The Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute exists to Educate, Communicate, Promote and Sustain the Traditions, Values, Teachings and Culture of Orthodox Christianity. The Institute advances a strong, effective, highly visible witness of Orthodoxy in the western United States through the Master of Arts in Orthodox Christian studies; offering academic lectures and symposia; housing a Rare Book Room and museum; publishing; sponsoring the Orthodox Christian Fellowship at the University of California at Berkeley and the Graduate Theological Union; offering educational programs to the faithful of the Bay Area, and other activities. The Institute is a member of the Graduate Theological Union, an ecumenical and interfaith consortium of nine independent seminaries and ten affiliated centers based in Berkeley, California. As an independent, not-for-profit teaching and research institution affiliated with the GTU and the University of California, the Institute is unique. It is the only independent and permanently endowed Orthodox educational center with a physical presence at a North American university. The Institute is an inter-Orthodox endeavor, representing the diversity of Orthodoxy in America: Albanian, Antiochian, Bulgarian, Carpatho-Russian, Greek, OCA, Romanian, Serbian and Ukranian. The Board of Trustees, comprised of members of the various Orthodox jurisdictions in America, presents a unified vision of Orthodox cooperation and witness.
Theological Education. The Master of Arts in Orthodox Christian Studies is a two year degree program. It is the only program in Orthodox theology outside of those offered by the Orthodox seminaries in the Eastern United States. The Institute’s graduate courses present to the academic community of the Graduate Theological Union, the faith perspective, wisdom, and spirituality of the Orthodox tradition. Seminarians from a great diversity of Christian backgrounds have the unique chance to learn about Orthodox theology and liturgy first-hand from our superb faculty. By having learned to appreciate the rich traditions of the Christian East, these students will grow into religious leaders who promote respect, understanding, and cooperation in their interaction with other Christian communities and traditions.