Master of Theological Studies in the Christian East & the Contemporary World

The M.T.S. degree includes 6 modules in addition to a Master Thesis of 14,000 words. The program is taught (in person) online.

Objectives:

The student will utilize the knowledge and skills attained through studying the theological foundations of Orthodox Christianity as a hermeneutic to understand contemporary issues, to challenge inaccurate or unsupported claims, to make careful comparisons across time, space, and culture, and to take an informed position as students at an international university and as global citizen.

Program Outcomes

The MTS program outcomes are intended to prepare students to:

  • Equip students with the framework and tools to engage with contemporary challenges from Eastern Christian Wisdom.
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the specified theological discipline.
  • Exhibit a focused knowledge in a chosen theological discipline.
  • Conduct research and construct a theological argument.
  • Communicate coherently, effectively, and persuasively in writing.
  • Interpret and apply theological knowledge in relation to contemporary issues.
  • Construct in a thesis a coherent, sustained theological argument in an area of specialized study.

The modules include:

The Christian Doctrine of God and Diversity (6 Credits)

We study the development of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and related themes from Scripture to the 20th century. We pay close attention to significant texts in the Christian tradition (including creedal statements, and the writings of Origen, Augustine, and others), and to discussions of the doctrine of the trinity and its relationship to diversity. The course requires careful reading of key primary texts and secondary sources.

The Old Testament and Suffering (6 Credits)

In this course, we will be examining the phenomenon of human suffering as our approach to encountering the scriptures, focusing on the Old Testament. By exploring the notion of suffering in the human condition, we will unlock some of the more important points of Christian theology that will provide us with the exegetical framework for reading, understanding, and integrating the Old Testament narrative into our lives.

The Gospels for Today’s World (6 Credits)

This course will focus our study on the Synoptic Gospels and its relation to Ethics. The course will help you to understand the foundational basis of the Synoptic Gospels and the modern theories and hypothesis circulating at the moment in the academic circles. Moreover, we will shed some light on the parables of Christ, as they represent a landmark in the teachings of Jesus, through which we can grasp the contextual ethos of the first-century culture. Finally, we will relate the Synoptic Gospels to Ethics to discover how it can inform and reform our ethical perspectives and stances in a multicultural world.

Liturgical Renewal (3 Credits)

Liturgical rites and texts have always evolved to meet contemporary challenges to the Church’s mission, and to present a faithful witness of the Church’s faith and life. Liturgical development usually occurs either organically from the bottom up, or hierarchically from the top down. The Coptic liturgical tradition is no exception. In this module, students will be introduced to the general patterns of liturgical development through a close reading of sources and scholarly reflections on the topic. This familiarity with the sources and methodology of liturgical analysis will guide the discussion of some contemporary issues of liturgical reform in the Coptic Church today.

Church, Culture and Tradition (3 Credits)

Church, Culture, and Tradition is a 3-credit module, which aims to investigate the meaning of the Church and its diverse expressions through a study of ecclesiology, Tradition and culture. The module will start by defining the term ‘Tradition’ followed by an overview of the true identity of the Church and its expression within different contexts throughout history. The module will then discuss our contemporary context and the appropriate ways of engaging with a theology of incultration by incarnating in a multi-cultural and pluralistic society.

Second Century Christians: Politics and Ethics (3 Credits)