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Author Topic: St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Theological Institute  (Read 5350 times) Average Rating: 0
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Fr. Deacon Daniel
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« on: January 24, 2010, 12:47:57 AM »

I wanted to share with you all the new OTI website and and the exciting news of finally a well grounded distance-learning program offering its courses in both English and Spanish, with real accreditation to boot. The OTI is under the Ecumenical Patriarchate. I am personally finishing my BA in another Orthodox program that is severely lacking and will be beginning my MA on Jan 27th, 2010. If you have a chance please check out the website and look at the curriculum page to see for yourself. If you have any questions you can also write to me. fr.dcndaniel@yahoo.com

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Deacon Daniel


NEW ONLINE ORTHODOX THEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE
http://orthodoxpr.org/OrthodoxPR/HOME.html
The St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Theological Institute (OTI) is a bilingual distance education program that has as its primary purpose the academic preparation and spiritual formation of men and women for service and ministry in the Orthodox Church. The Institute is a registered community-based non-profit organization that operates with the blessing of the hierarchy of the Orthodox Church in the Caribbean and Central America.

The programs of study at OTI, which are traditional and rigorous, include: (1) a Diploma in Theological Sciences track comprised of 6 semesters; and (2) a Licentiate in Theological Sciences track comprised of 4 additional semesters (following the Diploma track). The method of study at OTI includes directed readings, e-forum participation, essays, and testing.

OTI has a cooperative agreement with Ignatius University, an affiliate of the prestigious University of Sofia, and OTI students can simultaneously enroll at either of these two degree-granting institutions, if they so desire, while studying at the Institute. OTI also has a cooperative agreement with the Pavel Florensky School of Theology (PFST), which allows graduates of OTI’s Licentiate in Theological Sciences track to pursue doctoral studies at PFST.
OTI has a rolling admissions policy and students can begin their studies in August or January. The opening semester begins on January 27th 2010. Those wishing to apply for advanced standing on the basis of their work at other institutions must apply for the January 2010 semester. This is a once-off opportunity. Upon closure of registrations on January 15th 2010, advanced standing will no longer be granted primarily because of issues related to accreditation. The cost of the enrollment per semester, which in most cases includes the required texts in electronic form, has been kept at a minimum. There are no hidden or residency costs. Applications can be downloaded from the Admissions page at (http://orthodoxpr.org/OrthodoxPR/Admissions.html), completed and sent via e-mail. The registration fee and tuition can be paid by PayPal.
Please see below the message of The Right Reverend Dr. ANDREW (Vujisic)

It is with unspeakable joy that we bless the establishment of the St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Theological Institute, a bilingual distance education program on the worldwide internet and registered community-based non-profit organization… dedicated to the propagation of the Orthodox Faith. We rejoice that the purpose and goals of the Institute complement the proactive response of the Orthodox Church to our Lord’s command to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).

Moreover, we rejoice most abundantly because in the midst of the Orthodox Church, and through her diverse ministries, we possess the very one who blesses, sanctifies, and grants us ‘the wisdom that is near unto’ His ‘throne’ (Wisdom of Solomon 9:4) through the experience of the Cross and Resurrection. This Cross and Resurrection experience is encountered in, and pervades, Orthodox Theology, and is not merely empirical, but rather is an objective and moral crucifixion, and involves the entire psychosomatic make-up of the human person. The theology of love, of liberty, and of peace proceeds from the Cross, because the Cross is the cathedra of Orthodox theology.

We thank all those who have assisted in this endeavor for their self-sacrificing efforts in the establishment, organization, and operation of the Institute, and wish to the professors and students, an ever deeper appreciation of the mystery of the Cross and the Resurrection of Christ, leading to active service and ministry in the Orthodox Church and, ultimately, culminating in eternal life. We also pray that participation in this program may educate, spiritually enlighten, and strengthen a multitude of new workers in Christ’s vineyard, including future priests, deacons, readers, chanters, and catechists for the evangelical and pastoral mission of the Orthodox Church throughout the world. This holy endeavor is both necessary and timely, “for the harvest is great but the workers are few” (Matthew 9:37), and we therefore with great joy bestow our fatherly good wishes and blessings.

Please visit the OTI site at: http://orthodoxpr.org/OrthodoxPR/HOME.html. If you have any questions, you may contact the Academic Rector at Vladika@OrthodoxPR.org or Fr. Peter DiLeo at Fr.Peter@OrthodoxPR.org.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2010, 01:06:33 AM by lavrishevo » Logged

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Stanislav
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2010, 03:31:14 PM »

This is great news. I am a bit of DL enthusiast, and I was waiting for something like this. I'm very impressed with Bishop Andrew, who apparently has 3 properly accredited doctorates, all by distance learning (along with his licentiate from St. Sophia's and istance learning BS and MA.Ed.). He is like a DL superhero and a model missionary priest.

Not to burst the bubble, but I see no evidence of real academic accreditation (unless you mean hierarchical blessing, which Rt. Rev. Andrew certainly provides). Ignatius University may be affiliated with Sophia U., but has no accreditation otherwise. PFST, the work of the EOB editor Fr. Laurent Cleenewerck, is part of Euclid University, an international mystery school with confusing charter from half a dozen nations, none known for education.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2010, 03:32:27 PM by Stanislav » Logged
Fr. Deacon Daniel
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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2010, 08:54:53 PM »

This is great news. I am a bit of DL enthusiast, and I was waiting for something like this. I'm very impressed with Bishop Andrew, who apparently has 3 properly accredited doctorates, all by distance learning (along with his licentiate from St. Sophia's and istance learning BS and MA.Ed.). He is like a DL superhero and a model missionary priest.

Not to burst the bubble, but I see no evidence of real academic accreditation (unless you mean hierarchical blessing, which Rt. Rev. Andrew certainly provides). Ignatius University may be affiliated with Sophia U., but has no accreditation otherwise. PFST, the work of the EOB editor Fr. Laurent Cleenewerck, is part of Euclid University, an international mystery school with confusing charter from half a dozen nations, none known for education.

Greetings Stanislav,

The quality of education is truly determined from the centering of the mentors in Holy Tradition of the Fathers, the curriculum, and its focus on transforming the students into vessels of the Holy Spirit. Everything outside of this is purely cosmetic. Since we live in a very cosmetic world and many priest are not supported financially by their jurisdiction or local parishes it is becoming necessary for priest and deacons to have a second job. This is helped greatly with a degree that is accredited and accepted by many institutions in the United States. With the two institutions announced so far, St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia, via Ignatius University, and Pavel Florensky School of Theology this offers students, as they pursue their degree through the OTI in a very rigorous and in-depth Orthodox education. All the while having the security that their education will not be, to secular society, a meaningless piece of paper. Again, the quality of the education comes out of the OTI and is not dependent of the degree granting institution. OTI is not about cosmetic scholasticism it is about the training of young men and women for service in our Holy Orthodox Church.

Curriculum Page: http://www.orthodoxpr.org/OrthodoxPR/Curriculum.html
« Last Edit: January 25, 2010, 09:14:01 PM by lavrishevo » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2010, 12:47:26 AM »

With the two institutions announced so far, St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia, via Ignatius University, and Pavel Florensky School of Theology this offers students, as they pursue their degree through the OTI in a very rigorous and in-depth Orthodox education. All the while having the security that their education will not be, to secular society, a meaningless piece of paper.
I would feel much safer if OTI dealt with St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia directly. Pavel Florensky School of Theology, of Euclid university, fka EUCLID University Consortium, is even less security.

Having said that, His Grace Bishop Dr.(x3) Andrew is a professional academic (and therapist, accidentally). One may reasonably hope he'll be successful in this endeavor.
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Fr. Deacon Daniel
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2010, 12:59:54 AM »

With the two institutions announced so far, St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia, via Ignatius University, and Pavel Florensky School of Theology this offers students, as they pursue their degree through the OTI in a very rigorous and in-depth Orthodox education. All the while having the security that their education will not be, to secular society, a meaningless piece of paper.
I would feel much safer if OTI dealt with St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia directly. Pavel Florensky School of Theology, of Euclid university, fka EUCLID University Consortium, is even less security.

Having said that, His Grace Bishop Dr.(x3) Andrew is a professional academic (and therapist, accidentally). One may reasonably hope he'll be successful in this endeavor.

Thank you for your kind words regarding Vladika. Stay tuned as very exciting news will soon be announced and I am sure will it give you all the security you desire.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 01:00:41 AM by lavrishevo » Logged

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Fr. Deacon Daniel
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2010, 10:43:08 PM »

I am overjoyed to let everyone know that St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Theological Institute has found its new home and brand new website at:

http://www.orthodoxtheologicalinstitute.org/

We are also very proud to announce alliances with:

Amridge University (AU)
Montgomery, Alabama USA

and

Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies (IOCS)
Cambridge, UK

St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Theological Institute now offers:

FLEXSTART AND COLLEGE LEVEL TESTING OPTIONS

The Accelerated Degree or FlexStart / Rolling Enrollment and College Level Testing options enable students to complete their studies through programs that fit a busy life and schedule, and that save time and money. FlexStart allows students to enroll in a course, complete the requirements, and move on to the next course at his / her own speed or pace.

In Christ,
Fr. Deacon Daniel
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2010, 11:18:47 PM »

I am overjoyed to let everyone know that St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Theological Institute has found its new home and brand new website at:

http://www.orthodoxtheologicalinstitute.org/

We are also very proud to announce alliances with:

Amridge University (AU)
Montgomery, Alabama USA

and

Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies (IOCS)
Cambridge, UK

St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Theological Institute now offers:

FLEXSTART AND COLLEGE LEVEL TESTING OPTIONS

The Accelerated Degree or FlexStart / Rolling Enrollment and College Level Testing options enable students to complete their studies through programs that fit a busy life and schedule, and that save time and money. FlexStart allows students to enroll in a course, complete the requirements, and move on to the next course at his / her own speed or pace.

In Christ,
Fr. Deacon Daniel

This looks very interesting. Are any hierarchs here in the States or Canada on board with it? Would they accept men for ordination who complete the program? I plan on forwarding this to my priest so he can pass it on to an prospective seminarians.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2010, 11:33:50 PM »

I am overjoyed to let everyone know that St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Theological Institute has found its new home and brand new website at:

http://www.orthodoxtheologicalinstitute.org/

We are also very proud to announce alliances with:

Amridge University (AU)
Montgomery, Alabama USA

and

Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies (IOCS)
Cambridge, UK

St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Theological Institute now offers:

FLEXSTART AND COLLEGE LEVEL TESTING OPTIONS

The Accelerated Degree or FlexStart / Rolling Enrollment and College Level Testing options enable students to complete their studies through programs that fit a busy life and schedule, and that save time and money. FlexStart allows students to enroll in a course, complete the requirements, and move on to the next course at his / her own speed or pace.

In Christ,
Fr. Deacon Daniel

This looks very interesting. Are any hierarchs here in the States or Canada on board with it? Would they accept men for ordination who complete the program? I plan on forwarding this to my priest so he can pass it on to an prospective seminarians.

In Christ,
Andrew

Greetings Andrew,

The OTI program is accredited by the Department of Education of the Holy Metropolis of Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, and the Islands of the Caribbean (Ecumenical Patriarchate) and is thereby certified to prepare candidates for ordination. So yes, the hierarchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate are on board with it. Please feel free to share the joyful news.
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2010, 11:55:20 PM »

I am overjoyed to let everyone know that St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Theological Institute has found its new home and brand new website at:

http://www.orthodoxtheologicalinstitute.org/

We are also very proud to announce alliances with:

Amridge University (AU)
Montgomery, Alabama USA

and

Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies (IOCS)
Cambridge, UK

St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Theological Institute now offers:

FLEXSTART AND COLLEGE LEVEL TESTING OPTIONS

The Accelerated Degree or FlexStart / Rolling Enrollment and College Level Testing options enable students to complete their studies through programs that fit a busy life and schedule, and that save time and money. FlexStart allows students to enroll in a course, complete the requirements, and move on to the next course at his / her own speed or pace.

In Christ,
Fr. Deacon Daniel

This looks very interesting. Are any hierarchs here in the States or Canada on board with it? Would they accept men for ordination who complete the program? I plan on forwarding this to my priest so he can pass it on to an prospective seminarians.

In Christ,
Andrew

Greetings Andrew,

The OTI program is accredited by the Department of Education of the Holy Metropolis of Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, and the Islands of the Caribbean (Ecumenical Patriarchate) and is thereby certified to prepare candidates for ordination. So yes, the hierarchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate are on board with it. Please feel free to share the joyful news.

Thank you Fr. Deacon for your answers. Is it geared towards Orthodox of Hispanic backgrounds and have Orthodox of other jurisdictions applied and/or been accepted into the program? I noticed that it is pan-Orthodox, which I think is excellent. Smiley

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2010, 12:28:39 AM »

The program is geared towards both English and Spanish speaking communities. Both curriculum's are rigorous, patristic, center on traditional Orthodox praxis and phronema, as well as being quite educational. Each curriculum addresses the needs of each language group not to mention the ability to apply life experience and / or previous education to accelerate your education. So in essence, no the program teaches Orthodox Christianity in the language of the people attending and is not centered on any national identity.

The OTI is unlike any other distance learning program out there with its excellent accreditation and the multiple options open to the students to acquire their MA or P.hD. through prestigious universities, such as Cambridge, a new bar is being set in theological schools. Not to mention the cost is exceptional. The OTI is not about making money it is about training and educating the yearning Christians throughout the America's and all over the world "for the harvest is great but the workers are few".
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 12:38:37 AM by lavrishevo » Logged

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Stanislav
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2010, 11:50:36 PM »

I am overjoyed to let everyone know that St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Theological Institute has found its new home and brand new website at:

http://www.orthodoxtheologicalinstitute.org/

We are also very proud to announce alliances with:

Amridge University (AU)
Montgomery, Alabama USA

and

Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies (IOCS)
Cambridge, UK

Congratulations! Finally, properly accredited affiliates. Very Rev. Andrew knows his stuff.

BTW, why doesn't he use "Bishop Elect of Tralles" title anymore? Did that situation change?
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2010, 11:55:37 PM »

The OTI is unlike any other distance learning program out there with its excellent accreditation and the multiple options open to the students to acquire their MA or P.hD. through prestigious universities, such as Cambridge, a new bar is being set in theological schools.
We'll see. It has a blessing of Hierarchy, which is enough for a theological school, and curriculum looks great. But you focused on secular accreditation. Are there plans for official Puerto Rico accreditation? International accreditation, i.e. from a recognized American group (national or regional)?
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Fr. Deacon Daniel
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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2010, 12:55:19 AM »

The OTI is unlike any other distance learning program out there with its excellent accreditation and the multiple options open to the students to acquire their MA or P.hD. through prestigious universities, such as Cambridge, a new bar is being set in theological schools.
We'll see. It has a blessing of Hierarchy, which is enough for a theological school, and curriculum looks great. But you focused on secular accreditation. Are there plans for official Puerto Rico accreditation? International accreditation, i.e. from a recognized American group (national or regional)?

Greetings Stanislav,

I honestly cannot answer those last questions. Please feel free to write the academic rector or the registrar for more information. You can find their e-mails on the contact page. I am just a lowly webmaster and student of the seminary. Smiley

I do know that Vladika asked the synod, and was granted, a postponement of his elevation until the proper finances are all worked out as he works full time as a professor and administrator and cannot just leave his position without support. The economy is rough right now and even more so in the area we serve in and are making efforts to expand in. Significantly more then the continental United States. As you well know, people are very poor down in our 'neck of the woods' and the need is great.

I do know that the focus of the OTI is proper theological training for the ministry of the our Savior's flock and I do believe other opportunities for the students will abound. These things take time and it is quite amazing how far the Institute has come in the few months it has been open. 49 students on its opening bi-lingual semester truly shows that there is a great need.

Keep us and our mission to South America, Central America, and the Caribbean in your prayers.

In Christ,
Fr. Deacon Daniel
« Last Edit: February 28, 2010, 01:00:51 AM by lavrishevo » Logged

"Everybody wants to change the world, but nobody thinks about changing himself."

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