Studies

During the academic years 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, the School after having completed its inner evaluation process and utilizing the regulations provisioned by law 4009/ 6-9-11 embarked on an effort to reform its Undergraduate Curriculum as well as an endeavor to employ its human resources’ abilities into stressing the Orthodox Theology study in an international environment, under an all-Orthodox and Inter-Christian perspective.

This effort was made in many different levels, starting with the findings of the inner evaluation process, the School’s development during the last twenty years, its Professors’ fields of expertise, all the data gathered from the international scientific community, the extroversive strategy provisioned by Law 4009 and its amendments, and mainly the School’s aim to focus on the study of Orthodox Theology, Church life and its literature in Greek, as a domain producing cultural work which is studied in its various forms by Philology, Archaeology, Byzantine and Medieval Studies, even by Physics, Chemistry and Medicine. Orthodox Theology’s purpose is to provide all these scientific domains with a common ground as a literary background, while at the same time to keep for itself a clear research and educational character and content. Having all these in mind, the School managed to formulate a complete and comprehensive curriculum, with academic coherence and clear educational purposes aiming at producing unambiguous results for its students, something which has not been accomplished so far through the implementation of the previous weary curriculum.

The curriculum is coherent, due to the fact that all the courses included cover a full range of Orthodox Theology’s domains along with all the other domains which are interconnected to Christian culture. It is rationally and symmetrically structured, offering 47 obligatory courses, eight open selection courses, seven courses per semester, apart from one semester which includes six courses. The total amount of hours per semester is twenty, one hundred and sixty in total and two hundred and forty ECTS.

The aim of the reformed curriculum is clear, since it encompasses the academic discipline of Orthodox Theology along with all the subdomains of Christian Culture, a fact that gives a very specific character to the course of studies. It also gains its place within the international academic community, where Orthodox Theology’s corresponding institutions meet, whether they come from Europe, America and Australia.

The reformed curriculum is also functional and aims towards clearly set educational results. It is divided into four semesters, during which students have to take obligatory courses that are evenly distributed. During the four subsequent semesters the courses are obligatory elective and the students can design their own personal schedule by stating their personal choices. The students also have the ability to choose eight elective courses from those offered by the School or other Schools at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, or, if it is provisioned by AUTH’s Internal Regulation, by the University of Macedonia. This will lead the students into gaining specific perspective when they are pursuing their goals.

This effort is additionally supported by the possibility offered to the students to choose four elective courses of IT applications in Theology and one obligatory course of IT applications in education.

In addition and by following statutory provisions, the students are given the opportunity to acquire one of the four practical skills offered by the School. They are given the option to follow practical, educational seminaries within the duration of two semesters, simultaneously and independently from their core curriculum.

Thus, upon graduation, students can ensure:

a) a complete course of studies according to their free elective courses (Biblical, Historical, Doctrinal, Liturgical, Canon Law and, Patristics),

b) pedagogical competence required by law, if they enroll for four free elective courses from the Pedagogical Departments, which will be additionally counted along with their four obligatory pedagogical courses,

c) certified practical skill, upon successfully completing a practical seminary of either church chanting, icon painting, Pastoral and Social work, or Religious Tourism.

All the above mentioned constituents are what characterize the dynamic character of the reformed curriculum. Besides being complete and multidimensional, it also provides students with every possible flexibility and freedom in their effort to establish a personalized course of studies.

Furthermore, the School posited an innovative suggestion to the Senate. The establishment of an English undergraduate programme, according to the new statutory provisions, focused on Orthodox Theology, whose aim will be to attract foreign students and internationalize the School’s curriculum. The programme is comprised of six semesters in English and two, the seventh and eighth, in Greek. The final ruling of the Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency is till pending, according to AUTH’s Senate decision.

Finally, a significant point is the establishment of an English postgraduate programme of Orthodox Theology, which will follow the guidelines of the reformed Postgraduate Programme and will appeal to foreign students.

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