A general list of the subjects

1. The Holy Bible

A. Old Testament

Course Code

Course Credits
THB401 Pentateuch 2
THB101 Historical Books 2
THB301 Prophetic Books (1) 2
THB302 Prophetic Books (2) 2
THB201 Books of Wisdom 2
THB402 Old Testament Theology 2

B. New Testament

Course Code Course Credits
THB111 Biblical study on passages from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and  Luke 2
THB211 The Synoptic Gospels 2
THB311 The Gospel of John 2
THB312 The  Book of Revelation and the Letters of John 2
THB411 Acts and Letters of Saint Paul (1) 2
THB412 The Letters of Saint Paul (2) 2

C. Languages of the Holy Bible

Course Code Course Credits
LGG201 Greek (1) 1
LGH301 Hebrew (1) 1

 2. Theology

A. Dogmatic Theology

Course Code Course Credits
THD101 Introduction to Systematic Theology 2
THD401 The doctrine of the Holy Trinity 2
THD201 The Incarnation of the Word (Christology) 2
THD301 The Holy Spirit: His gifts and activities (Pneumatology) 2
THD202 The doctrine of Salvation (Soteriology) 2
THD102 The study of the Church (Ecclesiology) 2
THD402 The study of humanity from a Christian perspective (Anthropology) 2
THD302 The study of the end time (Eschatology) 2

B. Liturgical Theology

Course Code Course Credits
THL201 Introduction to Liturgical Theology 2
THL301 Baptism, Chrismation and Eucharist 2
THL401 Priesthood, Repentance and Anointing of the Sick 2

C. Moral Theology

Course Code Course Credits
THM201 Introduction to Moral Theology 2
THM301 Bioethics 1
THM302 Ethics of sexuality and family life 1

 D. Pastoral Theology and Homiletics

Course Code Course Credits
THPa401 Pastoral Theology: marriage and family life 1
THHa402 The art of preaching 1

 E. Ascetical Theology

Course Code Course Credits
THA201 Syriac Ascetical Theology 2

3. Patristics

Course Code Course Credits
THF201 Patristics in the 2nd and 3rd centuries 2
THF301 Patristics in the 4th and 5th centuries 2
THF401 Introduction to the Syriac Church Fathers 2
LGS201 Syriac Church Fathers: Aphrahat and Bar Kipho 3
LGS202 Syriac Church Fathers: Saint Jacob of Serug 3
LGS301 Syriac Church Fathers : Saint Aphrem and Philoxenus of Mabbug 3
LGS302 Syriac Church Fathers: Isaac of Nineveh, Isaac of Antioch, Saint Severus the Great, Bar Hebraeus 6

4. Ecclesiastical History

Course Code Course Credits
THH201 History of the Early Church (1-4 centuries) 2
THH301 Councils of the Church (4-6 centuries) 2
THH401 History of the Syriac Church during the middle and modern ages 2

5. Canon Law

Course Code Course Credits
THC201 Introduction to Canon Law and Church Constitution 2
THC202 Personal Status Code 1

6. Religions and Ecumenism

Course Code Course Credits
THR301 Introduction to Islam 2
THR302 Ecumenical Movement and theological dialogues 1

7. Philosophy

Course Code Course Credits
THPH101 Introduction to the History of Philosophy 2
THPH201 Ancient Greek Philosophy 2
THPH202 Philosophy and Knowledge of Man 2
THPH301 Medieval Philosophy 2
THPH303 Islamic Philosophy 2
THPH401 Modern Philosophy 2
THPH302 Philosophical Problems 2
THPH402 Moral Philosophy 2

8. Humanities

Course Code Course Credits
THPs202 Introduction to Psychology 2
THPs402 Introduction to Social Psychology 2
THS301 Introduction to Sociology 2
THS401 Sociology of Religion 2
THMe401 Method of Scientific Research 1

9. Languages

Course Code Course Credits
LGS101 Syriac: reading and writing comprehension (1) 16
LGS201 Syriac: reading and writing comprehension (2-a) 6
LGS202 Syriac: reading and writing comprehension (2-b) 6
LGS301 Syriac: reading and writing comprehension (3-a) 6
LGS302 Syriac: reading and writing comprehension (3-b) 6
LGS102 Syriac: grammar (1) 5
LGS202 Syriac: grammar (2) 4
LGS302 Syriac: grammar (3) 4
LGA101 Arabic 4
LGE101 English 10

10. Liturgies

Course Code Course Credits
THT101 Divine Liturgy and Psalms 3
THT102 Shimo and Beth-Gazo 10
THT401 Liturgical ministry 6


 Course descriptions

 1. The Holy Bible

A. Old Testament

(THB401) The Pentateuch: Two credits

This course deals with the emergence of the Pentateuch and with the influence of the Babylonian Captivity on the formation of the identity of the Israelites, in light of modern critical theories. In addition to the general introductions to each of the five Pentateuchal books, the course deals with the following basic themes of the Pentateuch: the Creation and Fall of Man (Gen. 1-3); the Primeval History (Gen. 4-11); the Promise to the Patriarchs of Israel (Gen. 12-50); the Exodus from Egypt (Ex. 1-15); the Covenant at Mount Sinai (Ex. 16-25); the Law and Rituals (Ex. 20:22-23:33; 25-40); the Rituals and Holiness (Leviticus); The People in the desert (Numbers); the end of the journey to the Promised Land (Deuteronomy).

(THB101) The Historical Books: Two credits

This course aims at studying the historical books, which covers from the Book of Joshua to Second Chronicles, showing that their theological thought is based on the theology of Deuteronomy.  The course provides an overview of each book, without neglecting the authors’ involvement with the culture of the nations and civilizations surrounding Israel. This course does also study the entry of the Israelites into Canaan (Joshua), the formation of the people of Israel as a nation in Canaan (Judges and Ruth) and the establishment of the Kingdom until its destruction and the Exile (First Samuel to Second Chronicles).

(THB301) The Prophetic Books (1): Two credits

This course introduces the meaning of prophecy in the Holy Bible and outside it. It explains the function of a prophet in delivering God’s word by drawing people to have faith in God, by rereading the history from a spiritual perspective and by arousing the conscience of the people. Then the pre-exile prophets are studied separately: Amos and Hosea in the Kingdom of Israel; Isaiah (1-39); Micah, Jeremiah, Nahum, Zephaniah and Habakkuk in the Kingdom of Judah.

(THB302) The Prophetic Books (2): Two credits

The study in this course is divided into two main parts: (1) the prophets during the period of the exile, that is, Ezekiel and Isaiah (40-55); (2) the prophets during the Persian era, that is, after the exile (Haggai, Zechariah, Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, Isaiah (56-66), Malachi), and finally the Book of Daniel originating from the Hellenistic era.

(THB201) Books of Wisdom: Two credits

This course deals with what is called the Ketoubim “Writings” in the Hebrew Bible, which contain the Psalms and the wisdom books. In addition to a general introduction, which elucidates how the poetic books confronted the invasion of the Greek culture, we will engage with selected passages that deal with woman, wisdom, life, death, reward, prayer of praise and gratitude in the Psalms, and so on.

(THB402) Old Testament Theology: Two credits

This course deals with some ambiguous passages in the Old Testament – especially those yielding objection concerning God’s relationship to violence, revenge, war and  evil in general – by offering a better understanding of the historical, cultural, religious circumstances and the literary genres in which the passages in question were written.

B. New Testament

(THB111) Biblical study on passages from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and  Luke: Two credits

This course contains a general introduction to the environment of the New Testament and a detailed study of the first three Gospels. The detailed study includes an introduction to each Gospel and then a study of chosen passages from the Gospels that reflect the uniqueness of each Gospel. From Matthew, we will study the passage relating to the Genealogy of Jesus and the Dream of Joseph (Matthew 1), the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23) and the Death of Judas Iscariot (Matthew 27:3-10). As for Mark, the first three chapters and the story of the Canaanite Woman are studied (Mark 7). In Luke, the Call of Peter (Luke 5:1-11), the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) and the Parable of the Prodigal Son are studied (Luke 15:11:32)

(THB211) The Synoptic Gospels: Two credits

During this course, the quest of the Synoptic Gospels will be studied, that is, the similarities and differences between the first three Gospels – Matthew, Mark and Luke – from two different perspectives. The first perspective considers the formation of the Gospel material, which will show that the Resurrection was the very foundation of the New Testament that changed the Disciples’ vision of the Rabbi of Nazareth (chap. 1). The early Christian communities were the context in which the essential Christian questions started to appear; these questions served to recall the deeds and sayings of the Lord Jesus (chap. 2), and to write them down by the Evangelists (chap. 3). As for the second perspective, we will study passages from the Synoptic Gospels through three scientific approaches, that is, diachronically (chap. 4), synchronically (chap. 5) and historically (chap. 6).

(THB311) The Gospel of John: Two credits

This course contains a comprehensive introduction to the Gospel of John, through which we will enquire about the enigma of the beloved disciple John and the uniqueness of his Gospel in comparison to the Synoptic Gospels. We will also enquire about the intellectual milieu in which the fourth Gospel emerged. Then, the following passages will be studied: the passage of the Messianic titles (Jn. 1:19-51), the Wine of Cana (2:1-12), Jesus meets Nicodemus (3:1-21) Jesus meets a Samaritan Woman (4:5-42), the Sermon on the Bread of Life (6:22-71), Jesus washes His Disciples’ feet (13:1-20) the Love of Simon (21:15-19). Through these passages, we will study some key-concepts of John’s Gospel: testimony, the hour, signs, glory, faith, love, etc.

(THB312) The Book of Revelation and the Letters of John: Two credits

This course approaches the Book of Revelation in light of the apocalyptic literature in, and outside, the Holy Bible. As an introduction, we will enquire about the author, the date of composition, its canonicity, structure, symbolism and its theological views in Christology, Eschatology and Ecclesiology. After this introduction, we will read through the book, pausing at essential meanings in the letters and revelations that the book unfolds.

As for the First Letter of John, we will study its structure, its literary and didactic background, the historical milieu, the date and place of composition, as well its theological content.

(THB411) The Acts and Letters of Saint Paul (1): Two credits

This course elucidates Saint Paul’s three missionary journeys as recorded in the Book of Acts and deals with the following seven Pauline letters: Romans, First and Second Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, First Thessalonians and Philemon. This will be done through three main axes: (1) the apostolic ministry, (2) Christian communities under the word of the Cross and (3) justification by faith.

(THB412) The Letters of Saint Paul (2): Two credits

This course explores Paul’s thoughts on ecclesiological matters, the Cosmic Christ, the end of times and Christian ethics, as developed in his letters to the Colossians, Ephesians and in his Second Thessalonians. This will be followed by a study of the Pauline thoughts, as they emerge in the pastoral letters (First and Second Timothy and Titus), focusing mainly on various ministries in the Church, on the management of God’s house and on heterodox teachings of which one ought to be aware.

C. Languages of the Holy Bible

(LGG201) Greek (1): One credit

(LGG301) Hebrew (1): One credit

2. Theology

A. Dogmatic Theology

(THD101) Introduction to Systematic Theology: Two credits

This course explicates the meaning of dogma in Christianity and in the Church Councils which confirmed the dogmas by relying on Divine Revelation and on Holy Ecclesiastical Tradition. The course includes studies on the meaning of revelation, on prophecy and miracles, on the relationship between faith and reason, on the authenticity of the Holy Bible and on the existence of God and His attributes. It will also unfold the thoughts of some ideologies that reject the concept of faith, and the Church’s answer to them.

(THD401) The doctrine of the Holy Trinity: Two credits

This course focuses on the doctrine of the Holy Trinity and Monotheism, according to the understanding of the Orthodox Church Fathers and the Holy Councils, as it emerged through the Church’s response to the heresies that appeared in the 4th century. In addition, the course will shed some light on the teaching of the Church and Church Fathers on the study of angels and the fall of Satan and his followers.

(THD201) The Incarnation of the Word (Christology): Two credits

This course explores the incarnation of the Word of God and demonstrates how Arianism and Apollinarism paved the way for Christological controversies in the 5th century that occurred between Saint Cyril of Alexandria and Nestorius the Patriarch of Constantinople (the Council of Ephesus), and between Saint Dioscorus of Alexandria and Leo of Rome (the Council of Chalcedon). Furthermore, some crucial Christological terms will be clarified, such as essence, nature, hypostasis, property, energy, will, Theotokos (Mother of God), natural and hypostatic union, etc. The course presents a historical overview of the development of discussions on Christology up to the recently signed joint statement among Churches.

(THD301) The Holy Spirit: His gifts and activities (Pneumatology): Two credits

The aim of this course is to attain a comprehensive understanding of the person of the Holy Spirit and His role in the Church as well as in the personal life of every Christian, in light of the Syriac Patristic literature. Since His descent on Pentecost until the end of times, the Holy Spirit is the life-giving agent working within the Church. As for the personal life of the Christian, the Holy Spirit is the giver of divine gifts. And as for the Church, He is the perfecter of the mysteries. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an unforgivable sin. Additionally, the course elucidates ancient and contemporary heresies that, in one way or another, deny the personhood of the Holy Spirit or render His divine gifts a matter of self-interest in the Christian life.

(THD202) The doctrine of Salvation (Soteriology): Two credits

The aim of this course on soteriology is to explore the doctrine of salvation, its principles and effects, as well as to clarify the meaning of Christ’s atoning mediation and the correct understating of salvation by grace, adoption and justification. We will consider the thought of the Syriac Fathers on the salvation of non-Christians, on the heresy of an immediate-static understanding of salvation, on the relation between faith and works in the context of soteriology and finally on “divinization” or the partaking of divine nature.

(THD102) The study of the Church (Ecclesiology): Two credits

This course deals with the image of the Church as existing in God’s eternal plan and as coming to existence in the history of the People of Old Testament and being purchased by the Blood of Christ in the New Testament. We will study the images of the Church and its symbols in the Old Testament, as well as the concepts of the chosen people and the Kingdom of God. Then, we will explore the relationship of the Lord Jesus Christ to the Church as its Head, Bridegroom, Husband, Lord, King and Teacher. In addition, we will consider the Church as part of God’s saving plan and its mission in spreading the Kingdom of God in the world, relying on the biblical text as well as on the patristic and liturgical tradition. We will also examine, at a great length, some crucial ecclesiological concepts such as the universal Church and the local church, authority in the Church and the communion between churches.

(THD402) The study of humanity from a Christian perspective (Anthropology): Two credits

This course examines God’s relationship to His creation and His providence, as well as the meaning of man – made up of body, soul, and spirit – being created in the image of the Creator and His likeness. The course focuses on the pre-fallen state of the creation, on the effect of Adam’s sin on the creation and on the meaning of the corrupted nature as understood in East and West. This will ultimately lead to a discussion about the concept of evil and salvation through Christ.

(THD302) The study of the end time (Eschatology): Two credits

What is the Orthodox notion of the end of time and history? How do the Oriental Church Fathers explain the state of the soul after death as well as Christ’s second coming, the resurrection, the risen bodies and the judgement? What is heaven and hell? These are the questions that this course intends to answer, without overlooking ancient and contemporary eschatological problems, as for example the issue of the thousand-year reign, purgatory, reincarnation, necromancy and apocatastasis.

B. Liturgical Theology

(THL201) Introduction to Liturgical Theology: Two credits

After a general introduction to liturgical theology, the course sets off to explore liturgies of the East (Alexandrian and Antiochian liturgical traditions and their branches), and compares them with one another. This will be followed by an in-depth theological study of the Antiochian Syriac rite, by exploring the various liturgical books that are still in use, and by analyzing some theological aspects found in the texts. The course will also elucidate the symbolism of clerical clothing, ecclesiastical vessels and structure and order of the church building. The liturgical year, of both East and West, will also be explored and explained.

(THL301) Baptism, Chrismation and Eucharist: Two credits

Based on the Holy Bible, the patristic tradition and liturgical rituals, the following Christian sacraments of Initiation will be explored: Baptism, Chrismation and Eucharist. The course aims at explaining the theological meanings and the spiritual dimensions of these holy mysteries, considering the features and spirituality of the Syriac Liturgy and its development in comparison with the traditions of other Churches.

(THL401) Priesthood, Repentance and Anointing of the Sick: Two credits

The West is experiencing a crisis manifested by the decreasing number of vocations to the priesthood, by the nonconforming understanding of the common priesthood of the faithful and by calling for the ordination of women. All of this directs us toward a study of the Orthodox concept of ministry and of particular (ordained) priesthood, in light of the Holy Bible and the teaching of the Fathers. Comprehending the historical formation of the sacerdotal ministry will undoubtedly aid the understanding of the particular priesthood given to bishops, priests and deacons.

The same holds with respect to penance and the anointing of the sick. Studying the scriptural basis for these two sacraments will not suffice for gaining a correct and comprehensive understanding of them; rather one must go back to the sayings of the Fathers and also inquire about their historical development in various ecclesiastical traditions, as well as explore the canons and rituals that concern them.

C. Moral Theology

(THM201) Introduction to Moral Theology: Two credits

The matter of Christian Morality, which is studied academically in the theological institutions, is studied within the subject of Christian Doctrine. Hence, the basis of Christian Morality is  Christian Doctrine. The ideal manifestation of an accurate understanding of Christian Doctrine is through Christian Morality. The Church’s dogmatic and moral teachings are two banks of one river, which are manifested in the faith and life of its faithful, although academic practice requires their separation. Today, in Christian theological colleges and universities, the science of Christian Morality is more close to Christian Sociology, which reminds the former of its strong and deep connection with practical problems of daily life, but without forgetting its fundamental connection with Christian dogma and the ecclesiastical patristic tradition.

This Introduction to Moral Theology focuses first on explaining the meaning of Christian Morality as a scientific discipline, as well as its sources, methodology and connection with other theological disciplines. Then, we will consider the central subject of this discipline that is man created in the image of God. Through a close reading of the concept of freedom and of contemporary ethical problems, as well as the role of God’s commandments and Christian values, we will study the relationship between God and man and explore the problem of evil and suffering. We will also discuss the concepts of right and wrong, virtue and other related notions. Of course, we will not forget to elucidate man’s role as well as his effect on his social and human environment, and vice versa.

(THM301) Bioethics: One credit

Bioethics deals with vital present-day issues related to the medical development, such as abortion, euthanasia, cloning, in-vitro-fertilization, experiments on human embryos, organ transplantation, etc. In this course, the student will learn how to approach these issues, which are connected to the dignity of man’s life who is created in the image of God, from an Orthodox point of view.

(THM302) Ethics of sexuality and family life: One credit

This course is concerned with the following issues:

  • The question of sexuality in the Holy Bible
  • Sexuality and psychoanalysis.
  • Gender theory promoted by sex difference deniers.
  • Martial sexuality.
  • Celibacy and priesthood.
  • The responsibilities of married couples and birth control.

D. Pastoral Theology and Homiletics

(THPa401) Pastoral theology: marriage and family life: One credit

This course explores the principle of pastoral care and ministering in the Church as means to attract people and to employ their talents and abilities into social services, such as serving children, youth and the elderly, as well as visiting the sick and bereaved families, guiding and preaching. The science of pastoral care aids the student to gain the required knowledge to face difficult situations in his ministry. The course will focus mainly on the Christian understanding of marriage, on the required maturity for marriage, on characteristics of the Christian family, its formation, transmission of faith in it, and the right education, etc.

(THHm402) The art of preaching: One credit

During this course, the student will learn and practice the art of religious preaching as a means of delivering the Word of God, promoting the faith, as well as transmitting moral values to the listeners. In the theoretical introduction, the student will learn the characteristics of a rich and inspiring homily, the preacher’s essential qualities, rhetoric and modes of persuasion. Then, he will train on how to select a topic for preaching, prepare the homily from biblical and patristic texts and, finally, practice delivering it in the classroom as well as in church.

E. Ascetical Theology

(THA201) Syriac Ascetical Theology: Two credits

This course presents and introduces the most famous writers and schools of thought who established asceticism and monasticism in the Syriac tradition, regardless if they wrote in Syriac or Greek. The presentation of the writers will be done chronically, starting with the Odes of Salomon, the Demonstrations of Aphrahat, Aphrem the Syrian, the Book of Steps, the heresy of the Messalians, Pseudo-Macarius, Evagrius Ponticus, John of Apamea or the Solitary, Mark the Monk, the Discourses of Philoxenus of Mabbug, Admonitions and Exhortations on the Schema of Monasticism and Anchoritism by Athanasius Abu Ghalib, and the Ethicon and Book of the Dove by Bar Hebraeus.

3. Patristics

(THF201) Patristics in the 2nd and 3rd centuries: Two credits

Patristics is the study of the life and writings of the Syriac, Greek and Latin Church Fathers. It outlines their basic cultural and religious thought, and elucidates how they effected the life of the Church subsequently.

During the first year, we will be introduced to the Apostolic Fathers (Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, the Letter of Barnabas, The Shepherd of Hermas, the Epistle to Diognetus, Papias and the Didache), the Apologists (Justin Martyr, Tatian the Syrian, Theophilus of Antioch, Melito of Sardis and Tertullian), the authors who wrote against heresies (Serapion of Antioch and Irenaeus) and finally the scholars of the School of Alexandria (Clement, Origen and Dionysius).

(THF301) Patristics in the 4th and 5th centuries: Two credits

During this course the Fathers will be categorized after their school – Alexandrian, Antiochian and Cappadocian – and studied accordingly. From the School of Alexandria: Alexander of Alexandria, Athanasius the Great, Didymus the Blind, Theophilus of Alexandria, Cyril the Pillar of Faith, Dioscorus and Timothous II Aelurus will be studied. As for the School of Antioch, we will be acquainted with Eustathius of Antioch, Eunomius, Apollinaris of Laodicea, Marcellus of Ancyra, Meletius of Antioch, Diodore of Tarsus, Severian of Gabala, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Nilus of Ancyra, John Chrysostom, Acacius of Aleppo, Theodoret of Cyrus and Proclus of Constantinople. Lastly, we will approach the Cappadocian Fathers: Gregory Thaumaturgus, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa and Amphilochius of Iconium.

(THF401) Introduction to the Syriac Church Fathers: Two credits

This introductory course deals with the West Syrian theologians and authors, starting with Tatian and Bardaisan, followed by Jacob of Nisibis, Asuna, Shemon Bar Sabbae, Aphrahat the Persian, Aphrem the Syrian, Maroutha of Martyropolis (Miapharqat), Rabbula of Edessa, Balai, Isaac of Amida, Isaac of Antioch, Simeon the Stylite, Jacob of Serug, Simeon the Potter, Philoxenus of Mabbug, Severius of Antioch, Jacob Baradaeus, Jacob of Edessa, John of Dara, Moshe Bar Kipha, Bar Salibi and Bar Hebraeus.

(LGS201) Syriac Church Fathers: Aphrahat and Moshe Bar Kipho: 3 credits (Reading in Syriac)

(LGS202) Syriac Church Fathers: Jacob of Serug: 3 credits (Reading in Syriac)

(LGS301) Syriac Church Fathers: Aphrem and Philoxenus of Mabbug: 3 credits (Reading in Syriac)

(LGS302) Syriac Church Fathers: Isaac of Nineveh, Isaac of Antioch, Severius of Antioch, Bar Hebraeus: 6 credits (Reading in Syriac)

4. Ecclesiastical History

(THH201) History of the Early Church (1-4 centuries): Two credits

Before entering ecclesiastical history, the Aramaean kingdoms and their neighboring nations and kingdoms will be examined at a glance. Then, the beginning of the Christian Church will be explored. We will relate the biography of the twelve apostles, as well as the seventy disciples, and recount the places where they preached.  Hence, the spread of Christianity during the first four centuries, until the Edict of Milan (313 AD), will be dealt with, including the ten severe persecutions that the Church suffered. In addition, the most important heresies that were threatening the early Church will be brought to light.

(THH301) Councils of the Church (4-6 centuries): Two credits

This course will examine the three ecumenical councils that took place at Nicaea (325 AD), Constantinople (381 AD) and Ephesus (431 AD). We will recount their historical framework, the reasons for their gathering, their participants and the constitutions and the doctrines and decisions that were enacted.

The course will also deal with the Council of Chalcedon in detail and bring to light the circumstances of its gathering, its confession, its decisions and also show how it caused a great schism in the Church, which continue to exist even today.

(THH401) History of the Syriac Church during the middle and modern ages: Two credits

At this stage of the study of ecclesiastical history, the focus will be restricted to the history of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch. Its history is divided into three periods. The first period extends from the sixth to the thirteenth century, namely from the split of the Antiochian Patriarchate, the Islamic conquests, the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates until the Frankish wars (the so-called Crusades). During this first stage, we will also study the intellectual, cultural and religious interaction that emerged though the meeting of peoples and cultures in the East. The second stage covers the fourteenth century until the nineteenth. We will deal with the Western monastic missions in the East and the emergence of Eastern Catholic Churches. As for the third stage, the focus will be to shed some light on the Syriac Church during the twentieth and twenty- first centuries by exploring its patriarchs, holy councils, intellectuals and relations, as well as the tragic genocide that faced the Church in the Ottoman Empire.

5. Canon Law

(THC201) Introduction to Canon Law and Church Constitution: One credit

After a brief historical recount of the development of the Canon Law in the Syriac Orthodox Church, we will study the meaning of Canon Law, ecclesiastical jurisprudence, categories of laws, rules of legislation and its sources in the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch. These sources include the Holy Bible, the Church tradition, the patristic canons, collections of ecclesiastical law such as the Nomocanon of Bar Hebraeus, and the canons of the ecumenical councils as well as general and local synods. The focus of study will be the Church’s contemporary constitution and its legal, dogmatic and pastoral meanings.

(THC202) Personal Status Code: One credit

The issues dealt with in this course are the regulations of Personal Status regarding engagement, marriage (its contract, annulment and decrees), separation, dissolution of marriage or divorce, custodianship, adoption, alimony, guardianship and tutelage, endowment and will (especially the will of the clergy and their heritage).

These issues are explained according to the current legislation in effect in Syria and Lebanon. The students will learn about the viewpoint of the Syriac Orthodox Church regarding civil marriage and about how to deal with it in the diaspora.

6. Religions and Ecumenism

(THR301) Introduction to Islam: Two credits

The aim of this course is to understand the historical, social and religious frame in which Islam emerged. This will be done by, firstly, studying the milieu of Mecca and the biography of the prophet; secondly, by understanding the history and content of the Qur’an; lastly, by exploring the fundamental spiritual principles of Islam (dogmas, moral teachings, worship and feasts). In addition, the student will learn how to differentiate between the various schools and sects of Islam and their main doctrinal differences.

(THR302) Ecumenical Movement and theological dialogues: One credit

This course explores the history of the relations between Christian Churches and especially the emergence of the ecumenical movement in the twentieth century and its most important forums, its international assemblies as well as the signed agreements. The course will also shed some light on doctrinal differences between churches and the differences in formulating their doctrines. In addition, the student will get an overview of the dialogue between the Oriental Orthodox Churches and other Christian Churches, and will learn what issues are still under discussion.

7. Philosophy

(THPh101) Introduction to the History of Philosophy: Two credits

The aim of this introductory course is to map out the fields of philosophy. The course will then explain at a glance its fields and its essential schools by pointing out their historical progress.

(THPh201) Ancient Greek Philosophy: Two credits

This course will discuss the following:

  • The Ionian School and its representatives.
  • The Eleatic School and its representatives.
  • Stoicism and Epicureanism.
  • Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.
  • Sophism and its representatives.
  • The atomistic natural philosophers (Democritus).

(THPh202) Philosophy and Knowledge of Man: Two credits

This course proceeds from Socrates’ statement “know yourself” to address the problem of knowledge of man. Is knowledge of man possible? By what, then, can we attain it? Philosophic anthropology does also discuss other issues, as the existence of man, his reason, his perception, his free will, etc.

(THPh301) Medieval Philosophy: Two credits

The medieval period spans over ten centuries. It begins with the fall of the Roman Empire at the hands of the Barbarians (476 AD) and ends with the Conquest of Constantinople by the Turks (1453 AD). More precisely, the philosophical thinking, during this period, is concentrated between the 10th century and the 13th century. In the first part of this course, we will study the thoughts of Augustine, which had a profound influence on medieval philosophical thinking. Then we will study Western theologians and philosophers of the medieval period, as Johannes Scotus Erigena, Anselm, Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, William of Ockham and some of the translators and university founders. This course will also deal with the relationship between philosophy and theology as well as its importance for theological research.

 (THPh303) Islamic Philosophy: Two credits

This course explores the history of philosophy in the Islamic world and focuses mainly on:

  • ‘Ilm Al-Kalam (Islamic scholastic theology) and the Muʿtazila, the pioneer role of Al-Kindi in using a logical approach to Islamic sciences, the logical analysis of Al-Razi and his refusal to let religion interfere in rational affairs.
  • The cosmogenic theory, the creation and nature according to Al-Farabi, Ikhwan Al-Safa, Avicenna (Ibn-Sina) and Al-Ghazali and Neoplatonic influences on their thoughts.

(THPh401) Modern Philosophy: Two credits

This course, dealing with modern philosophy, is divided into two parts:

  • Continental rationalism and its representatives (Bacon, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hegel and Kant).
  • Empiricism (Hobbes, Hume, Locke and Barkley).

(THPh302) Philosophical Problems: Two credits

During this course we will reflect on well-known philosophical problems dealing with man, knowledge and freedom. We will also approach the issue of evil and death, which have led to the new atheism and the intellectual proclamation of Nietzsche that God is dead.

(THPh402) Moral Philosophy: Two credits

Moral philosophy is mainly concerned with the concepts of freedom and justice. We will start by studying these concepts within the framework of three ethical models (Arabic, Soviet and Western) and as related to the notion called the future shock (Toffler). Then we will discuss the emergence of ethics in Greek poetry and Socrates. Finally, we will approach the concept of affection by defining it, looking at its diversity, its infirmity and lapse.

8. Humanities

(THPs202) Introduction to Psychology: Two credits

In this introductory course, we will study the following:

  • Personality and its construction.
  • Freudian school of psychoanalysis.
  • Unconscious defense mechanism.
  • Psychological crisis.
  • Remembrance and forgetting.
  • Adaptation and its types, fear, anxiety and psychological conflict.

(THPs402) Introduction to Social Psychology: Two credits

This course includes:

  • An introduction to general psychology.
  • A definition of social psychology, its historical phases and its major figures.
  • Contributions of psychological theories to social psychology.
  • Research methods and tools (values, trends and public opinions).
  • Trends and public opinion.
  • The individual and the cultural system (psychology of culture).
  • Types of social interaction between groups and organizations; community: its definition, characteristics and types; leadership.
  • Applied social psychology in education.
  • Psychology of terrorism.

(THS301) Introduction to Sociology: Two credits

Sociology is the scientific study of social behavior and social facts as real social phenomenon. Its framework of research is the study of effects and of the relationship between humans in various fields of life.

This course, either theoretical or practical, aims at exploring and understanding human nature in terms of it being a social being. This is of great importance to our theological teaching since we understand the faithful as being an individual living in society and so the Church as a community of believers. This course will consist of defining terms and the field of study of Sociology, as well as exploring social theories and trends, and elucidating its relationship to other human sciences. We will also get familiar with its sources, history and branches, with social networking, social changes and the barriers to social progress.

(THS401) Religious Sociology: Two credits

Religious branches in sociology emerged when sociologists understood that religion and society are structurally linked to each other. Man is by nature not just a social being, but also a religious being; therefore, a dialectical relation exists between the religious and the social in man, which makes them intervene to interchange qualities.

During the course, we will begin by determining the essence of religious sociology and its content. Then, we will define religion based on the theories of religious sociology, especially those developed by Feuerbach, Marx, Durkheim, Weber and others. Through our study of religion as a social phenomenon and a social product, we will explore man’s religious life in the family, the social classes and politics. We will deal, at a great length, with the attitude of religion on the issue of change, secularization and globalization. We will also cover some other topics such as religious manifestations, atheism, the Christian in the society and the relation between Church and State.

(THMe401) Method of Scientific Research: One credit

This course:

  • Aims at introducing the student to the methods of scientific research applied in university studies.
  • Provides the student with the basic skills to prepare theoretical and experimental researches starting with choosing a topic, determining the appropriate methodology to approach it, searching for proper sources and scientific material, planning the study, engaging a close reading and starting the composition.
  • Explains the content of each step in scientific research closely, clarifies its appropriate place in the study and the appropriate time to write it.
  • Presenting the proper way of writing references, whether in Arabic or any other foreign language, according to the mode agreed upon.
  • Increasing the student’s ability to argue scientifically and to discuss with logic all what he writes down in his research as means to help him to establish a scientific and critical mind.

9. Languages

Syriac Language

(LGS101) Syriac: reading and writing comprehension (1): Sixteen credits

This course, which is the first level of Syriac, consists of working through the first five books of Abd Al-Massih Qarbash.

(LGS201) Syriac: reading and writing comprehension (2-a): Six credits

This course will consist of a reading of the sixth book of Abd Al-Massih Qarbash (fall semester), as well as the Demonstrations of Aphrahat and Moshe Bar Kipho (spring semester).

(LGS202) Syriac: reading and writing comprehension (2-b): Six credits

This course will consist of a reading of the seventh book of Abd Al-Massih Qarbash (fall semester), as well as Jacob of Serug (spring semester).

The student who passes either (2-a) or (2-b) with an excellent degree goes on to the third level without being obligated to go though both parts in level two.

(LGS301) Syriac: reading and writing comprehension (3-a): Six credits

This course will consist of a reading of the eighth book of Abd Al-Massih Qarbash (fall semester), as well as the writings of Aphrem and Philoxenus (spring semester).

(LGS302) Syriac: reading and writing comprehension (3-b): Six credits

This course will consist of a reading of Isaac of Nineveh and Isaac of Antioch (fall semester), Bar Hebraeus’ Lamp of the Sanctuary and Severius the Great (spring semester).


(LGS102) Syriac: grammar (1): Five credits

The curriculum of Syriac grammar contains the following courses:


1.The alphabet; 2. The vowels


  1. Parts of speech

Verbs: 4- Defective verbs; 5-  Verbs with olaf; 6- Strong (sound) verbs; 7- Verb derivation patterns (base form verbs, extended verb form); 8- Patterns of passive voice; 9-Intransitive and transitive verbs

Nominals: 10- Substantive and adjective; 11- Proper noun, generic noun; 12- Aplastic (primitive) noun and derivative noun; 13- Masculine and feminine; 14- Singular, dual, plural; 15- Cardinal numerals; 16- Numbers;

17- Pronoun; 18- Suffix; 19- Demonstrative pronouns; 20- Interrogative pronouns; 21- Relative pronouns; 22- Antonomasia (ܟܡܐ܆ ܦܠܢ܆ ܙܦܠܢ)

Particles: 23- Prepositions; 24- Conjugation


25- Points; 26- Upper and under line; 27- Silent letters; 28- Unwritten letters; 29- Palatalization (Transformations in the pronunciation of some consonants)

(LGS202) Syriac: grammar (2): Four credits

The second level of Syriac grammar contains the following morphology subjects:

Nouns: 1- Noun patterns; 2- Compound nouns; 3- Feminization of nouns; 4- Pluralization of nouns, 5- Adjectivization of nouns; 6- Diminutive; 7- Absolute state.

Derivation: 8- Verbal noun (base form verbs, extended verb form); 9- Noun of instance; 10-Infinitive; 11- Active participle; 12 Passive participle; 13- Adjectives; 14- Noun of place; 15- Noun of instrument.

Particles: 16- Prepositions; 17- Adverbs.

Verb: 17- Objective pronouns.

Appendix: 18- Spirantization (Rukokho and Qushoyo).

(LGS302) Syriac grammar (3): Four credits

Third year curriculum of Syriac grammar contains the coming subjects of syntax:

Definiteness and indefiniteness: 1- Description of the definite and indefinite nouns; 2- Pronoun; 3-Proper noun; 4- Demonstrative pronoun; 5- Relative pronoun; 6- Ending Olaf as a definite marker; 7- Indefinite annexed to a definite.

Subject, Predicate: 8- Subject and predicate; 9- Agent; 10- Subject of a passive verb

Accusative and object: 11- Cognate accusative; 12- Direct object of transitive verb; the accusative of direct object; 13- Accusative adverb of time, manner, or place

Accusative: 14- Circumstantial accusative; 15- Accusative of specification; 16- Counted nouns after numerals; 17- Antonomasia (ܟܡܐ܆ ܦܠܢ܆ ܙܦܠܢ)

Annexation: 18- Abstract annexation; 19- Formal annexation;

Appositives: 20- Adjective; 21- Comparative and superlative; 22- Corroboration, emphasis; 23- Apposition and substitution; 24- Rhetoric coordination (Explanatory coordination); 25- Sequential coordination

26- ܗܘܐ; 27- ܐܝܬ; 28- ܕܝܠܝ; 29- Thing and matter; 30- Annexed compound;

Particles: 31- Prepositions; 32- Adverbs.

33- Prepositions annexed to substantive; 34- Prepositions annexed to relative clause

35- Conditional particles; 36- Explanatory conjunctions; 37- Exceptive particles; 38- Particles of lengthening; 39- Interjection particles; 40- Particles expressing totality; 41- Particles of conclusion and consequence; 42- Particles of doubt and hoping; 43- Particles of assertion; 44- Particles of negation; 45- Particles of prohibition; 46- Particles of interrogation; 47- Particles of wishing; 48- Vocative particles; 49- Coordinating conjunctions; 50- Particles of embellishment;

51- Particles expressing joy and praise; 52- Particles of lamentation and soreness; 53- Particles of threatening; 54- Exclamatory particles; 55- Particles expressing mockery and irony; 56- Particles expressing aversion and repulsion;


Sentence, equivalent sentence, terms semantically connected to adverbs and prepositions: 57-Sentence and equivalent sentence; 58- Terms semantically connected to adverbs and prepositions. 

        (LGA101) Arabic: Four credits


        (LGE101) English: Ten credits

10. Liturgies

        (THT101) Divine Liturgy and Psalms: Three credits

        (THT102) Shimo and Beth-Gazo: Ten credits

        (THT401) Liturgical ministry: Six credits