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News from the House of Studies

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, or call (201) 569-0095, Eastern Standard Time.

First Inaugural Alumni Reunion and the 30th Anniversary of the Antiochian House of Studies

The Antiochian House of Studies, together with the Antiochian Village Heritage and Learning Center, announces the First Inaugural Alumni Reunion in conjunction with, and in celebration of, the 30th Anniversary of the House of Studies. The Anniversary and Graduation Banquet will be held Thursday evening, September 2nd, 2010, at the end of the first week of this year’s residency program. Blessing us with his presence and delivering the keynote address at this event will be The Most Reverend Metropolitan PHILIP, Archbishop of New York and All North America, and founder of the Antiochian House of Studies.

Growth and Development...

What began in 1980 as the three-year certificated St. Stephen’s Course of Study has grown to include the Master of Arts degree program, awarded under the auspices of the University of Balamand, and the Doctor of Ministry degree program, awarded under the auspices of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Additionally, specialty tracts have been developed within the St. Stephen’s Course in the areas of Musicology (both Byzantine and Slavonic) as well as Iconology; students participating in these have additional course requirements which include a block of residency classes held during the interim weekend of the residency program. Commencing this year, a three-year Certificate Program in Pastoral and Family Counseling is being established. Curriculum development and oversight for this new offering is being provided by the Right Reverend Fr. John Abdalah of St. George Cathedral in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; himself a Marriage and Family Counselor. The goal is that this program should be approved as a Masters Degree program. Of course, the Antiochian House of Studies Library, housed at the Antiochian Village, also falls under the House of Studies umbrella.

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

  • 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 August of 2010 Classes will meet for two weeks in August, (September) and May at the Antiochian Village in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Class size limited to 15 students.

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

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

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

Spring Session
Marriage and Family Counseling Practicum

2008 Seminarian Retreat

August 20-23, 2008

By Paul Abernathy

For many Orthodox seminarians, preparing for another year of seminary is a time of great joy and nervousness. We look forward to concentrating intensely on Christ, yet recognize the spiritual struggle this growth entails. For seminarians of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, the time immediately preceding seminary is also a time we spend together in fellowship and learning.

With the blessing of our father, Metropolitan PHILIP, who has shown himself to care for his seminarians as his own sons, all Antiochian seminarians gathered together for a three day retreat at the Antiochian Village. The theme this year, missions, reminded us that Christ commanded us to go out and make disciples of “all nations.” We received words of wisdom and experience from His Grace Bishop THOMAS, our facilitators, Fr. John Abdalah and Fr. Fred Pfeil, and other session leaders, Fr. Ted Pulcini and Fr. Jason DelVitto.

Our retreat began Wednesday night with Vespers and a welcoming, reassuring message from His Grace Bishop THOMAS. That night, Fr. John and Fr. Fred facilitated an introduction period that provided each of us with the opportunity to see the remarkable men that God has called and the extraordinary circumstances that led each of them there. As each seminarian introduced himself, it was astounding to hear the incredible life experiences that led each one to Christ. Perhaps even more astonishing was the witness many gave of the cross they bore for Christ’s sake, only to receive the tremendous blessings that came along with it. That night, the work of the Holy Spirit in the Holy Orthodox Church here in this land could be clearly seen.