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Report from the 2015 Orthodox Institute for Continuing Education

The 2015 Orthodox Institute for Continuing Education in the Faith hosted its 14th Annual Conference November 5-8 at Antiochian Village. This year's theme, "Adult Education: Building on the Foundation of Faith" attracted more than ninety participants - both clergy and laity. Together we explored the necessary and sometimes challenging need for adult education in the parish.

Kevin Allen opened the Institute with the keynote address: "Adult Education is Crucial to the Parish." He convincingly made his point with statistics, quotations and personal experience. "Why does the Orthodox Church need continuing adult education ministries across our pan-Orthodox landscape?" he began.

The theme core courses and their presenters covered information necessary to not only understand the need for continuing education of adults in the Faith, but also to prepare attendees to begin programs in their own parishes. Robert Snyder and Dr. Anton Vrame discussed the principles of adult education and helped participants identify different learning styles and teaching techniques. Gerry Clonaris shared his successful program with those attending his session on weaving adult education into the parish. Fr. Josiah Trenham completed the core training by explaining his catechetical program which has attracted hundreds to the Faith.

Additional courses had Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick and Fr. Stephen Freeman giving an overview of using their popular books as tools for continuing education and Fr. John Oliver presenting a new catechetical course, which he is in the process of writing. Bp. Thomas and Fr. Sergius Halvorsen outlined a how-to guide to find a formal continuing education program that fits the individual needs. Anestis Jordanoglou and Vasiliki Oldziey helped participants discover websites and smart phone apps to further individual faith building.

Theme courses and Kevin Allen's keynote were recorded by Ancient Faith Ministries and are available on online at www.ancientfaith.com/specials. Click on Orthodox Institute to find them. Transcripts of most of the recordings are provided.

A CD is available for purchase which contains handouts from all the theme courses from the weekend. Please email orthodoxoinstitute2015@gmail.com to place an order. Please use OI CD as the subject and provide your name, address and phone number. The cost for the CD is $65, payable in U.S. funds to Department of Christian Education, 105 Leader Heights Road, Suite 130, York, PA 17403. Your CD will be mailed upon receipt of payment.

The Antiochian Archdiocese Department of Christian Education, The Greek Orthodox Department of Religious Education, the OCEC and the OCA Department of Christian Education would like to thank all of our presenters and participants for bringing glory to God through this year's conference.