Byzantine Online Course Descriptions

Byzantine Online Course Descriptions

Spring 2021 Credit Courses


CH 105: History of the Melkite Greek-Catholic Church of Antioch (Abouna Justin Rose) 

(2 hours; 1 semester)

The Melkite Greek Catholic Church is one of the five patriarchal Churches of Antioch. Melkite history is replete with stories of Apostolic zeal, Imperial Byzantium, Ottoman intrigue and Latin missionaries. Described by some as an ‘Orthodox Church in communion with Rome,’ Melkites identify themselves along a spectrum between Orthodoxy and Latinization. Are Melkites bridge or window, church or rite?

This course will look at the roots of the Church of Antioch from Apostolic times and the rich variety of Churches that claim Antiochian heritage with emphasis on the Antiochian Church(es) who follow the Byzantine rite. Readings, lectures, and discussions will examine the events that led up to the communion with Rome in 1724 and the Melkite role in Vatican Councils I and II, along with important personalities involved. In the last weeks, we will consider the history and growth of the Melkite Church in the United States to the present. Throughout the course, we will define and discuss Uniatism, Orientalism, Orthodoxy, Latinization, ecclesiology, self-identity, and ecumenism.

NOTE: This is offered synchronously (Thursday evenings from 7-9 pm EST). Those interested but unable to meet at that time can audit to view recorded lectures and discussions. Will also be offered in Summer 2021 if there is sufficient interest.


DT 100: Introduction to Dogmatics (Dr. Jared Goff) 

(3 hours; 1 semester)

This introductory course will examine the soteriological foundations of Christian dogma. The class will explore divine revelation, the mystery of the Triune God, creation and man, the person of Christ, the Holy Spirit, the nature and mission of the Church, the Church’s eschatological dimension, and the Church’s ethos as it encounters our civilization and relates its doctrinal beliefs to the world.


DT 104: Post-Chalcedonian Dogmatics (Dr. Jared Goff) 

(3 hours; 1 semester)

This course will encompass the development of Triadology, Christology, and Pneumatology from the Council of Chalcedon to the modern era. Students will develop an understanding of doctrinal development with an eye to practical application that may be used, applied, and relied upon as a guide in the contemporary Christian experience. Students of this course will engage the following:

  • The ecclesiastical history in the aftermath of Chalcedon, especially the relevant works of Leontius of Byzantium and Leontius of Jerusalem.
  • The relevant works of Severus of Antioch and formation of the miaphysite doctrine of Christ.
  • The relevant works of Emperor Justinian I on Christology and the ecumenical councils from Constantinople II until Nicaea II.
  • The relevant works of Sophronius of Jerusalem and of Maximus the Confessor.
  • The principal works of the monothelites and dyothelites.
  • The history of the iconoclast conflict and readings in the iconodule works of Damascene, along with the Christology and Pneumatology of Damascene as received in the late Byzantine period. The history of reception of Damascene into Latin Scholasticism and Greek Palamism.
  • Modern problems in Triadology, Christology, and Pneumatology, including the essence & energies of God, knowledge of Christ and his beatific vision, and role of Holy Spirit in divinization.
  • The joint declarations of Orthodox and Catholic churches on Christology.

Prerequisite: DT 103


DT 307: Readings in 20th Century Philosophical and Theological Methodology: The Nouvelle Théologie Crisis (Dr. Matthew Minerd) 

(3 hours; 1 semester)

This course investigates the historical events, people, and texts involved in controversies surrounding the Nouvelle théologie in the period from the 1930s to 1960s in the Catholic world in order to familiarize students with the main lines of debate in theological methodology still playing out in the contemporary Catholic world. Students will read from the various parties involved in these debates, considering the implications of their ideas in relation to questions of philosophical and theological methodology. Selections will be drawn from a variety of authors involved in these debates: Jean Daniélou, Henri de Lubac, Hans Urs von Bathasar, Marie-Dominique Chenu, Yves Congar, Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, Michelle Labourdette, and Marie-Joseph Nicolas. The content will be considered in light of 20th and 21st century Orthodox discussions regarding these topics, with selections being read from a variety of thinkers, including: Sergei Bulgakov, George Florovosky, John Meyendorff, Dumitru Staniloae, Alexander Schmemann, Andrew Louth, and Marcus Plested.


LT 202: Sacramental Theology: The Sacramental Mysteries Of Initiation (Fr. David Petras) 

(3 hours; 1 semester)

The sacramental mysteries of Initiation in the Byzantine liturgical tradition.: a theological and historical overview. The mysteries of Initiation are baptism in water, chrismation with holy chrism and Communion in the consecrated Body and Blood of Christ. The rites are described and placed in a total process of becoming a follower of the gospel of Christ, from the first preaching to the completion of one’s lifetime faith project at death. The mysteries are described and placed in their historical perspective, from Scriptural foundations to both ritual and theological developments in the Byzantine churches. Some of the legal aspects are attended to, particularly for those entering ministry, and placed in their theological context. The special questions of communion to infants and the ecumenical consequences of baptism are addressed.


SS 301: Apostolic Writings (Dr. Sandra Collins)

(3 hours; 1 semester)

This elective course presents an historical-critical investigation from the Biblical books of James and Peter and the Pastoral Epistles to the earliest evidence of Christian origins. Special attention is paid to the varieties of first-century Hellenistic and Palestinian Judaism and the emergence of various Christian writings within the Greco-Roman world. Issues pertaining to canon formation, heresy, and martyrdom come into focus as students consider the theological struggles found within the earliest Christian writings. The course is intended to foster the students’ development of a personal, loving relationship with God while at the same time providing a solid scriptural foundation for later pastoral ministry or academic study. Students in this course will develop the following skills:

  • Understanding apostolic and early Christian literature in its historical and theological context through an historical-critical lens as well as with the eyes of faith.
  • Reading critically and writing about important issues in contemporary Eastern Christian Biblical study.
  • Beginning to articulate the Catholic view of late biblical and early apostolic themes appropriate to the current context.

Prerequisite: SS 100

Summer 2021 Credit Courses


WR 101: Research Methods 

(2 hours; 1 semester)

This research class provides the basics for successfully performing graduate-level research as well as developing skills for critical reading and writing. This includes analysis and evaluation of print primary as well as secondary resources, online databases, Internet sources and proper research sources and authorities. In addition, students will learn the basics of formatting a document in Microsoft Word including pagination, table of contents, use of linked headings, footnotes and endnotes, inserting images, and captioning. Short lessons on PowerPoint and Excel as research aids are also included. By the end of this course, the learners should be able to:

  • Summarise, paraphrase and quote useful data from a variety of sources.
  • Critically evaluate data/information.
  • Format complex Word documents.
  • Successfully utilize PowerPoint and Excel in support of research.
  • Analyse, comment on and critique scholarly theological literature.


DT 105: ECUMENISM – Orientale Lumen 

(1 hour; 1 semester)

This online course offers perspectives on Catholic-Orthodox/East-West relations in hopes, “that they all may be one” (John 17:21). Students enrolled in this class for credit will virtually prepare a paper in conjunction with faculty-led readings, including primary ecumenical statements as well as current publications highlighted in the lectures and discussions which focus on ecumenism. Students will learn the following:

  • Engagement with current state of Catholic-Orthodox dialogue.
  • Familiarity with primary ecumenical readings.
  • Critical thinking concerning modern ecumenical topics.
  • Modes of dialogue with significant theological issues from Catholic and Orthodox perspectives.


MT 305: Theosis: East and West (Dr. Matthew Minerd) 

(3 hours; 1 semester)

This course aims to fill out the most fundamental theme in moral theology, namely, the divine vocation of the life of grace, known in Eastern theology as “theosis.” Fleshing out in much greater detail themes covered at the beginning of MT 100, this course provides the student with a robust account of the scriptural and patristic background of the theology of divinization, along with a consideration of later spiritual and theological elaboration concerning this topic. Although there are no prerequisites for the course, either MT 100 or SP 101 is highly recommended.