Traditional Degree Programs in Theology
(1) General Guidelines
These are residential Programs only. For our online theological Programs, please go to this page.
Program A (Associate of Theology / Associate Level) - Postnomial: A. Th.
This Program is meant for training Catechists and for those who would like an introductory study of Theology.
- Minimum of 5 classes
- One Term Test at the end of the Program
Depending on previously applied credits (course work, experience) it is targeted to take school one year.
Program B (Diploma in Theology / Undergraduate Level) - Postnomial: D.Th.
- One course per selected Section (minimum of 7 classes)
- One Test at the
end of each Term
This Program is meant for training Cantors and Deacons.
Depending on previously applied credits (course work, experience) it is targeted to take roughly two years.
Program D (Master’s of Divinity / Graduate Level) - Postnomial: M. Div.
- Two classes per selected Section (minimum of 14 classes)
- One Thesis at the
end of the Program
This Program is meant for training Priests and Pastoral Assistants.
Depending on previously applied credits (course work, experience) it is targeted to take roughly two years.
Programs E (Doctor of
Divinity / Doctoral Level) - Postnomial: D.D.
Master’s Degree in Theology / Divinity
- Independent Research on topics in the Syllabus
- A Doctoral Dissertation towards the end of the Program
This Program is meant for those who aspire to more in-depth theological studies and / or need a doctorate for their church career.
Depending on previous credits, the Program is targeted to take anywhere between one to four years.
(3) Residential Students
Classes are held as scheduled and presented using a combination of directed individual
study (reading and research),
group study (lectures and seminars), tutorials and correspondence. Each of
these modalities may include Faculty assignments as well as an opportunity to
work with a variety of instructors and / or Mentors. In consultation with their respective Faculty,
students may participate in special workshops announced from time to time and
course work offered by other institutions, subject to approval by the departmental
Dean or the Chancellor of Meister Eckhart Divinity School.
Students pay their tuition on a monthly basis. This will make it more manageable. Please see the tuition scale for details.
(5) Syllabus of Classes
SECTION I - CHURCH MINISTRY
I-101-FND FOUNDATIONS FOR MINISTRY
An introduction to the basic history, faith and worship of Christianity from the beginning to the present and how such knowledge and familiarity are a necessary foundation for all other studies.
I-102-INT INTRODUCTION TO THE MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH
An exploration of the Church's ministry according to the role characteristic to laity, Deacon, Priest and Bishop. The canonical process toward Ordination explained.
SECTION II - DOGMATIC THEOLOGY
II-201-PHY PHILOSOPHY AND ITS INFLUENCE ON THEOLOGY
An introduction to the philosophic disciplines of Logic, Cosmology, Psychology, Ethics, Epistemology and Ontology. An appropriation of the natural wisdom of the ages as a foundation for theology with emphasis upon the assimilation and application of the concepts introduced.
II-202-ASC ASCETICAL THEOLOGY: THE LIFE OF PRAYER
The theology of prayer and the long spiritual treasury in church history in light of the development of a personal and regular prayer life, given proper emphasis to the benefit and process of spiritual direction.
A discernment of the most important elements in spiritual life, incorporating some of the Eastern Fathers in this discourse.
II-204-SAC SACRAMENTAL THEOLOGY
The sacramental principle in catholic doctrine: The Holy Sacraments in both Eastern and Western theology with primary emphasis placed on Holy Baptism (Christian Initiation) as well as the Holy Eucharist and all of their imparted effects of Healing and Divine Presence.
II-205-DOG DOGMATIC THEOLOGY
Beginning with creation and the fall to the incarnation of Christ and its salvific impact, and finally the basics of Christ's teachings, including the Trinitarian concept. A theological understanding of the nature of the Church, its goal and purpose.
II-206-SUY THEOLOGICAL SURVEY I
A survey of theological methods, including their terminology, the nature of God's revelation, including inspiration.
II-207-SUY THEOLOGICAL SURVEY II
A survey of theological development from the post-Apostolic era to the post-Nicene Fathers with emphasis given to the first Church Council [Ephesus 325 AD].
II-208a-SYS SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY I
An introduction to the sources and methods of theology. An overview of the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils on Christology and the role of the Church Fathers.
II-208b-SYS SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY II
A survey of common places in theology as it became systematically organized: The doctrines of God, man, the Incarnation, the Atonement, the Resurrection, emphasizing that the experience of the Divine is the definite goal of human existence; pointing to the limitation of the human mind in regards to the knowledge; yet showing that divinity can be experienced and known by the human mind, not only supernaturally, but also on the natural level.
II-208c-SYS SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY III
The Holy Spirit, the Church and Eschatology in conjunction with Ecclesiology: An analysis of Eschatology in light of providing stronger pastoral care to those nearing their end in this world and those left behind.
II-209-ETH CHRISTIAN ETHICS AND MORAL THEOLOGY
The moral system throughout the history of the Church and adaptations made responding to the needs of time. God's revelation and Divine Will as lived and promulgated in a complex and pluralistic modern society.
II-210-OLC OLD CATHOLICISM
An old-catholic examination of theological issues raised by certain historical events, which gave rise to the Church of Utrecht and its descendants becoming estranged from the Roman Church. The theological process bearing on these issues, as well as the distinctive approach to the theology characteristic of all Independent Catholic Churches.
SECTION III - CHURCH HISTORY
III-301-HST CHURCH HISTORY I
The history of the Church from the beginning to the East-West split in 1054 to the reformation and branches in recent centuries.
III-302-HST CHURCH HISTORY II
The history, Constitution and Canons of the Progressive Episcopal Church
III-303-HST THE PATRISTIC CHURCH
A survey of the history of the Church from the age of the Apostles to the beginning of the Middle Ages: The growth of the Church, the persecutions, the development of Church doctrine and efforts to what was considered heresy.
III-304-HST WESTERN CHURCH HISTORY
An examination of the Church during the Middle Ages with specific attention to the growth of Church institutions, especially the role of monasticism; the relation of the Church to the state; and the decline of the Western Church before the Reformation.
III-305-HST OLD CATHOLIC HISTORY
The history of the Church of Utrecht, from the evangelization of the "low countries" by St. Willibrord through the Roman First Vatican Council with attention to the devotio moderna and Jansenist movements, the evolution of ecclesiological structures particular to the Dutch Church, and how these developments are connected to what later became Old Catholicism both within and without the Utrecht Union.
III-306-HST EASTERN ORTHODOXY IN THE WEST
A survey of the history of the Eastern Orthodox Church, beginning with the early missions to Alaska (by St. Herman of Alaska) following the establishment of Orthodoxy to the whole of America. The history of the movement on this continent. An examination of the various ethnic and non-ethnic ecclesial bodies with Orthodox origins, which have arisen in the Americas and a brief overview of contemporary Orthodox issues.
SECTION IV - SCRIPTURAL THEOLOGY
IV-401-INT INTRODUCTION TO SACRED SCRIPTURES
A general overview of both the Old and New Testaments including the deuterocanonical books, the Apocrypha of the New Testament and the development of the Sacred Canon of Scripture. An introductory overview of all Scriptures for better understanding of the historical timeline represented in the compilation of the books. The sociological, political and cultural climate in which each book of Scripture had been written.
IV-402-ATM ATONEMENT THEORIES
An exploration of various atonement theories developed within the early church in order to gain an understanding of God's eternal message to the world.
IV-403-PNT THE PENTATEUCH
The history and literature of the Israelites from their beginnings to the period of the Divided Monarchy. The principal lines of theology in this literature giving proper attention to the historical-critical method in treating these texts.
IV-404-PRF PROPHETS AND WRITINGS
The history and literature of the Israelite people from the beginning of the Divided Monarchy to the advent of the Roman Empire in Palestine. The principal lines of theology in this literature and the development of the Old Testament Canon with a concentration to each century's prophetic movement, including a study of the political history of that century from the perspective of a representative prophet.
IV-405-PRF THE MINOR PROPHETS
An exploration of the twelve Minor Prophets whose words are less familiar but no less powerful than those of the more prolific writers, with an emphasis on theological themes, literary devices and historical backgrounds.
IV-406-PSM THE PSALMS
An exegetical study of the English text of the Psalms with an introduction to modern hermeneutic and theological approaches to the Psalms, paying special attention to the various contexts in which the Psalms are understood; their use in Israel's worship, in the New Testament and in the Christian church.
IV-407-INT INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT: A SURVEY
An exploration of the Holy Scriptures in order to gain an understanding of God's eternal plan to the world. A comparative study of the Old Testament and New Testament writings, the one being the fulfillment of the other.
IV-408-EXG NEW TESTAMENT EXEGESIS I
A study of the gospels as early Christian responses and witnesses to Jesus Christ with attention to historical background and setting, literary composition, critical methods, theological concerns and the implications of each gospel's distinctive way of telling the story of Jesus for the Church's mission and communal life.
IV-409-EXG NEW TESTAMENT EXEGESIS II
A survey of Paul's letters, other New Testament Epistles, the Acts of the Apostles and the Revelation with attention given to historical background and setting, literary genre, the development of the early church, exegesis and basic themes of New Testament theology.
IV-410-THY NEW TESTAMENT THEOLOGY
An exploration of the approach to the New Testament
writings, using the New Testament in constructive theology and theological
perspectives of the New Testament as Sacred Scripture. Topics to be explored
include: The quest for the historical Jesus, Jesus and Judaism, unity and diversity
in both canons, the nature of biblical authority and the relationship between
IV-411-SYN THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS
Familiarization with the Gospels and their points of departure from one another as well as those between the "Christ of the Church" and the "historical Jesus". The student will evaluate his/her understanding of Jesus and develop a christological statement [providing a framework for christological examination based on experience and study, allowing the student to reflect upon and explore her/his past and present spiritual journey].
IV-412-JHN THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN
A study of the Gospel of St. John within the context of its historical environment. Through a careful reading of selected passages, an exploration of the fourth Gospel's distinctive way of telling the story of Jesus in light of historic, theological, literary and homiletic components.
IV-413-ACT THE ACTS OF THE HOLY APOSTLES
An examination of the events in this earliest record of the life of the Church, called the apostolic age, as a living model of spiritual and ecclesiological development for Christianity throughout history up to and including the Church in our age.
IV-414-GEN SELECTED PAULINE EPISTLES
An exploration of the meaning of I Thessalonians, Galatians, I and II Corinthians and Philippians in their original settings.
IV-415-GEN PHILEMON, COLOSSIANS AND EPHESIANS
The transmission and transformation of the Pauline heritage in the last third of the first century based upon Pauline and Deutero-Pauline literature.
SECTION V - PASTORAL THEOLOGY
V-501-INT INTRODUCTION TO PASTORAL COUNSELING
An Exposé of the basics of pastoral care with an emphasis on foundations, covering both theory and practice. A discussion on the effective use of Holy Scripture in counseling. An overview of the issues, dynamics and disorders that the pastoral counselor may face with an emphasis on the responsibilities, ministerial methods, the rational limits of pastoral care and the appropriateness of treatment or referral.
V-502-TCH ETHICS IN MINISTRY AND COUNSELING TECHNIQUES
Themes and theological issues that are relevant to pastoral care: Legal and ethical issues in the ministry, defining the legal responsibility of ministry within the context of local and state laws. The development of a counseling policy as a means of prevention as well as recognition of one's own competence in specific areas. Outlining of legal obligations, boundaries in ministry, litigation prevention, client confidence, support policy and referral resources within pastoral counseling, social work, the psychiatric and clinical-psychological professions. A short summary and definition of basic, essential counseling skills such as goal setting, attentiveness, reflection and mirroring, probing, focusing, and closure.
V-503-FAM FAMILY COUNSELING AND LIFE ISSUES
A presentation of the dynamics and issues common to today's families and appropriate counseling strategies. Identification and exploration of the key issues associated with pre- marital and marital counseling, such as questions of compatibility, needs assessment, communication skills and conflict resolution. A discussion of typical daily stress and effective coping techniques from an Orthodox spiritual perspective. Pastoral Counseling strategies for adults and children traumatized by divorce. How to deal with disruptive or intrusive people without alienating them.
V-504a-SPM SPECIALIZED MINISTRIES I
A discourse on assessing the precipitating and contributing factors of depression, appropriate counseling techniques, and determination of further psychological or psychiatric intervention. Identification of various crisis situations facing individuals, families and communities today and orthodox spiritually based responses for addressing them. An overview of the ethical, moral and legal issues concerning sexual, physical, mental abuse and the responsibilities and limitations of the pastoral counselor.
V-504b-SPM SPECIALIZED MINISTRIES II
An identification of the changing psychological, social and spiritual needs associated with aging and methods for pastoral care. An overview of the social and spiritual dynamics affecting the terminally ill with a discussion on compassionate and responsive care. An examination of the different facets of loss experienced by the survivors and how spiritual care can help ease the pain.
V-505-ALC SUBSTANCE ABUSE COUNSELING
An examination of commonly abused substances and their physical, psychological and social effects, discussing the various treatment modalities and the necessity of developing and empowering a support framework.
V-506-ADS CARING FOR PERSONS WITH AIDS
A recognition of the physical and cultural aspects of the disease and the need for emotional and spiritual care.
V-508-CAT CATECHETICAL THEOLOGY
A study of the theory and practice of catechetical instruction, spiritual formation and Christian education in the context of parochial ministry and outreach.
V-509-ADM ADMINISTRATION OF PARISHES AND CHURCH ORGANIZATIONS
An outline of the basics of building and maintaining sound organizational structures for church ministry, both in the local parish and the diocese.
V-510-LEG LEGAL-ETHICAL ISSUES IN MINISTRY
A definition of the legal responsibility of ministry within the context of local and state laws. The development of a counseling policy as a means of prevention as well as recognition of one's own competence in specific areas: Legal obligations, boundaries in the ministry, litigation prevention, client confidence, support policy and referral resources within the counseling, social work, psychiatric and clinical-psychological professions.
SECTION VI - HOMILETICS
VI-601-INT INTRODUCTION TO HOMILETICS
The composition of a homiletic style in a non-judgmental reference to other faith traditions. How to develop skills of expression, eye contact and body language as well as illustrations, all enabling to preach in a simple style that allows for the use of a single concept.
VI-602-DEL SERMON DELIVERY
The composition of the Homiletics Curriculum: The preacher is preparing and delivering two homilies, which will teach the congregations about a particular theological and/or moral issue facing the parochial community. [if long distance, Video taping required]
SECTION VII - LITURGICAL THEOLOGY
VII-701-INT INTRODUCTION TO LITURGICAL WORSHIP
A focus upon the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation examining the relationship between both.
VII-702-RIT SACRAMENTS AND RITES
An introduction to the Liturgy of the early Church and other church life, such the Liturgy of the Hours, styles of worship and the various other liturgical Rites of the Church.
VII-703a-LIT THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE WESTERN LITURGY
A study of the Holy Liturgy as presented by the Western Church: The Sacrament as taught by the Western Church.
VII-703b-LIT THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE EASTERN LITURGY
A study of the Holy Liturgy as presented by the Eastern Church: The Sacrament as taught by the various Eastern Church traditions.
VII-704-LIT LITURGICAL PRACTICE
An treatise on how to preside and celebrate the sacred liturgical Rites, including how to celebrate them gracefully, special Services of Holy Week and Easter, as well as occasional or seasonal Services.