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Fall Course Offerings, August 29-Decemeber 21, 2016

  1. COP 3013 Survey of Coptic Literature with Dr. Faten Morris Guirguis (online instruction only) . This course is designed and devoted to an in-depth study of the Coptic experience as captured in the seminal works of masters of Coptic literature from the Fourth till the Eleventh century AD. Through a reading list ranging from romances, narratives, hagiographies, gnostic, biblical, and patristic works, students are exposed to the various genres and periods of Coptic literature and the ideas and forces that shaped the writing of those times. Students are challenged to study how various genres of writing and speaking changed over time as the extremely persecuted Coptic language was relegated to liturgical uses and was retired from the everyday life of the Coptic people. The diversity of Coptic literature is emphasized throughout the course to explain and highlight how past and modern intellectuals were informed by Coptic literature. By the end of this course students will have developed an intimate familiarity with the controversial Coptic literary scene, which produced literature that has on one hand informed European monasticism and deep Christian thought and on the other fed Hollywood’s highly controversial Gnostic movies like “The Da Vinci Code.”
  1. COP 3055 Apologetics I: Defending the Faith in Post-Christian America with Fr. Gregory Bishay and George Bassilious (live instruction and online) on THURSDAYS from 6:00pm-9:00pm. This course will explore how to defend the faith (1 Pet 3:15), answer every question (Col. 4:6), reason with others (Acts 18:4), and cast down arguments (2 Cor 10:5) regarding the basic principles of the faith. This course assists servants to reactively respond to questions by removing intellectual and existential barriers, while proactively sharing the relevant message of the Gospel. This course will prepare and equip servants to respond to basic challenges of the faith
  1. COP 3001 Introduction to Theological Research and Writing with Deacon Severus Mikhail on WEDNESDAYS, 6:00-9:00pm (live instruction at CST).  This seminar introduces seminary students to graduate-level research and writing skills with specific attention to academic writing, theological research, citations, and elements of writing style. The seminar introduces the nature of theological reflection and “thinking theologically” concerning various topics and issues they encounter in academic study and ministry
  1. COP 3030 Patristics I with Bishop Kyrillos, Fr. Kyrillos Ibrahim and Dr. Sarah Morcos on SUNDAYS, 6:00-9:00pm (live instruction at CST and online).  This course covers the life, writings, doctrines and thoughts of the early church Fathers. It presents the living story of the early church in all its aspects of worship, pastoral and social concepts, preaching and spirituality. This introductory core-course consists of two parts: (1) a general introduction to the Fathers and the main periods of Patristic Literature from post-apostolic times to the beginnings of the Schism between the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Churches; and (2) a brief profile of some of the most important Fathers of this period and their writings and doctrines focusing on the most influential of them.

Intensive Fall Semester Course Offerings: October 2-November 17, 2016

  1. COP 3042A Liturgics III: Liturgical History of the Church of Alexandria from the 7th to the 13th centuries (in Arabic, live instruction and online) with Fr. Athanasius El Makari on MONDAYS from October 2-November 17, 2016 , from 5:00-9:00pm. This course will explore the structures, content, theology, and ethos of the Church’s Liturgy. It will also provide a fast but inclusive glimpse of the historical evolution of the liturgical rites. Furthermore, the Liturgy will be studied from pastoral, spiritual, and theological perspectives. The course seeks to provide the student with basic theological criteria for the comprehension of the whole liturgical tradition of the Church. Class notes will be provided in English only for those attending the live instruction at Claremont.
  1. COP 3050A Canon Law with Fr. Athanasius El Makari (in Arabic, live instruction and online) on TUESDAYS from October 2-November 17, 2016, from 5:00-9:00pm. This course presents an introduction to the Church Canons. These comprise the Apostolic Canons, Ecumenical Canons, Regional Canons and Canons of individual Fathers. This course focuses on the office and duties of a Christian bishop, the qualifications and conduct of the clergy, the religious life of the Christian flock (abstinence, fasting), its external administration (excommunication, synods, relations with pagans and Jews), the sacraments (Baptism, Eucharist, Marriage); and in a word, the statutory legislation of the Church.

Special Course Offering ~ Study Abroad: December 11-23, 2016

COP 3017 “An Introduction to Early Egyptian Monasticism”

An intensive two-week, course throughout the monasteries of Egypt that offers an in-depth, historical and archeological study of the monastic life in Egypt (Wadi El Natroun, Red Sea, Souhag, Luxor and Aswan), from December 11-23, 2016. This course will be limited to 20 students, and will require special permission to enroll due to the limited availability. Priority will be given to those who have registered as full time students (12 units or more per semester). Cost is approximately $1500.00 USD, excluding airfare, including registration fees, accommodations, and most meals.*

This course is a collaborative effort between St. Athanasius and St. Cyril Coptic Orthodox Theological School (ACTS, Claremont, CA), St. Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Theological College (SACOTC, Melbourne), Institute of Coptic Studies (ICS, Cairo) and Alexandria School (Cairo).
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II ~ “Egypt’s Gift of Monasticism to the World”
His Eminence Metropolitan Hedra (Diocese of Aswan) “History of Monasteries of St. Hedra, St. Pachomius of Edfu, St. Simeon”
His Grace Bishop Epiphanius ( St. Macarius Monastery) ~ “Liturgy and Life at St. Macarius Monastery”
His Grace Bisho p Suriel (Diocese of Melbourne, St. Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Theological College) “Arabic Life of St. Shenoute of Atripe”
Fr. Mark Sheridan ( Pontifico Ateneo Sant’Anselmo) “Monasticism in Egypt and Its Spirituality,” “Deir Al-Balayza,” “John of Lycopolis, and Mark of Shotep”
Fr. Philexinous al Muharraqi , ( El Muharraq Monastery) “History of St. Mary Monastery, Deir El Muharram Monastery”
Fr. Raphael El Naqloony, “St. Antony and the History of Monastery of Naqloon”
Dr. Karel Innemée ( Leiden University), “Archeological Discoveries in El Sourian, El Baramos, and Bawit Monasteries”
Dr . Lisa Agaiby ( St. Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Theological College, MacQuire University) “History of St. Antony Monastery and St. Paul Monastery”
Dr. Mark Swanson ( Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago), “History of St. Paul Monastery, Monasticism in Upper Egypt”
Dr. Sami Sabri Shaker ( Institute of Coptic Studies) “Architectural Typology in Egyptian Monasteries”
Dr. Peter Grossman ( Deutsches Archäologisches Institut), St. Mina Monastery
Dr. Stephen Davis ( Yale University) “St. John the Little Monastery, St. Shenoute Monastery”

Final Itinerary, Lecture descriptions, and prices will be available soon.

Please register and enroll today at, and check for updates to the above.

Categories: Education