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Certificate in Eastern Christian Scripture


The Certificate of Eastern Christian Scripture is a short-term graduate program focused on the scriptural traditions of Eastern Christian communities and their reception. The program provides students customizable training through a set of course offerings in Eastern Christian biblical studies courses appropriate to educators, church or parachurch ministries, and personal enrichment.


The Certificate in Eastern Christian Scripture program outcomes are intended to prepare students to:

  • Recall a basic knowledge and matters important to the history, culture, and theology of early and Eastern Christianity through the focused study of sacred scripture in the Eastern Christian tradition.
  • Explain ideas and concepts pertinent to Orthodox Christian biblical studies.
  • Utilize research methods and theoretical frameworks rooted in Eastern Christian approaches to and exegesis of sacred scripture for engaging contemporary paradigms.
  • Think theologically and critically about the Orthodox Christian approaches to scripture both historically and within contemporary church and society.
  • Construct and defend a position rooted in Orthodox Christian approaches to scripture.
  • Produce new and original work articulating a holistic understanding of Orthodox Christian approaches to sacred scripture.

Required Courses

This course provides a survey of the Old Testament within the context of Orthodox Christian theology as well as modern biblical criticism. The course content is divided into three parts, each focusing on different aspects of Old Testament studies: Part 1 focuses on the introduction to Old Testament studies as they are presented in the modern era; Part 2 is a (re)reading of the major portions of the Old Testament in light of the modern scholarly conversation; Part 3 looks at Byznato-Chalcedonian approach to the Old Testament in the modern era as a dialogue partner with our own Orthodox tradition within the non- Chalcedonian communion.

A survey of the New Testament, this course covers the life and redemptive work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the early development of the Church through the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles. Readings outside of scripture set the historical background for the reading of the primary texts.

The courses listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee that they will run for the current academic year. Students will take the courses in the order they are made available.

Elective Courses

Students choose Two courses from the following

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.

This course looks at the matter of the textualization of the incarnation event as the remedy for the ailing human condition and is a companion piece to the course Suffering and the Scriptures. In this course, students will approach the message of the Gospel from the lens of healing, examining the formation of the New Testament in light of the early Christian movement amidst the backdrop of the emergence of rabbinical Judaism and the transition from Hellenic to Roman rule in the region.

This course investigates the book of Genesis. Various hermeneutical approaches to the book of Genesis will be undertaken, beginning with the Patristic reception of these texts and their subsequent life in the Church. Special emphasis will be placed on the theology, structure, composition, and themes of Genesis as pertaining to their significance for Christian faith, life, and ministry. Additionally, challenges posed by the content, construction, and assembly of the text by modern critical methods will be explored in order to calibrate the patristic response to such challenges.

Sample Certificate Study Plan

Term 1 – Fall Term 2 – Spring Term 3 – Summer
Required Course 1 Elective 1 Elective 2
Required Course 2

Students' Life-Changing Experiences

Being a student at Agora University has really had an impact on my life both on an academic and intellectual level but also on a spiritual level. The professors are extremely knowledgeable and take the time to help students like myself process the information and break down hard concepts to better grasp them. It has enhanced my spiritual life and given me an opportunity to deepen my relationship with God. I am extremely thankful to the staff and professors at AU for their dedication to helping students link theology with the humanities which is such a practical and needed skill in this day and age.

Sherry Fahmi

Sherry Fahmi


How to Apply?



Complete the application form with all the required documentation.

Interview & Evaluation

Application evaluation and virtual in-person interview. Decisions may take up to 3 weeks.


Sign the Enrollment Agreement and start your courses.

Agora University is registered in the United States with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization, Tax-ID number 45-2832530.

Agora University is a religious institution exempt from state regulation and oversight in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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