Religious Studies Program

 

Objectives

The Religious Studies program prepares students for careers in ministry and graduate studies in theology. The program offers a complete curriculum in the study of religion from an Orthodox Christian perspective, and prepares students in a secondary field by requiring a minor in one of the other majors offered at Hellenic College (Classics, Human Development, Liberal Studies, Management and Leadership).

The program also prepares students for ordained service in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America by offering an additional cycle of courses in theology and Greek language and culture. Upon completion of these courses, seminarian graduates may apply to Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and complete the Master of Divinity program designed for Greek Orthodox Archdiocese seminarians in three years, instead of the usual four.

Students majoring in Religious Studies will:

1. Demonstrate the impact of the Bible on Orthodox Christian theology.

2. Apply various phenomenological approaches to the study of religion and integrate Orthodox Christian theology within the mosaic of the world's religious traditions.

3. Engage in theological discourse within the historical trajectory of Christian theology in general, and Orthodox Christian theology in particular.

4. Demonstrate theological thinking that is balanced between the extremes of fundamentalism and secularism that advances the gospel entrusted to the Orthodox Church, or which integrates their knowledge of religion within a secondary concentration of study for their academic or professional development.  

In addition, seminarians of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America will demonstrate the requisite proficiency in Modern Greek language, New Testament Greek, and Byzantine Chant to serve as ordained clergy in the parishes of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. 

 

Admissions Requirements

Students interested in a Religious Studies major or minor should indicate so on their application form. Students interested in enrolling and obtaining seminarian status must also secure the approval of their metropolitan bishop during the application process. Contact the Admissions Office for further information.

Students that have been called to the priesthood late in life and do not have a Bachelor's degree often find the requirements for ordination daunting: four years of undergraduate studies, followed by an additional four years of graduate studies. The Religious Studies program has welcomed many non-traditional students as seminarians, and has helped tailor their plans towards a Bachelor's degree. Upon graduation, our seminarians are eligible to apply to the three-year Master of Divinity program of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.  Please contact the Admissions Office for further information.

 

Degree Requirements

All students who wish to major in Religious Studies must complete the following requirements (33 credits):

 

Bible

Biblical Heritage I

 3 cr.

Biblical Heritage II

 3 cr.

Christianity

Introduction to Orthodoxy

 3 cr.

Great Christian Thinkers

 3 cr.

Religion

Introduction to Great Religious Ideas

 3 cr.

Religions of the World

 3 cr.

Religious Studies Electives

Five Religious Studies Electives

(See Elective Requirements Below)

15 cr.

Minor

Five courses in a program of your choice

(See Elective Requirements Below)

15 cr.

 

Elective Requirements:

  • Students must complete at least two religious studies electives in two different divisions (Bible, Christianity, or Religion). The fifth required elective may be taken in any division.
  • Students must complete a minor (a minimum of 15 credits) in one of the other programs available at Hellenic College. This is optional for seminarians of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.
  • Seminarians of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese must complete the Seminarian Requirements (see below). To allow for these extra courses, two religious studies electives (six credits) are waived. Seminarians are required to complete three religious studies electives (nine credits), from their choice of at least two different divisions.

  

Additional Degree Requirements for Seminarians of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Undergraduate seminarians of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese receive special preparation for their future ministry in the churches of the Archdiocese by taking extra courses in theology, Byzantine chant, and Greek language and culture (48 credits). Seminarians that have completed the following requirements are eligible for admission to the three-year Master of Divinity program at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.

 

Theology

Introduction to Old Testament

 3 cr.

Introduction to  New Testament

 3 cr.

Byzantine Chant

Byzantine Chant I-II

 3 cr.

Byzantine Chant III-IV

3 cr.

Byzantine Chant V-VI

 3 cr.

Greek

Language

and

Culture

Beginning Modern Greek I-II

12 cr.

Intermediate Modern Greek I-II

6 cr.

Advanced Modern Greek I-II

6 cr.

New Testament Greek I-II

6 cr.

Ancient Greek History and Culture

or

The Greek-American Experience

 3 cr.

 

Degree Requirements for a Minor in Religious Studies

Students in other programs of Hellenic College may choose to minor in Religious Studies. The minor requirements (15 credits) are listed below:

 

Bible

Biblical Heritage I

or

Biblical Heritage II

 3 cr.

Christianity

Great Christian Thinkers

 3 cr.

Religion

Introduction to Religious Ideas

or

Religions of the World

 3 cr.

Religious Studies Electives

Two Religious Studies Electives in Any Division (Bible, Christianity, or Religion)

 6 cr.

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