About the Program

The Certificate in Byzantine Music program equips students with a mastery of the skills required for chanting the sacred hymns of the Orthodox Church. The program provides thorough knowledge of the psaltic notational system, the theoretical framework of the modal system, the ability to sight-read musical scores at all levels of complexity, and an extensive familiarity with the contents and usage of liturgical books and the rubrics of the Orthodox Church. Upon completion of its requirements, students will be able to perform all musical parts of the daily liturgical cycle and the sacraments of the Orthodox Church.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates will demonstrate:
1. Knowledge of the notational system of the Psaltic Art.
2. Knowledge of the theory of the eight modes
3. Ability to sight-read musical scores in psaltic notation at all levels of complexity
4. Thorough familiarity with the contents and usage of music books
5. Extensive familiarity with the contents and usage of liturgical books
5. Extensive familiarity with the rubrics of liturgical services in the Byzantine Rite
6. Ability to perform all the musical parts of the daily office of the Greek Orthodox Church
7. Ability to perform all the musical parts of the sacraments of the Greek Orthodox Church


Enrollment in this program is open to candidates for the degree of Master of Divinity as well as other interested students. The core curriculum required for a successful completion of the program consists of the following courses: History of Byzantine Music and Hymnography, Ecclesiastical Chant in English, and Byzantine Music I-X. The curriculum is in accordance with the standards in conservatories and schools of Byzantine Music in Greece. Students enrolled in this program are required, in addition to their formal in-class training, to participate in choral work and apply their chanting skills daily in the Chapel.

For MDiv candidates who wish to enroll in the Certificate program, Byzantine Music VII-X and History of Byzantine Music and Hymnography must be taken in addition to the elective courses required for the MDiv program. Upon completion of the required coursework, students must also pass a comprehensive final oral examination before a designated committee of specialists.

Other interested persons not enrolled at Holy Cross may submit an application package with proof of psaltic knowledge and skills and apply for the examination that leads to certification.


Individuals who are not enrolled in one of the theological programs (henceforth referred to as Psaltic Art students) are required to follow a specialized, rigorous two-year course of studies, which consists of 19.5 credits. They are also encouraged, but not required, to take electives in theological courses, New Testament Greek, Modern Greek, service rubrics, and liturgics. Psaltic Art students are also required to participate in the Holy Cross Byzantine choral groups and expected to join the cantors’ choirs during liturgical services. Additionally, in their second year they may be asked to lead chant labs and may be considered for a chant group leader position.



Fall Semester Spring Semester
Year 1 Year 1
Service Rubrics 1.5 cr. Byzantine Music I 1.5 cr.
Choir 0.5 cr. Holy Week Seminar 0 cr.
Choir 0.5 cr.
Fall Semester Spring Semester
Year 2 Year 2
Byzantine Music II 1.5 cr. Byzantine Music III 1.5 cr.
Byzantine Music IV 1.5 cr. Byzantine Music V 1.5 cr.
Choir 0.5 cr. Byzantine Music VII 1.5 cr.
Byzantine Music IX 1.5 cr.
Choir 0.5 cr.
Fall Semester
Year 3
Byzantine Music VI 1.5 cr.
Byzantine Music VIII 1.5 cr.
Byzantine Music X 1.5 cr.
Choir 0.5cr

Total Credits: 19
Students have the opportunity to take additional music offerings when available. For example, Voice Class, History of Byzantine Music, and Ecclesiastical Chant in English.


In order to be awarded a Holy Cross Certificate in Byzantine Music, eligible MDiv candidates and Psaltic Art students must successfully pass a comprehensive oral examination before a designated committee.

Learn about the examination process


Tuition: 19.5 credits x $950/credit = $18,525
Final exam fee (individual evaluation by expert panel): $1,500
Qualification fee: $300 charged to chanters trained outside HCHC who plan only to sit for final exam

Certificate program students will be charged the following as applicable:

  • Student fees – same fees as HCHC students, except no graduation fee
  • Housing – same amount for same units as HCHC students, but given lower priority in selection process
  • College discounts – eligible but given lower priority than HCHC students

*HCHC students will not be charged additional tuition to enroll in this program unless they go into overload (>18 credits/semester), in which case they will be charged $950/credit for credits exceeding 18 per semester.


All interested candidates must complete the Certificate in Byzantine Music application. In addition, candidates must submit:

  • A cover letter with a brief autobiographical statement indicating why you are interested in the program
  • An updated resume
  • Your most recent academic transcript
  • Copy of any diplomas/degrees
  • Two letters of reference (at least one should be from a past instructor)
  • A non-refundable application fee of $50

Please return the application and all corresponding documents to Nick Moutsioulis, Associate Director of Admissions, at nmoutsioulis@hchc.edu, or mail to:

Hellenic College Holy Cross, Office of Admissions
50 Goddard Avenue, Brookline, MA 02445

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