Study Program (Curriculum): Degree in Theology (4 years)
Requirements in European Credit units –
European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)
To obtain a degree in Theology from the Program “Theology, 4 years, Bachelor’s Degree” of the Theological School of the Church of Cyprus, students need to acquire the minimum number of two hundred and forty (240) credit units (ECTS) of the European System of Transfer and Accumulation of Credits. In order to obtain the required credits (ECTS) students need to attend forty-eight (48) of the sixty (60) courses offered and prepare a diploma thesis, or to attend fifty (50) of the sixty (60) courses offered as well as participate in the program’s activities, pass the respective exams and complete a period of school experience. The European Credit Units (ECTS) allocated to the program are as follows:
- 42 Compulsory Courses (C) 208 ECTS
- 6 Elective Courses (E) 22 ECTS
- 1 Graduate Thesis (GT) (Limited Selection)
(or the equivalent of 2 Limited Selection courses) (GT) or (LS) 10 ECTS
Total of European Transfer and Accumulation Credit Units offered: 240 ECTS
The Undergraduate Program of Theology consists of the following parts:
- 30 Compulsory Courses in Theology, 150 ECTS
- 2 Compulsory Courses in General Education and Pedagogical Competence, 58 ECTS
Graduate Thesis or Limited Selection, 2 courses, 10 ECTS
Students are given the option of preparing a diploma Graduate thesis during the 7th and 8th semester of their studies instead of attending two courses of the Department of General Education and Auxiliary Subsidiary Sciences. The Graduate Thesis, which corresponds to 10 ECTS credits, must include a theoretical review of the literature bibliography related to the subject selected in a document of 30-40 pages.
School Experience is offered in the 7th semester of through the course Teaching Religious Studies/School Experience, THEO. 430. It is obligatory compulsory for all students and is carried out with the permission and assistance of the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture in Primary, Middle and Senior schools in Cyprus.
PROGRAM PER SEMESTER
The School operates using the semester system (15 weeks) as a method for organizing the academic year.
- For the winter fall semester
- Courses begin on the first Monday of September and end on the third Friday of December, provided that a total of 12 teaching weeks, one week of independent study and two weeks of examinations have been completed. The final exams of the winter fall semester take place from the second Monday to the third Friday of December.
- For the spring semester
- Courses begin on the third Monday of January and end in mid-May, provided that 12 teaching weeks, one week of independent study and two weeks of examinations have been completed. The sequence of the teaching weeks, the independent study week and the final examinations of the spring semester are determined in relation to the date of Orthodox Easter.
The courses consist of three (3) hours per week, for 12 weekly sessions every six months semester, and are allocated to the program as “Compulsory Courses” with the designation (C), as “Elective Courses” with the designation (E), or as ” Limited Selection” designated (LS). For specific courses students are required to have successfully completed another related course. In these cases the “CODE” of the related course which is considered prerequisite is indicated in the column “PRER”.
All courses are taught in Greek.
Programs per Semester
Introduction to the Old Testament (C)
Students are introduced to the individual books of the Old Testament and their historical and philological problems with emphasis on content, character, author, place and time of writing, purpose, authenticity and origin. They are also introduced to the basic elements that shaped the Palestinian and the Alexandrian Canon, the tradition of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, from its original writing to the present, and the history of the translation of the O’, the findings of modern research and the theological and perennial value of the Old Testament.
Introduction to the New Testament (C)
Students are introduced to the books of the New Testament and their historical and philological problems with emphasis on content, character, author, place and time of writing, purpose, authenticity and origin. They are also introduced to the history of the New Testament Canon, the findings of modern research and, in general, the theological and perennial value of the New Testament.
General Church History I (C)
This lesson focuses on the history of the establishment and spread of the Church in Apostolic times, on comparative religions, imperial worship, the first period of persecution, the legal status of the Church, and the great persecutions of the 3rd and 4th centuries. It also examines the policies of M. Konstantinos, Arianism and the Origenist disputes, Nestorianism, the definition of Christological doctrine, Monophysitism, and extends to the religious policies of the emperors until the time of Justinian.
Personal and Communication Skills (C)
Students are guided in the development of study skills and the organization and timing of studies, as well as in active listening, speaking and scientific writing skills. Students are required to prepare and present a speech in front of an audience, as well as preparing a written essay. Through experiential workshops they develop basic social, communicative, emotional and intercultural skills.
Ancient Greek Language I (C)
Students are familiarized with the varieties of ancient Greek literature and approach these by editing texts from Attic prose. By applying the rules of grammar and syntax they develop an understanding of the texts and are able to attribute these rules to the Modern Greek language.
Information Technology (C)
Students are introduced to the basic principles for using computers, focusing on Microsoft Office programs. They are introduced to the internet and practice researching topics, gathering information and creating texts, presentations, spreadsheets and films. The aim is the effective use of technology not only for their work but also for their personal needs.
Foreign Language, English I (L.C.)
Students are given the opportunity to approach the terminology of Theological Science as it is occurs in English. Exercises are undertaken on the understanding of specialized written texts and on the production of written and spoken English in subjects related to the field of Theology.
Foreign Language, French I (L.C.)
The basic principles of French terminology within Theological Science are taught, aiming at developing skills in the comprehension of written texts and in the production of writing and speech in French. Students approach theological texts written in French and formulate, in French, views and arguments relating to their studies.
History of the Old and New Testament (C)
This lesson introduces the methods and the basic principles for studying history in general. Utilizing modern methods of scientific research, and with the contribution of Old and New Testament texts, Archaeology and non-biblical texts, it presents the facts of the history of ancient Israel and the earthly presence of Jesus. Apart from historical events, it also presents the religious and social aspects of the era of the Old and New Testaments.
Introduction to Christian Worship (C)
Students are introduced to the study of the Liturgy, utilizing the basic principles and methodology of scientific research. The main sources for Liturgical studies are examined up to the 4th century AD, as well as the historical evolution and the theological content of the various phases of early Christian worship. The importance of the Liturgical experience of earlier centuries and the ways that this can inform current Liturgical practice are evaluated.
This course looks at the epistemological classification of hagiographic texts and familiarizes students with basic hagiographic terminology and sources. Students become acquainted with the most important writers of hagiographic texts and the main stages in hagiography of the Byzantine and post-Byzantine periods. Reference is made to the Holy Martyrs, to the sacred relics, the Virgin Mary and to the Saints. Explanations are given for the processes of canonization in both the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches.
Patristic Studies I (C)
This lesson examines the introductory problems in the study of the writings of the Holy Fathers and other ecclesiastical writers (2nd-8th centuries). It considers the methodological, theological, philological and historical-social conditions for understanding their theological and related content. It also engages in historical and literary research of the life and writings of the Holy Fathers, the theological analysis of each ecclesiastical writer and their particular works and of the Great Fathers and teachers who lived until the 8th century.
Ancient Greek Language II (C)
Following on from the course THE0.140, and by applying the rules of grammar and syntax to selected texts of Attic prose, students come to recognize the enduring elements in the evolution of the Greek language and their presence in Modern Greek. They come to realize that ancient Greek is the basis for the scientific approach to the subject of Theology, since its basic sources, the Translations of the New Testament, of Patristic texts etc, are in Greek.
Ancient Hebrew Language (Y)
This lesson gives students the opportunity to get to know the languages in which the Old Testament is written and to have an interest in the ancient Hebrew language after the general presentation of the Semitic languages. By teaching the grammar of the ancient Hebrew language and applying it to the original text of the Old Testament, they can approach it, evaluate its translations, especially the O, and recognize the effects of ancient Hebrew on it.
Foreign Language, English II (PE)
Following on from the course THEO.143, students deepen their knowledge of English terminology in Theological Science and the techniques for expressing views in English on subjects related to Theology. Theological texts in the English language are approached and an effort is made to understand them.
Foreign Language, French II (PE)
Following on from the course THEO.145, students deepen their knowledge of basic French terminology in Theological Science and develop techniques for formulating views on topics related to theology in French. Theological texts in the French language are approached and an effort is made to understand them.
Liturgical Year – Theology of Worship (C)
This is an introduction to the basic theological liturgical concepts and the methodological study of its sources. It examines the rationale of the liturgical year and the celebrations as aspects of the Church experience. The main historical and theological evolutionary stages of the Liturgy are studied: Sunday – Easter, the cycles of moveable and immoveable feasts, feasts of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the Saints.
Canon Law (C)
In this course the relations between Law and Theology are emphasized, the meaning and nature of Canon Law is defined as an element of the Theological Science, and its fundamental and secondary sources are defined. The hierarchical organization of the Church and the distinction between its members, the organs of ecclesiastical authority and Episcopal constitution, as well as issues of Church-State relations are examined. It also addresses the Charter of Orthodox Churches, as well as the Modern Legislation of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus.
Patristic Studies II (C)
Following on from the course THEO.108, students are taught the introductory problems in the study of the Holy Fathers and ecclesiastical writers (9th-15th century), and the methodological, theological, philological and historical-social conditions for understanding the patristic theology of the period. The historical and literary research of the life and writings after the 9th century of the Holy Fathers and Ecclesiastical writers is examined. Students are also taught the theological analysis of each ecclesiastical writer and their particular work, by deepening their understanding of the theology of objections (M. Photios and others) and quietist theology (St. Gregory Palamas and his disciples).
Research Methodology (C)
This course examines the academic framework within the scientific texts of Theology are developed. Students are taught study skills, bibliographic reviewing skills, academic essay writing, and the basic elements of a dissertation.
Christian Archaeology (C)
Students are introduced to Christian Archaeology, scientific terminology and the fundamental significance of the origin and development of Christian art, which contributes to the creation of the civilization of the period. Christian and Church architecture are described, Christian places of worship, catacombs, sarcophagus, religious painting, Christian sculpture, the painting of icons and their theology until the epoch of iconoclasm.
Byzantine Music Performance (C)
This is an introduction to the world of Byzantine music and art of chanting, Byzantine music notation and methods of writing and reading Byzantine music. Students learn to perform and interpret ecclesiastic hymns as they are chant in basic worship services.
Old Testament Hermeneutics I (C)
With the lesson THEO.121 as prerequisite, the students are introduced to the basic principles of hermeneutics as a science, and to the interpretation of selected prophetic books of the Old Testament that are approached using modern methods of Bible interpretation. It identifies the particular interpretative and theological problems of the examined books, and tries to solve them with the contribution of the opinions of ecclesiastical fathers and writers, and the findings of the most recent scientific research.
General Church History II (C)
Following on from the course THEO.181, the period beginning from the era of Justinian refers to Iconoclasm, the Restoration of the Images, the Church Schism, the Christianization of the Slavs, and the last Schism of the Churches of the East and West are examined. It also examines the heresies, the relations between the Churches of the East and the West, the history of the Church during the time of the Latin occupation, the quietist dispute discourses in the East, as well as the spiritual life of the Church of the East.
Through an introduction to the basic concepts and fundamental problems of Philosophy, students come to grips with all the major disciplines of Philosophy (Ontology, Anthropology, Ethics, Political Philosophy). The influences of Ancient Greek Philosophy on current trends are demonstrated, and the methodological forms of the various philosophical trends are explained, with the aim of enhancing the critical and creative thinking of the student.
History of Dogmas (C)
This course presents the different character of the History of Dogmas, in relation to the Revelation in the face of Christ, and in relation to the history of human thought. It explains the development and formulation of the dogmas through the synodic texts of the Church, projects the course of the dogmas over the centuries, and stresses the close relationship between this course and ecclesiastical experience. It surveys the struggles of the Church with the formulation of dogmas and the preservation of truth, and looks at the dogmatic developments in the West until the Reformation.
Byzantine Grammatology (C)
Students are introduced to the basic research tools of Byzantine studies, especially those based on the primary sources of Byzantium. Emphasis is placed on the texts of Christian literature, and the relation between Byzantine literature and Byzantine culture is examined. Historiography, hagiology and hymnography, epistle-writing and rhetoric, as well as religious poetry are studied.
Psychological Theories of Personality (C)
The theories, research methods and means of assessing the psychology of the personality are approached. The course examines the development, structure and divergent features of personality, as well as processes that bring about changes to personality, while attempting a critical approach to the subjective areas of human psychology. Students are able to apply various techniques for assessing their own personality.
Language Skills Development I (C)
The course aims to develop the students’ language skills (productive and receptive) in both speech and writing. More precisely, THEO 240 seeks to furnish students with the knowledge and techniques needed, on the one hand for the production of written discourse (micro- and macro-structure of discourse) and on the other, for the production of spoken discourse. Furthermore, the course aims to train students to comprehend ecclesiastical and patristic texts from the original and to adopt a critical stance towards translations of these texts.
New Testament Hermeneutics I (C)
With THEO.125 being a prerequisite, students are introduced to the science of Hermeneutics and the Interpretation of the New Testament. With the contribution of patristic interpretations and modern interpretative methods, students approach representative extracts from the Gospels and especially from the Synoptics. They are informed by modern bibliography, and come to recognize the historical and theological significance of the Gospels, and discover the eternal theological truths contained therein.
Divine Liturgy and Sermonizing (C)
An introduction to the study of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostomos. Emphasis is given on the historical stages of evolution and formation of the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostomos, and on the relation between Divine Liturgy and Theology. Practical ethics and modern operational and pastoral issues are approached. Students are introduced to the Church Sermon by studying and analyzing the texts of the New Testament and the Patristic Grammatology. The position of Divine Worship and Dogma is studied within ecclesiastical discourse, and issues relating to the theological, qualitative and quantitative upgrading of the Catechism of the church are considered within the context of its pastoral and parishional work.
Dogmatics I (C)
With THEO.218 being a pre-requisite, this course entails the systematic presentation of the doctrinal truths of the Orthodox Faith as revealed by the Trinitarian God in the person of Jesus Christ, and as preserved and taught by the Church. Dogmatics examines the expression of the faith of the Church as expressed in its Doctrines, both those established by the Ecumenical Synods, and the un-established doctrines that are unceasingly proclaimed and taught by the Church. Dogmatics emphasizes the close relationship of the Church’s Doctrines with the life of faithful Christians, as a part of the charismatic experience of ecclesiastical life.
Teaching Methodology (C)
Students are introduced to the basic concepts and theories of teaching and the basic structural characteristics of teaching. They learn to apply the stages of planning as well as the fundamental strategies of effective teaching. They are trained in methods of evaluation and how the assessment results of teaching practices are evaluated.
Counselling Psychology (C)
The theories and the basic principles of Counselling are approached. Students are encouraged to use critically the two basic epistemological models, empirical-realistic and cultural-narrative, but also to understand the concepts of Collaborative Dialogue, Cooperative Relationship, and the Ethical Dimension of Counselling. The course offers the opportunity to become acquainted with the basic skills of the Counsellor, and to integrate the theories and techniques of Counselling into the daily practice of the students.
Church of Cyprus and Education (E)
This course examines the different directions and orientations of modern Education in Cyprus in relation to the Church of Cyprus, and in relation to their respective historical contexts of development. Students learn to think critically about policies pursued or applied in Education, and examine the role of the Church and its strengths or weaknesses in the field of Education. Students acquire the skills for studying and recording archival material in the context of the course.
Ancient Greek Literature (E)
Students are familiarized with the basic literary elements of the ancient Greek language, including poetry and prose, by studying the classic works of antiquity. They become acquainted with the language and style of ancient Greek works in order to be able to evaluate the contribution of ancient Greek to the understanding of the Holy Texts and the Patristic Grammatology.
Greek Paleography–Codicology (C)
This course gives students the opportunity to examine the history and evolution of Greek writing through the study of manuscripts and texts, both capitalized and lower case scripts. They acquire the skills to analyze the structure of a handwritten text, and roughly date it with the help of modern technology.
History of the Church of Cyprus (C)
This course examines the history of the founding of the Church of Cyprus in Apostolic times and its subsequent establishment. Students study the history of the Church of Cyprus as a part of general Church History, and examine its course throughout various historical periods, Byzantine, Frankish, Venetian, Ottoman, as well as in modern times.
Pedagogy and Religious Education (C)
This course is approaching Religious Education from a pedagogical perspective and students are taught various theories related to corresponding paedagogical and cultural issues. Students are also invited to judge theories and concerns related to Religious Education in Schools.
Dogmatics II (C)
Following on from THEO.311, this course considers the formation and interpretation of the Church’s Doctrines over the course of its history. The differences between the Orthodox Doctrine of the Eastern Church and the Doctrine of the Western Church are examined. Heretical issues of the Ancient Church are examined, and the Ecumenical Synods, the Filioque and Doctrine are discussed in relation to Ethics, other religions and the modern world.
Byzantine Music – Hymnography (C)
This course teaches the hymnological and liturgical terms employed in the Greek Orthodox Church, as well as the Typikon for the various church services. It explains the use of the different liturgical and musical books of the Church, and studies the historical development of Byzantine Ecclesiastical Music.
Sociology of Religion (C)
This course examines the relationship between religion and society as an introduction to the sociological approach to religious phenomena. It stresses the social causes of religious phenomena, and explores the social characteristics of religious society, as well as the relations between sociology and religion.
Modern Greek History and Identity (E)
This course teaches the temporal, political and social contexts which prevailed in the modern period (1821-1923), and introduces the students to the concepts in related fields (Social Sciences, Cultural Studies), with a view to their use in the analysis of historical events. Students become acquainted with the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary nature of history studies.
Pedagogical Theories (E)
This course teaches basic paedagogical theories and contemporary research trends and their connection to educational practice. It also trains future teachers to create suitable learning environments and effective teaching tailored to both religious teaching in schools and the needs of students, including the use of Information and Communication Technology.
Pastoral Ministry (E)
This course centres on the importance and necessity of the Church’s pastoral work. The theological demands of pastoral work in the modern world, the qualifications of pastors, and the particular nature of the parish are studied. Students participate in the pastoral and parish work of the Church: catechism for children, adolescents and young people, ministering to the pastoral needs of the family and the local church in confronting social problems.
Language Skills Development II (C)
The course builds on and complements THEO 240 seeking to further develop the students’ language skills (productive and receptive) in both speech and writing. Through the comparison of ancient and modern Greek grammar and syntax the course aims, on the one hand to contribute to the improvement of the students’ reading comprehension skills with regards to modern and ancient Greek texts (mainly ecclesiastical and patristic); on the other hand, it aims to enrich the students’ vocabulary and help them by means of numerous examples and exercises to delve into the semantics of words. Emphasis is also laid upon the knowledge and techniques needed for the production of speech and writing in modern Greek, as well as for the construction of simple sentences in ancient Greek.
Old Testament Hermeneutics II (C)
With THEO.221 being a prerequisite, students analyze the books of the Old Testament and selected extracts employing modern interpretative methods and drawing upon the contribution of the Church Fathers. Apart from the biblical approach to the texts, students attempt to compare and relate Old Testament texts to the relevant extra-biblical works in order to promote the divinely-inspired authority and enduring value of the Old Testament in the life of the Church.
Christian Ethics (C)
In this course the unifying character of Christian Ethics, which brings together individual disciplines in Theology and summarizes Orthodox theology in practice, is studied. Ethics is associated with its development through the life of Christ, and is critically considered in parallel with perceptions that dominate our culture, as well as with modern disciplines such as Politics, Economics and Ecological Studies.
History of Religions (C)
This course looks at the history and teaching of the religions of Europe, the Near East and Asia, as well as at the inter-faith dialogue as it occurred in the past and as it exists today. Emphasis is placed on the unifying nature of Christian Ethics, and the responsibility of Christians towards the course of human affairs.
Teaching Religious Education/School Experience (C)
With THEO.334 being a prerequisite, students study modern theories of cognitive development and develop skills that will enable them to teach correctly Religious Education in the Secondary Education. Students are also trained in the paedagogical use of Information and Communication Technology.
Daily Services and Typikon (FE)
This is an introduction to the study of Daily Services. The major liturgical centres and historical stages of evolution and development of the Daily Services are studied. The course examines the liturgical books of the Orthodox Church, with particular emphasis on sequencing and observances. The Theology of the Daily Services, the ethics of the liturgy, as well as modern liturgical and pastoral issues are also studied.
Interpretation of the Acts of the Apostles (FE)
This course aims to interpret portions of the Acts of the Apostles and attempts to link the theological ideas contained therein with the contributions of the Church Fathers and writers, and to connect the findings of modern biblical research with the teachings of the New Testament and the role of the Apostles in the dissemination of the Gospel. It also seeks to make clear the importance of this biblical text, and the purpose of its creation, in keeping with its description as being the “Gospel of the Holy Spirit”.
Topics of Ecclesiastical Grammatology and Patristic Theology (FE)
This course introduces students to patristic theology by presenting the life, work and teaching methods of the Great Fathers of the Church. It presents in depth themes and aspects of patristic theology with particular emphasis on the theological views concerning the doctrine of the emanation of the Holy Spirit, the teaching relative to the distinction between divine essence and energy, and the theology of the Niptikon Fathers (Simeon the New Theologian, Nikitas Stithatos).
Developmental Psychology (LC)
Students are introduced to the principles governing human development, focusing on their physical, cognitive, emotional and social development at each of the major stages of their lives. Students are invited to use their knowledge both to improve the patterns of communication with students and parishioners, and to identify possible problem areas in the field of school learning and behaviour.
THEO.400 A & B
Graduate Thesis I & II (LC)
Students are equipped with the essential knowledge and skills that will allow them to organize and prepare a Graduate thesis on a subject related to their interests and the content of the Program of Studies.
New Testament Hermeneutics II (C)
Following on from course THEO.325, students attempt interpretations of representative letters of Saint Paul, aided by the contributions of patristic interpretation and modern interpretative methods. They discover the theological ideas contained within them, and they gain an understanding of their excellence, their theological value and the position held by the letters of Saint Paul in the New Testament and in the life of the Church.
Byzantine Art (C)
This course examines the evolution of Byzantine art from the restoration of the icons to the fall of the Byzantine Empire, with emphasis on Byzantium’s contribution to the development of ecclesiastical art, both in Christianized countries and those of similar denomination, as well as in Armenia and the West. It explains the role of religious movements in the evolution of liturgical art, as well as the artistic interaction between the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Church, especially in the East. Students are familiarized with the terms employed in art history, and make guided visits to relevant cultural monuments located in Cyprus.
Euchologion: Sacraments, History, Theology (C)
As an introduction to the Euchologion, this course examines the sacred mysteries of Baptism, Confirmation-Anointing and Marriage. The main historical and theological developmental stages of the relevant sacraments are studied. In addition, the significance of the Euchologion for the religious life, in theology and in the traditions of the Orthodox Church is also evaluated.
Patristic Texts Hermeneutics (C)
With THEO.208 being a prerequisite, this course introduces students to patristic interpretation (general principles, preconditions and methods of interpretation). The Holy Fathers are presented as the interpreters of the Bible and the theological tradition of the Church, (e.g. the Fathers of the first Ecumenical Synod, the Cappadocian Fathers, and Gregory Palamas as interpreters). Students also interpret and undertake theological analysis of selected patristic texts (by the Cappadocian Fathers, John Chrysostomos, and John Damaskinos).
Mission of the Church in the Modern World (E)This course considers the significance of, and need for, Orthodox Theological discourse, and looks at the experience of the Church in the modern world. The theological aspects of the Church’s mission in the 21st century are studied, with a focus on the major existential and social issues that confront modern man.
Saint Neophytos the Recluse – Life and Works (FE)
This course looks at the personality of Saint Neophytos the Recluse and the role he played in Cyprus in the 12th century AD, as well as his spiritual influence in Cyprus and abroad. Students examine the various conflicting theories concerning the personality of Saint Neophytos, and respond with scientific arguments to the modern contradictory views on the Recluse.
Topics of Bioethics (FE)
With THEO.440 being a prerequisite, students on this course are informed of the need for an Orthodox bioethics on the problematic issues of human existence (e.g. cloning, euthanasia). Orthodox bioethics is distinguished from other schools of bioethics, as are the concepts and meanings that Orthodox bioethics employs in its theological discourse. In addition, the different origins of the bioethics prevailing today are determined.
Psychology Topics (LC)
Students are introduced to the main themes of the science of psychology and their practical applications, with a view also to their use in the field of Theology. In addition, they are invited to examine critically the subjective domains of human psychology.