Course Descriptions

1. Church Canons (2 courses)

This course presents an introduction to the Church Canons. These comprise the Apostolic Canons, Ecumenical Canons, Regional Canons and Canons of individual Fathers. This course focuses on the office and duties of a Christian bishop, the qualifications and conduct of the clergy, the religious life of the Christian flock (abstinence, fasting), its external administration (excommunication, synods, relations with pagans and Jews), the sacraments (Baptism, Eucharist, Marriage); and in a word, the statutory legislation of the Church.

2. Church History (2 courses)

This course introduces the political, religious and cultural environment in which Christianity was established. It deals with the way in which Christianity faced these adverse situations and the history of its victories over them. The course also presents the severe theological conflict that the church and its leaders encountered from the end of the third century to the middle of the fifth century. It will also touch upon the Arab conquest of Egypt, Napoleon’s invasion, the British occupation and finally the renaissance in the Coptic Church since 1959.

3. Comparative Theology (2 courses)

This course presents the position of the Coptic Orthodox Church regarding the beliefs and doctrines of the Protestant and Catholic Churches, using Biblical, theological and historical arguments. Issues addressed include such topics as priesthood, infant baptism, purgatory, procession of the Holy Spirit, supremacy and infallibility of the Catholic pope, repentance, confession and intercession of saints. This course also shed the light on the theological views of various popular sects, cults, and religious movements today such as Jehovah’s Witness, the Mormon, the Christian Science, etc.

4. Coptic Language & Hymns (1 course)

This course covers the basic Coptic grammar and a wide range of Coptic vocabulary. In addition, the study will include general knowledge about all Coptic hymns, reading and learning different parts of the Holy Psalmody Book. The students should be able to read and understand a wide range of Coptic vocabulary used colloquially. This course will also teach the difference between church tunes (annual, seasonal, joyful, and sorrowful) and the chanting of some church hymns.

5. Dogmatic Theology (2 courses)

This course discusses the fundamentals of Christian Doctrine. In particular, Orthodox theological thought in respect of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ and the divinity of the Holy Spirit, followed by a study of the Church, its theological concept and its authority, as well as a study of eternity i.e. the after-death (eschatology); sources of religion; tradition and the Holy Bible; the visible and invisible creatures and many other introductory topics that form the basis of theological science.

6. Leadership & Management (1 course)

This course is designed to answer questions in regard to the definition of what is leadership and how it differs from management. How to set goals, make plans and decisions, and motivate those working with the leader are also among the critical skills that any efficient leader should be aware of. Though management and administration are universal principles, the course focus will be from the perspective of a church environment.

7. New Testament (3 courses)

This course provides a general introduction to the New Testament, its social, historical and political background. The emphasis will be on the four Holy Gospels, with a comparison between the three synoptical Holy Gospels and the distinctive features in each Holy Gospel. It also presents an overview of the Holy Pauline and the Catholic Epistles and the circumstances that led to their writing.

8. Old Testament (4 courses)

This course introduces the Old Testament, especially the historical and geographical circumstances. It covers important topics such as Manuscripts of the Holy Bible, the other Holy Canonical Books (so called Apocrypha), Biblical archaeology, Geography of the Holy Bible, History of the Jewish people, patterns of interpretation of the prophecies, etc. The course will also cover an analysis of the Holy Books from Job to Malachi.

9. Pastoral Theology (2 courses)

This course covers issues of both ministry and pastorship in their broad sense. This study focuses on the inspiration of serving within the Ministry through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the qualities necessary in the personality of the minister, his spiritual, psychological and theological preparation. The study discusses the inter-relationship between ministers and the relationship between a minister and those being ministered to. It also shows the various scopes of ministry and pastorship, as well as demonstrating examples of ministry in the Holy Bible, the ancient Church and in contemporary history.

10. Patrology (2 courses)

This course covers the life, writings, doctrines and thoughts of the early church Fathers. It presents the living story of the early church in all its aspects of worship, pastoral and social concepts, preaching and spirituality.

11. Ritual Theology (2 courses)

This course covers important topics on how the Church’s rituals and beliefs reflect her spiritual beauty and the sublime sacred meaning contained in each rite. This subject lights the way before those who wish to have a deeper appreciation of rituals of the church.

12. Theology of Mission (1 course)

This course deals with the role of the Church in reaching out to those from outside the Church. This course begins with an outline of the Biblical and ecclesiastical basis for outreach. The characteristics of missionary work are set out. These are presented with case studies from the missionary work of the Coptic Church in Africa and the lands of migration. This course concludes with a discussion on the approach for missionary work in the lands of migration.