vladimir Lossky
Text Book: Christ in Eastern Christian Thought — Fr. John Meyendorf
Text Books (3 Volumes): Systematic Theology — Thomas Oden
Additional Materials: Supplementary Texts — Fr. Jack Sparks

Order   packets at   $120.00   each.   


CLTS 100
2 Hours Credit

Introduction to the Divine Liturgy

A topical study of the Divine Liturgy (the Sunday and Feast Day Worship Liturgy of the Orthodox Church). Concentrates on the Liturgy as a vehicle for worship, describing its intrinsic connection with the Scriptures, basic rites and activities, including processions, the Sign of the Cross, censing, etc. Also takes note of the significance and meaning of Church architecture, fixtures, art, vestments, and the general shape of the liturgy, including its function as a procession to the heavenly realm.
Tuition   $200.00     

Text Book: Liturgy and Life — Fr. Alexander Schmemman
Text Book: For the Life of the World — Fr. Alexander Schmemman

Order   copies at   $15.00   each.   
CLTS 101
2 Hours Credit

The Orthodox Church Year

A scriptural and liturgical commentary on the calendar of the Church, including a topical approach to the annual cycle of movable and fixed feasts. Content revolves generally around the Gospel lesson read on a given Sunday or feast day. The annual cycle of movable feasts centers on Easter, while the annual cycle of fixed feasts highlights the major and minor feasts not included in the movable cycle. Themes of feasts and times of the year are expounded and explained.
Tuition   $200.00     

Text Book: The Year of Grace of the Lord — annonymous

Order   copies at   $12.50   each.   
CLTS 300
2 Hours Credit

Introduction to the History of Christian Liturgy

An historical introduction, demonstrating the continuity and early development of Christian worship. Starting with the Old Testament, the course of study moves on through worship in the New Testament to the earliest descriptions of Christian liturgy in Church writings. Finally, study is made of the shape taken by the Sunday Liturgy throughout the ancient Church, up to the fourth century A.D. Upper Level Course.
Tuition   $200.00     

Text Book: The Shape of the Liturgy — Dix

Order   copies at   $50.00   each.   


Biblical Studies
CBST 303
3 Hours Credit

Comprehensive Study of the Prologue (1:1-18) of the Gospel of John

In the Easter Morning Service of the Orthodox Church, the first eighteen verses of the Gospel of John is the Gospel reading. In this course we offer a comprehensive study of this Gospel portion, with emphasis on interpretation and application. Content and lessons center on the teachings of the Church Fathers on the Prologue.
Tuition   $300.00     

Text Book: Special Textbook — Fr. Jack Sparks

Included in tuition   


CCMS 300
3 Hours Credit

Writers Workshop I

A practical study for the aspiring or practicing writer. Covers: probing a topic by setting forth questions to ask yourself about it; keeping and organizing notes and ideas; grammatical devices to make your point clear; finding evidence and proof (as well as putting it in a useable form); preparing interesting, attention-grabbing introductions to essay articles; making writing concrete; formulating concrete descriptions of people; sorting out the elements of your topic; visualizing your audience. It is expected that students will have previously mastered elementary grammar, spelling and composition.
Tuition   $250.00     

Text Book: Thirty Days to More Powerful Writing

Order   copies at   $15.95   each.   


Independent Studies
IS 400
3 Hours Credit

Selected Tutorial Topics

Candidates for the Diploma in Orthodox Christian Studies will complete individual studies with our faculty in two of the following areas:
  • New Testament Studies
  • Orthodox Christian Spirituality
  • Orthodox Christian Theology
  • Orthodox Christian Ecclesiology
  • The History of the Christian Church
Order   courses at   $320.00   each.   

Text Books: Decided by individual instructors

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