BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ORTHODOX THEOLOGICAL STUDIES
With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH, the academy is pursuing this proposal.
A Bachelor of Arts in Orthodox Theological Studies or a Bachelor of Divinity
To provide an educational and/or vocational path for students who are interested in learning more about the Orthodox faith who do not already have an undergraduate degree and are interested in using their Orthodox faith as the foundation for their vocation. We also wish to provide a diploma track for students who are only seeking certification in a specific concentration. Diploma students are considered non-degree seeking.
Self-paced and one course at a time, this program will build on the work of the Associate of Arts in Orthodox Theology as a 120 credit hour educational program.
The core curriculum of every degree requires the student to learn and engage with Orthodox theology, scripture, canons, dogma, liturgical theology, and spiritual life.
Possible concentrations exist for two purposes. The first purpose is for students to apply their theological learning in a potential vocational path, such as Youth Ministry. The second purpose is for diploma-seeking students who seek training and education in that concentration but are not degree-seeking. Each concentration is available as a standalone diploma tract. Each concentration will develop and be made available according to its own schedule and timeline. The degree will not be made available until we have at least three concentration options for students to select from.
Christian Education: The Christian Education concentration offers electives in teaching in an Orthodox environment, such as Church School and Homeschooling. The rearing of children is one of the most important jobs of adults and parents, and this concentration prepares the student to be a teacher.
Filmmaking: The Filmmaking concentration teaches the basics of sharing the Orthodox faith through digital media and includes foundational principles in filmmaking. The whole world is now available on the small screen and this concentration prepares the student to be a digital storyteller.
Iconography: The Iconography concentration teaches not only the art of iconography but also the history and philosophy behind it. This is for students who already have an artistic skillset and would like to focus their talent in the writing of icons.
Leadership: The Leadership concentration prepares students for servant leadership as found in 1st Corinthians and prepares the student for leadership in all industries, both for-profit and nonprofit. Young Adult ministry courses will also be made available in this concentration.
Missiology: The Missiology concentration prepares students to enter the mission field. In other words, it gives a foundational education for doing evangelism where the Orthodox faith is a minority, including but not limited to prison ministry.
Music Ministry: The Music Ministry concentration prepares students to put services together using the liturgical books of the Orthodox Church, offers instruction in the 8 Byzantine modes in western notation, as well as introductory courses in choral leadership and formation.
Political Science: A concentration in political science will help a student who is pursuing a vocation in areas such as legislation, policy, public relations, analysis, political consulting, law, and intelligence.
Social Work: Education for social work has been on the rise in our recent history and also has an intertwined relationship with the church. Those students interested in human services and social work will be prepared with this concentration.
Youth Ministry: The Youth Ministry concentration prepares students to engage in youth ministry in their local parish and community.
Tuition, Fees, and Finances
Every effort has been made for our students to graduate WITHOUT student loans. This is an important principle for this program.
Tuition structure is per course based on hours per course as explained below.
3 - $225
2 - $150
1 - $80
The estimated cost for tuition and fees for a student to complete all upper-division coursework at the Academy is under $5,000. If the student is a graduate of the Academy’s associates degree program, then the total estimated cost for tuition for all coursework taken at the Academy is under $10,000. Course materials (textbooks and other required resources) are a maximum of $50 per course.
Due to the nature of being online, one course at a time, and self-paced, the Academy is an excellent option for adults who wish to finish their degree.
Our structure provides a path for non-traditional students to obtain their degree without putting life on hold, especially for those further along in life. All students take one course at a time and are self-paced.
Not only does our structure maximize comprehension and retention, but the financial structure also reduces the financial strain on the student.
Others may already have a bachelor's degree but would like to increase their field of study in a particular concentration. Our structure allows the student to continue in their current vocation while taking courses and pursuing a diploma for one of our concentrations. For example, this is helpful for youth workers who want to expand their skill set but are unable to attend school due to vocational/family commitments.
At this time we are researching accreditation options but are not making that a requirement or litmus test for success. Our ultimate goal is something similar to an Orthodox Trade School. Accreditation is not more important than the spirit of what we are trying to do and the cost to do it. If we determine that accreditation will hurt our goal or raise the cost of tuition, we will not pursue it.
SAAOT is not required to have accreditation due to California State Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009, California Education Code (CEC) Section 94874 (e) of the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE).
Prepared by: Dn. Adam Lowell Roberts