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Byzantine Online Course Descriptions

Byzantine Online Course Descriptions

Fall 2019 Credit Courses

WR 201: Thesis Writing (TBA) 

This is intended as the first semester research class to prepare students to identify and research their thesis topic. Guidance is provided for research design, synthesis of information and constructing an appropriate research methodology. By the end of this course, the learners should be able to:

  • Identify and formulate researchable topic or question.
  • Write research proposals; identify relevant resources for research.
  • Construct an appropriate research design.

(1 hour; 1 semester)

CL 100: Introduction to Canon Law (Rev. Valerian M. Michlik, JCOL)

This course is designed to familiarize students with the law of the Byzantine Church. Students will learn principles of interpretation and the canonical implications of membership in the Church, the notion of governance, the teaching office, the administration of temporal goods, as well as sanctions and penalties. The students will learn the following:

  • The history of canon law in the Christian East from the New Testament and Roman law to the provisions of Pius XII and the modern code.
  • Preliminary canons and canons concerning sui juris churches.
  • Canons on the supreme authority of the Church and on the patriarchal churches.
  • Canons on major archbishops, metropolitans, eparchies.
  • Canons on clerics, lay persons, monks, and religious.
  • Canons on the Magisterium.
  • Canons on the temporal goods of the Church.
  • Canons on the penal sanctions in the Church.

(2 hours; 1 semester)

LT 100:  Introduction to Liturgy (Fr. David Petras)

This course presents a historical, theological, and methodological introduction to the study of Byzantine liturgical prayer and worship in general, with a particular emphasis on the Eucharistic Liturgy, and a systematic introduction to the Sacraments of the Church. By engaging in the learning activities of this basic introductory course on the Liturgy and the Sacraments, the students will:

  • Acquire a methodology of critical thinking and basic insight into liturgical concepts, the historical development of liturgy, and liturgical theology, which will allow them to ask relevant questions and pursue further research in this area.
  • Relate liturgy to life and, specifically, to historical, anthropological, sociological, and spiritual realities lived by Christians.
  • Attain a level of proficiency with regard to liturgical and sacramental language needed to pursue research and further liturgical studies.
  • Become conversant with the liturgical sources, books, objects, and actions used in liturgical worship.
  • Deepen their familiarity with the Eastern Christian liturgical tradition, which will form a foundation for the other liturgical courses in the students’ respective programs, and to enhance both their scholarly and ministerial vocations.

(3 hours; 1 semester)

MT 100: Introduction to Moral Theology (Dr. Matthew Minerd)

This course introduces the tradition of moral theology of the Byzantine East into the greater context of the Western ethical tradition. It includes material representing the Eastern Catholic moral tradition and an in-depth understanding of the foundations of Eastern Christian morals. Students will analyze theological principles and provide appropriate pastoral application. By means of the readings, class discussions, and other coursework, at the end of the semester students will be able:

  • To articulate and explain foundational concepts of Christian Ethics with special emphasis throughout the course given to the notion of theosis/divinization as a unifying theme for moral theological reflection. In light of the Christian vocation to the divine life, the following topics will be discussed: virtue, the cardinal and theological virtues, precepts, counsels, beatitudes, happiness, freedom, passions, law, natural law, conscience, the components of a human action (as expressed by both Scholastic thinkers and the Eastern Monastic tradition), discernment, the foundations of man’s moral capacity, and the monastic ideal and ascetical virtues.
  • To recognize and utilize the sources and teachers of Christian Ethics as a basis for ethical reflection: Scripture, the Patristic (especially Eastern) witness, the liturgical life of the Church, and the Magisterium (especially Veritatis Splendor).
  • To evaluate moral actions in terms and concepts utilized by the modern Magisterium: object, circumstances, species, intrinsic evil, etc. Likewise, to integrate this discussion into a framework of ethics that is not act-centric but, instead, is virtue-centric and ultimately centered on the life of grace and theosis.
  • To undertake extensive discussions of the role of conscience in forming moral objects and provide the student with tools for applying these discussions to difficult case-studies in contemporary ethical problems.
  • To account for what Christian ethics is, why it is necessary, and to know how to respond to some Christian objections to systematic Christian ethics, but in a way that takes into account Eastern monastic and patristic traditions.

(3 hours; 1 semester)

SS 100:  Introduction to Sacred Scripture (Helenanne Hochendoner, M.A.T.)

This introductory course examines the foundations for the study of the Bible. It will introduce methodologies like the historical-critical method as well as typology, allegory and other interpretive methods as well as a thoroughgoing introduction to the various genres of Scripture. The building blocks of Biblical work (academic as well as homiletic) will be achieved through a word study. Students of this course will develop the following skills:

  • Read the Bible spiritually and historically as well as critically.
  • Understand and explain the role of Scripture as witness to God’s revelation for both Old and New Testament communities.
  • Identify important issues in contemporary Eastern Christian Biblical study.
  • Begin to articulate the Catholic view of revelation, inspiration and canonicity.

(3 hours; 1 semester)

PR 203: Byzantine Pastoral Leadership in Contemporary Culture (Rev. Dr. Justin R. Rose)

Jesus said, “Indeed, no one puts new wine into old wineskins, lest the wine burst the skins and both the wine and skins are lost. But new wine [goes] into new skins.” (Mark 2:22) In every age, the Church ministers from within culture. While Jesus, Himself, the Apostles and Fathers of the Church all criticized the culture they lived in, they used various aspects of their cultures as tools to spread the Gospel. Successful contemporary Church leaders, while necessarily being critical of cultural excesses and injustices, nevertheless work within the reality of contemporary culture to share the Good News of Jesus. This course will acknowledge the spiritual, fiscal, practical and administrative challenges of contemporary pastoral leadership. Exploring the various cultures present in families or parishes, lectures and discussions will evaluate various pastoral leadership models and engage the ancient Christian spirituality as well as contemporary leadership material to form a vision of Byzantine Christian pastoral leadership for today.

(2 hours; 1 semester)

DT 204: Christian Dogmatics in the Byzantine Tradition (Fr. Deacon Daniel Dozier, MA)

“Dogma is the doctrine that…the Church confesses as the truth that brings salvation to every human being.” – Metropolitan John Zizoulas. Dogmatic theology is therefore the disciplined study of the revealed and defined doctrines of the worshipping Christian Church which lead to salvation. Eastern Christians whose spiritual patrimony originates in Constantinople have historically drawn on the rich streams of biblical, patristic, liturgical, iconographical, catechetical and magisterial sources to create a lived doctrinal and doxological synthesis with local culture which we commonly refer to as “Byzantine.” This graduate level seminary course will systematically explore the great unity in diversity that is known as the Byzantine Tradition in relationship to the dogmas expressed in the Faith, Worship and Life of Church both historically and today.

(3 hours; 1 semester)

Fall 2019 Certificate Course

BO-SP 109: Windows to the Word: Icons and Christian Catechesis (Fr. Deacon Daniel Dozier, MA)

“Christian iconography expresses in images the same Gospel message that Scripture communicates by words. Image and word illuminate each other.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 1160) One of the essential aspects of both the traditional kerygma (proclamation) and catechesis (teaching) of the Church is the employment of sacred icons as a means to visually form both the mind and heart of Christian disciples in the practical ways of iconic believing and living. This post-baccalaureate certificate course will explore the rich tradition of Byzantine Christian iconography, being attentive to both the language of its symbolism and form, as well as its ability to visually synthesize the different streams of biblical, patristic, liturgical, catechetical, magisterial and cultural sources to sacramentally communicate a holy encounter with sacred persons and events. A special focus will be given to how to incorporate icons into catechesis and homiletics using the icons of the Festal Calendar of the Byzantine Churches.