Residency Program for House of Studies Hosts International Students
Each year, the Antiochian House of Studies (AHOS), which focuses on applied theology via a distance-directed reading approach, hosts two residency weeks for students who are in the Pastoral Care, Doctor of Ministry, and St. Stephen's Certificate and Masters programs. Archdeacon Peter Boukulos, registrar for the House of Studies, reports that a successful Residency Program recently concluded at the Antiochian Village in September. "After completing each year of study in the St. Stephen's Course of Studies in Applied Orthodox Theology program, students are required to attend the Residency Program for one week," explains Archdeacon Peter. The full and rigorous program begins on Monday morning with Matins, breakfast, classes, lunch, classes, Vespers, dinner, and finally more classes that continue until about ten in the evening.
"In the recent session, we hosted an international group," he explains. "Fr. Maximos Nnachette of Nigeria, Fr. Konstantin Lautillo of the Philippines, Mr. Miladin Tripic from Australia, and Pelagia Chuan of Taiwan, all joined us for the session." He adds that each student presented a powerpoint of the work of the Church in their respective countries; additionally, Fr. Maximos presented the House of Studies with a gift of a wood carving of the Theotokos holding the Christ Child, created from a unique wood that is indigenous to Fr. Maximos' village.
After the final Vespers on Thursday evening, a graduation banquet was held, and students received their certificates and diplomas. Students also then toured the icon studio, where mentor Nicolae Gavariliu teaches the Byzantine Iconology course. "It is inspiring to see the progress each student makes over the course of their three years of study," reflects Archdeacon Peter. "They start with pencil drawings of Christ's face, then progress to a small icon, and then finally to a full size icon."
The Antiochian Archdiocese House of Studies consists of four theological programs: the St. Stephen's Certificate Program, the St. Stephen's M.A. Program, the Pastoral Marriage and Family Counseling Certificate Program, and the Doctor of Ministry Program.
"It has been a rewarding experience for me to meet different students from all parts of the world," notes Archdeacon Peter. "We have had international students from Ireland, England, Italy, Sweden, Greece, middle East, Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa, Mauritius, Australia, New Zealand, China, Taiwan, Philippines, Japan, South Korea, South America and Mexico. They are planting seeds for the Orthodox Church far beyond our borders."