News from the House of Studies


Our Goal: Knowing God

Happy Graduates for the 2014 class celebrating: Ramez Mikhail, Nicholas Siniari, Chris Dillon, Keith Melville, Ronnie Long (kneeling), Joseph Henre, Jim Atty, Michael Abrahamson (kneeling), Bruce Plympton, Octavian Gabor, Gorgi GurcinovskHappy Graduates for the 2014 class celebrating: Ramez Mikhail, Nicholas Siniari, Chris Dillon, Keith Melville, Ronnie Long (kneeling), Joseph Henre, Jim Atty, Michael Abrahamson (kneeling), Bruce Plympton, Octavian Gabor, Gorgi GurcinovskAn address offered by Sdn. Jeremiah Vollman, at the Antiochian House of Studies 2014 Graduation

From the November 2014 edition of The Word magazine

I have been afforded the honor of sharing a few thoughts as a representative of those who are graduating from the "Applied Theology" program this week. I hope to reflect concisely on some of the principles and themes, and I hope that you, my colleagues, find them to be consistent with your experience as a student.

I have now been here for two consecutive weeks, so I begin by asking forgiveness of those who have been stuck with me this whole time – please forgive me for any and all offenses. It has been a joy to be with you; I hope that in some way I have conveyed the love of Christ to you, as you have to me.

Next I would like to express gratitude: thank you to our administrators (Fr. Joseph, Archdeacon Peter, Cherri, and Mary), to our most capable instructors, and to the Antiochian Village staff. Thank you to our fathers in Christ, Sayidna John, Sayidna Nicholas – and Sayidna Thomas (who was here last week) – thank you for your loving leadership and living example of "applied theology." It has been a gift to us that we could spend time with you, to get to know you personally.

Deadline for House of Studies Registration Nears

Archdeacon Peter Boulukos of the Antiochian House of Studies has been interviewed by Ancient Faith Radio in advance of the approaching 2014 deadline for new students to apply for the next round of programs. 

Listen to Archdeacon Peter speak about the St. Stephen's course and the programs of the House of Studies here.

Learn more about the school, based at Antiochian Village, here.

With affordable tuition and flexible scheduling, the House of Studies offers students, parents, or full-time professionals the ability to pursue an Orthodox theological education.

Metropolitan Joseph Speaks at the 2014 Clergy Symposium

Update July 23: A full written transcription of His Eminence's speech is available below.

At the closing banquet of the 2014 Clergy Symposium, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America, gave a speech including his initial vision for the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America (beginning at 11:20 in the recorded audio). These remarks are available as an audio recording from Ancient Faith Radio

His Eminence says in part:

Tonight, I am going to utilize my time by sharing with you my vision for the future of this Archdiocese. I truly believe that each and every one of us is an important and integral part of this body. We are grateful for everything that our beloved Metropolitan Philip of thrice-blessed memory created over the past 48 years. We humbly accept the fruit of his labor, as well as the labor of the faithful who worked alongside him and the legacy upon which we will now build. We have serious work ahead of us. We don’t have time to waste. ...

Metropolitan Joseph Presides Over 18th Biennial Clergy Symposium

The 18th Biennial Antiochian Archdiocesan Clergy Symposium, sponsored by the Antiochian House of Studies, is taking place at the Heritage and Learning Center at the Antiochian Village in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, from July 14-18, 2014. This will be a historic Symposium, representing the newly-elected Metropolitan Joseph's first opportunity to greet all of the clergy of the Archdiocese. 

Priests and deacons of the Antiochian Archdiocese, in addition to invited laity, will be attending lectures and forums relevant to the theory and practice of Orthodox ministry within the context of the spiritual and historical roots of the Church. This year's theme, "...for the sick and the suffering": Medicine, Theology, Healing, will be explored by a variety of speakers.

John Maddex of Ancient Faith Ministries is at the Village, and preparing audio recording of many of the presentations. Follow along at this special section of Ancient Faith Radio. Written transcriptions of several talks are planned as well.

A photo gallery of the Symposium is available here.

House of Studies Alum Launches Affordable Counseling Ministry

Thanks to the distance-learning courses of the Antiochian House of Studies, the pastor of Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church in Anderson, South Carolina is a Certified Counselor and has opened an office for a marriage and family counseling ministry called "Teleios." The Very Rev. David Randolph was certified as a therapist after successfully completing the two year course in Pastoral Marriage and Family Counseling at the House of Studies.

"The course provided a solid academic foundation for professional of pastoral counseling and therapy," notes Fr. David. Following graduation and with the blessing of his bishop and the support and encouragement of the parish, Fr. David opened the counseling center. Ministry services include premarital counseling; assessment and treatment for children, adolescents, individuals, couples, and families; therapy to deal with marriage, parenting and child development issues; and help for substance abuse and emotional disorders. 

The ministry is designed provide therapy to those are not able to pay the fees of a state licensed therapist and the fee structure will be based upon a sliding scale. Any client whose needs are beyond the scope of "Teleios" will be referred to a licensed agency. For further information call Fr. David at: 864-224-7478 

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."

New Cohort Begins Doctorate of Ministry in Eastern Christian Studies

L to R: Fr. Jim King (MI), Fr. Scott Lill ( PA), Fr. David Bleam (FL), Fr. James Coles (AZ), His Grace Bishop Nicholas (NJ), Fr. Joe Allen (NJ), Fr. Paul Matar (IN), Fr. Samer Youssef  (CA), Fr. Kamal Al-Rahil (FL) and Fr. Boksy Harlan (PA)L to R: Fr. Jim King (MI), Fr. Scott Lill ( PA), Fr. David Bleam (FL), Fr. James Coles (AZ), His Grace Bishop Nicholas (NJ), Fr. Joe Allen (NJ), Fr. Paul Matar (IN), Fr. Samer Youssef (CA), Fr. Kamal Al-Rahil (FL) and Fr. Boksy Harlan (PA)By Fr. James Coles, St. Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Church, Mesa, AZ

A new, and lively, cohort of doctoral students gathered May 19-24, 2013 at the Antiochian Village to begin a three-year journey toward, as St. Gregory The Theologian put it, "hieratiki syneithesis" (priestly consciousness) in the D. Min. program through the Antiochian House of Studies. Under the tutelage of Director The Very Rev. Dr. Joseph Allen, and with the wonderful opportunity of the participation of The Right Rev. Bishop Nicholas of Brooklyn as a fellow student, we spent five days delving deep into the knowledge and love of God the Father.

Spotlight: Reflection On the First Week of the St. Stephen's Program

By Cindy George

When I was asked to say something about our work in the St. Stephen’s Program of the Antiochian House of Studies, words from St. Paul’s Letter to Romans came to mind. In Chapter 12, Verse 2, St. Paul encourages us and the Romans to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. This describes what the St. Stephen’s journey has been for me.

After spending my life worshipping in Protestant churches, running in Protestant circles, participating in the mission field with my Protestant friends here and abroad, and educating my mind with Protestant doctrine in Protestant universities, you can imagine my astonishment when God called me completely out of my comfort zone to enter the Orthodox Church. I did not come gracefully.

My story is not one told by many who have been blessed to walk through the doors of an Orthodox Church to the sound of chanting, to the smell of incense, the beauty of the icons, the reverence and holiness of the Liturgy, ones who knew immediately that they were in the presence of the True God. I came kicking, screaming, crying and protesting; questioning every little thing. I asked: Why does everything have to be sung? Why does the priest dress like that? Who are those people lighting candles and kissing paintings? Why do they kiss a cross? Why is the priest lifting up the bread? Why do you have bread in Church anyway? How can you honestly believe that the bread and wine magically turn into the Christ’s body and blood?

Distance Learning Update: House of Studies Thesis Guidelines Now Posted

Antiochian House of Studies Students will be interested to know that they can now access updated Thesis Guidelines under the “Current Students” section on the House of Studies website.

Established in 1980, the Antiochian House of Studies offers four distinct programs of theological study, attracting students from all over the world, Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike. Using a unique distance-learning structure, which also includes two residency periods at the Antiochian Village Conference Center in Pennsylvania, the program has developed into a world-class international institution of higher learning for theological education.

Visit the House of Studies web section on Antiochian.org.

 

Pastoral Marriage and Family Counseling Certificate Program

The Antiochian House of Studies School of Orthodox Theology has updated information available on their Pastoral Marriage and Family Counseling Certificate ProgramLearn more about this two year training program for clergy, parish staff or Christian Education persons each having an M.Div degree or diploma through the House of Studies and three years' parish experience. It is designed to prepare parish staff in counseling individuals, couples, and families in the parish and larger community.

What Kind of People Study Theology at the House of Studies and Why?

Bishops Thomas, John and Nicholas and Mother Alexandra with our seminarians during the Seminarian Track of the House of StudiesBishops Thomas, John and Nicholas and Mother Alexandra with our seminarians during the Seminarian Track of the House of StudiesAt the Antiochian House of Studies, lawyers and judges, politicians and correction officers, teachers and professors, theologians and pastors from a variety of Christian communions, business men and accountants, computer programmers and scientists, nurses and psychologists, clerks and grocers study theology. Basically, we find in the House of studies all the same kind of folks that we find in the parishes. Could it be that people in the Church are discovering a need to better understand and articulate the faith as the world becomes more complicated, or could it be that as the world falls again into ancient heresies and prideful self-delusions, church people recognize the need to learn how the Church dealt with such distortions in the past? God ordains each of us in baptism to His Royal Priesthood. In Christ, everyone is called by His name; The Christian participates in Christ’s own priesthood praising the Father and caring for mankind. Each of us baptized into Christ share in Christ’s own priesthood, bringing man to God and God to man. This is our common vocation and our shared and common life.

In parishes, we are faced with new and difficult challenges. Yet these challenges are not new at all. The Church has dealt with them before, so to meet the need to teach and witness in this new time, we need to rediscover the wisdom and history of our Church. Ministry today is indeed different from ministry in previous generations, but the delusions and heresies of our time are really recycled ancient ideologies.

Historic Meeting of Educators from Lebanon and the United States

On Thursday October 18, 2012, an historic meeting of educators from Lebanon and the United States was held under the chairmanship of His Beatitude Ignatius IV at the Antiochian Archdiocese headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey. The following people attended and participated in this meeting: 

His Beatitude Ignatius IV Patriarch of Antioch and all The East

His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, Primate of the Antiochian Archdiocese in North America

His Grace Bishop Nicholas, Bishop of Brooklyn and Assistant To the Metropolitan

Orthodox Swedish Mission Efforts Aided by House of Studies

Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church's basement venue in SwedenHoly Resurrection Orthodox Church's basement venue in SwedenOn October 9, 2012, His Grace Bishop Thomas of the Diocese of Charleston received a missions report from the Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church of Göteborg, Sweden. Last summer two Swedish Orthodox Christians, Herman Fields and Mikael Fälthammar, had participated in a two-week residency at the Antiochian Village in Pennsylvania as part of the St. Stephen's Course, in the Antiochian House of Studies School of Orthodox Theology. "We were immensely blessed," wrote Mr. Fields and Mr. Fälthammar, "by meeting many Orthodox brothers and sisters in the United States.

"We want to express a special thank you to Fr. Joseph (Allen), Adn. Peter (Boulukos), Cheri Mullins and all the faculty of the House of Studies," they continued, "as well as to our hosts His Grace Bishop Thomas, and Paul Finley, for all your help and hospitality. We felt rejuvenated and encouraged by two intense weeks of spiritual fellowship and learning."

The rest of the newsletter reported on the work of the Swedish mission. "In the heart of Göteborg, we are very blessed to be able to borrow a basement venue, under a large church.

St. Stephen's Program Deadline Extended to October 2

The deadline for applications to join the St. Stephen's Certificate Program has been extended to October 2. The course is the most popular program offered by the Antiochian House of Studies School of Orthodox Theology.

Ancient Faith Radio highlights their interview with Archdeacon Peter Boulukos, registrar of the House of Studies.

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St. Stephen's Certificate Program

House of Studies

House of Studies Launches New Web Section

The Antiochian House of Studies School of Orthodox Theology, home of the St. Stephen's Program, has launched a new website section. The project centered on the work of two House of Studies graduate students, Keith Buhler and Emmanuel Gergis, who worked with the staff of the House of Studies and the Dept. of Internet Ministry to update the web presence of this special Archdiocese ministry.

The new House of Studies section offers an introduction to the distance-learning school, a list of its academic programs, information for prospective and current students, and links for faculty, news and contact information. With affordable tuition and flexible scheduling, the House of Studies offers students, parents, or full-time professionals the ability to pursue an Orthodox theological education.

Browse the House of Studies section.

Friends with Holiness: My St. Stephen’s Residency

Fall 2011

As we pulled up in the shuttle bus from Jacksonville Airport in Pennsylvania, the evening mist was rolling in to nest in the green grounds of soccer fields and meditation walks. Being from Los Angeles, I found that the air was remarkably clear, and the sky gray but peaceful – the traffic, blessedly non-existent.

We drove past Pittsburgh, in its modern glory of geometric glass and metal, through the quiet suburbs and semi-rural neighborhoods featured so lovingly in M. Night Shamalan’s movies like The Village, and finally through the lovely little town of Ligonier towards the Antiochian Village.

The St. Stephen’s Course of Studies is a three-year correspondence program designed for those who want to study Orthodox theology but cannot attend an Orthodox seminary. St. Stephen’s students do one residency week each August for three years. Most people stay one week per year, but students from other countries sometimes do two weeks in one summer to save money on travel. I did two weeks because, well, Los Angeles virtually qualifies as another planet.

St. Stephen's Course Deadline Extended Through September

New students will be admitted to The St. Stephen's Course in Orthodox Theology through the end of September, announced Antiochian House of Studies Registrar Dn. Peter Boulukos. Dn. Peter urges all interested students to contact him for information via phone or email. All inquirers will receive a brief synopsis of the Course; introductory information is also available here. Listen to an Ancient Faith Radio interview about the St. Stephen's Course here.

Beginning August 28, the House of Studies will also be coordinating its annual Residency Program. The yearly two week program, hosted by Antiochian Village, welcomes students from all around the United States as well as from overseas. "We have students coming from New Zealand this year, and we always have students from other parts of the world," notes Dn. Peter.  The Residency Program is open to seminarians during their years of study, as well as current and soon-to-be-candidates for ordination who have not attended an Orthodox theological seminary, and also St. Stephen’s students who will be applying for ordination in the Antiochian Archdiocese.

House of Studies 2011 Registration Form & Schedule for Seminarian Track

The House of Studies has released the schedule and registration form for the Seminarian Track.

Download the Schedule.

Download the Registration Form.

House of Studies 2011 Registration Forms & Schedules

Director Fr. Joseph Allen announces, "The Antiochian House of Studies Residency for St. Stephen’s and Doctor of Ministry students is August 28th through September 9th this year. Doctor of Ministry students will attend both weeks. St. Stephen’s students will attend one week, either Week 1 or Week 2. Overseas International students in the St. Stephen’s program have the option of attending both weeks in the same year."

Download the 2011 Registration Form. 

Download the 2011 Class Schedule.

Download the Student Memo.

House of Studies Alumni Society Formed

Visiting Fort LigonierVisiting Fort LigonierOn September 3, 2010, under the guidance of Bishop Thomas and Fr. Joseph Allen, the Antiochian House of Studies created the framework for the new AHOS Alumni Society. Writes the Rev. Martie Johnson Jr., U.S. Navy Chaplain and Association Vice President, "On this historic day, after some eight full hours of meetings, nearly thirty students erected the framework for the AHOS Alumni Society under the auspices of Bishop Thomas and Father Joseph.  The By-Laws, Board of Directors, and Officers are now in place to take the next step of ratifying, reviewing, and fully implementing the follow-on elements necessary to launch this organization after the prayers and counsel of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America and Metropolitan Philip." Go here to view a photo gallery of the Village meetings.

Vice President Johnson's report reads as follows:

From:  AHOS Alumni Association Vice President

To:  His Grace Bishop Thomas

RE:  Report – Initiation and Planning Meeting for Alumni Association (ANECDOTAL)

Abstract:  On this, the thirtieth anniversary of our beloved Metropolitan Philip’s dream of educating the church and the world more fully in the Orthodox faith, the students of the AHOS, consistent with the vision and inspiration of Bishop Thomas and Very Reverend Joseph Allen, endeavored to construct a framework to establish an Alumni Association.

Antiochian House of Studies Announces Certificate Program for Pastoral Marriage and Family Counseling

Certificate Program for Pastoral Marriage and Family Counseling

Application due date: January 1, 2011

  • For men and women serving in parish ministry with at least three years of experience as clergy, chaplains, Christian Education Staff  who have completed a M.Div. or diploma though the St. Stephen’s or like program.
  • For Orthodox and non-Orthodox Clergy and staff who desire to be more competent in counseling individuals, couples and families.
  • Program will take 2 years and the first session is projected to begin in May of 2011 Classes will meet for two weeks in August, (September) and two weeks in May at the Antiochian Village in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Class size limited to 15 students.

Year one - Spring Session
The Foundations of Marriage and Family Ministry
Christian Anthropology and Human Development in the Family Life Cycle

Fall Session
Pastoral Care and Professional Ethics
Pastoral Counseling: Skills and Models

Year two - Spring Session
Pastoral Marital Counseling: Skills and Models
Pastoral Family Counseling

Fall Session
Psychopathology
Marriage and Family Counseling Practicum

The purpose of this program is to educate parish clergy and others in the process of pastoral counseling. It is not for the purpose of state licensure and course work may not be transferable to masters programs at colleges or universities.

Estimated costs:

Course work: $2,400 ($300 per course)
Books:  $800

Antiochian House of Studies Creates Alumni Association

Bishop Thomas writes:

The Antiochian House of Studies has begun to form an Alumni Association. This association will include all those people who have attended or participated in the St. Stephen Course of Study, the Doctor of Ministry program, the Masters degree program, and also the residency program for seminarians at the AHOS. All those people who have been part of these disciplines are encouraged to investigate the good work that will be done by this alumni association. Please e-mail Martie Johnson at MartiePTS@aol.com.

Antiochian House of Studies to Host 30th Anniversary Festivities

On Thursday evening, September 2, the Antiochian House of Studies will be kicking off their First Inaugural Alumni Reunion with a banquet and keynote address by His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip. The educational program in applied theology is gratefully celebrating thirty years of offering a unique long-distance forum for all the theological and pastoral education activities of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.

Reunion attendees will also be able to participate in a variety of events over the course of the weekend of September 3-5, including liturgical worship, tours, golfing, and fellowship. The weekend keynote speaker will be the renowned sociologist and author Kyriacos C. Markides, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology at the University of Maine, and author of many books including The Mountain of Silence and Gifts of the Desert. 

The Antiochian Village, site of the ongoing House of Studies classes, will host the reunion, and will announce further details on their site soon. For more information or to make reservations, contact them at 724-238-3677,  or email the village at: events@AntiochianVillage.org.

AFR Podcast Features Antiochian House of Studies

On May 25, the podcast Ancient Faith Presents featured an interview with AFR CEO John Maddex and Dn. Peter Bolukos, Registrar for the St. Stephen's Course in Orthodox Theology. Dn. Peter highlighted aspects of this unique educational program and encouraged new students to consider studying theology and ministry via the Antiochian House of Studies.

Dn. Peter pointed out that the Antiochian House of Studies and St. Stephen's Course have been in existence for nearly 30 years. Between 120 and 150 students apply annually, and in the courses, students read approximately 13,000 total pages. Additionally, all students must complete a ministerial project with clergy mentors and all must attend yearly classes at Antiochian Village. There are thousands of students who have completed the courses and are serving the Church as both clergy and laypeople, including many from countries like Japan, Ireland, Brazil, Mexico and Australia.

For more information, prospective students may email Dn. Peter at theoedu1@aol.com, or call (201) 569-0095, Eastern Standard Time.