ACTS
Preaching the Kingdom. Teaching Christ.

Programs

Programs

 

ACTS offers various levels of education to meet each student where they are in the learning process. Check out our programs below to determine the right one for you. After you have found the program that best fits your goals be sure to check out the admissions requirements.

 

Certificate Programs

The Certificate programs are a non-degree certificate program of study available for laity or clergy interested in learning more about the Orthodox faith in a formalized setting, but who are not ready to commit to the Master of Theological Studies degree program, or who may not yet qualify for admission into that program. These certificate programs are a personalized, short-term, non-degree program that provides training for a specific church service or personal, spiritual, and theological enrichment.

ORTHODOX SCRIPTURE CERTIFICATE

3 courses + 1 corequisite:

  • Old Testament 1 (Fall)

  • New Testament 1 (Spring)

  • Elective: Patristics 1, Liturgics 1, Study Abroad, Apologetics I

  • Corequisite: Intro to Research and Writing (Summer/Fall)

EARLY CHRISTIAN STUDIES CERTIFICATE

3 courses + 1 corequisite:

  • Dogmatics 1 (Spring)

  • Church History 1 (Spring)

  • Elective: Patristics 1, Liturgics 1, Study Abroad, New Testament 1

  • Corequisite: Intro to Research and Writing (Summer/Fall)

Students may apply completed coursework in the above certificate programs towards the M.T.S. program (6 courses + the prerequisite course, Intro to Research & Writing). New students are required to complete the prerequisite course Introduction to Theological Research and Writing either prior to any additional courses or concurrently (recommended) with any other course. Students have 1 year to complete the certificate and may take as little as 1 course per semester.

Note: The Certificate course of study may be completed entirely or partially online through synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Students have 1 year to complete the Certificate program (if taking 1 course per semester). Additionally, optional intensive courses are occasionally offered on campus as well as study abroad courses in Egypt, Jerusalem, Greece and Rome. 

Corequisites: Introduction to Theological Research & Writing


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Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.)

The Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) is a 36-unit graduate degree that may be completed in as little as one (1) year, but is designed for 15 months of full-time study (9 units per semester). This Orthodox Studies program provides in-depth foundational theological training for those in Church ministry, evangelism, theological education, missions, and apologetics. Upon completion of the M.T.S. degree, the student will have demonstrated knowledge in the Coptic Language, Church History, Liturgy, Scripture, Dogmatics, Apologetics, and Patristics.

The course of study objectives are:

  1. To prepare the student to research and write in a manner that is theologically sound.

  2. To prepare the student to clearly articulate Orthodox Christian theology in the church and ministry.

Degree Requirements:

  • Church History Elective, one of the following

  • Church History 2+

  • Patristics 2+

  • Dogmatics 2+

  • Biblical Studies Elective, one of the following

    • Biblical Apologetics

    • Study Abroad

    • Old/New Testament 2

    • Greek 2

  • Pre/Co- Requisite: Introduction to Theological Research and Writing

  • Coptic 1

  • Dogmatics 1

  • Patristics 1

  • Liturgics 1

  • Church History 1

  • New Testament 1

  • Old Testament 1

  • Two Electives, These can be selected from a variety of courses including (but not limited to)

    • Apologetics 1

    • Introduction to Orthodox Spirituality

    • Study Abroad

    • Any Biblical Studies Elective or Church History Elective that is in addition to the fulfilled requirement

Note: The M.T.S course of study may be completed entirely or partially online through synchronous and asynchronous instruction. This degree is a 2 year program but can be completed in as little as 1 year. Students enrolled in this program must take a minimum of 2 courses per semester until the program is complete. Additionally, intensive courses are optionally offered on campus as well as study abroad courses in Egypt, Jerusalem, Greece and Rome.


Master of Theology (Th.M.)

The Master of Theology (Th.M.) program is particularly designed to encourage scholarly research for those who desire to add a scholarly dimension to their priestly or ministerial vocations, whether for furthering theological knowledge or in preparation for additional, doctoral work. This program is meant for students who have completed the M.T.S. or equivalent degree.

It is especially appropriate for those pursuing full-time study in residence, taking 3 classes (9 units) per semester for three continuous terms. However, this program may be spread over a two-year period for non-residential students. All credits applied toward degree requirements must be earned within 4 years of starting the degree.

ACTS seeks to equip Th.M. students to:

  • Engage in advanced theological reflection and dialogue;

  • Undertake advanced, specialized research, which includes critical analysis of primary sources  and engagement with current historiography;

  • Write  at a scholarly level suitable for peer-reviewed publications;

  • Pursue a doctoral degree to witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Students who are accepted into the program are required to complete a one-year residency, eight theology courses (or twenty-four credits), and a thesis, 60-100 pages in length.  The program is also open to qualified part-time students; however, it must be completed, including acceptance of the thesis, within a period of up to four years. 

LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

  • Coursework at the Th.M. level requires a working knowledge of ancient Greek. Therefore students must demonstrate this knowledge by passing a Greek language examination prior to matriculation. Students who fail the examination will be required to complete a remedial Greek language course, as assigned by the director of the Th.M. program. 

  • In addition to ancient Greek and English proficiency, students may need to demonstrate reading comprehension in a modern theological language (such as French, German, or Russian) and/or ancient languages (Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, Arabic, etc.), which will be formally agreed upon between the applicant and his or her thesis supervisor as a condition of admission.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Courses taken in the Th.M. program are intended to broaden and deepen the candidate’s knowledge of the major areas of theology.

Prerequisites 

  1. Introduction to Theological Research and Writing: Students who have completed MTS program with ACTS have demonstrated sufficient proficiency to undergo the requisite research, analysis, and writing related to the ThM program. However, those students who have graduated with an equivalent degree elsewhere may need additional analytical and writing skills before starting their research. The 4-5 page proposal required for applying into the ThM program is designed to identify those students who may need to enroll in the Introduction to Theological Research and Writing Seminar at a ThM Level before starting the ThM coursework.

Core courses

There are three courses that serve as the core curriculum of the ThM program:

  1. Dogmatics 2

  2. Patristics 2

  3. Church History 2

Concentration Courses

Upon enrollment in the program, candidates must choose a concentration among the basic fields of theology. After completing core courses, students will then take three courses in one of the following concentrations: 

  1. Biblical concentration:  Old and New Testaments

  2. Historical concentration: Church History, Patristics, Dogmatics 

  3. Liturgical Studies  

Thesis Course

The thesis will be written in the area of concentration under the supervision of the student’s program advisor. It must demonstrate critical understanding, based upon personal research, and constitute an original scholarly contribution. This course will be assigned to each ThM student as an independent study course.

Three courses in any of the above are considered a concentration. Some of the above courses may be transferred if taken during the MTS program at ACTS. Upon recommendation of the student’s advisor, additional courses may be required before a student is permitted to continue taking courses in his/her area of concentration. This would be necessary for students who have not taken their MTS from ACTS.  Students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher throughout the program.