Masters of Arts in Orthodox Christian Studies

The M.A. in Orthodox Christian Studies allows for focused study of the history, theology, liturgy, spirituality, and praxis of the Orthodox Christian tradition from its origins to its present day. It is not designed to prepare a student for ordained ministry within the Orthodox Church. The purposes of the M.A. in Orthodox Christian Studies are: to explore and to enrich one’s knowledge and understanding of the Eastern Orthodox Church to provide an academic structure for sustained inquiry into the theology of the Eastern Orthodox Church to provide the theological foundation for service and leadership within an Orthodox parish or diocesan ministry to prepare students for academic study at the doctoral level The M.A. in Orthodox Christian Studies is structured to take advantage of the ecumenical and interfaith environment of the Graduate Theological Union. You will study alongside other students from many different faith traditions, thus strengthening your ability to communicate Orthodox Christianity to others and to reflect upon Orthodox Christianity from the perspective of others. This will prepare you for future engagement with the multireligious and multicultural contexts in which the Orthodox Church finds itself.

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To apply contact: Admissions Office The Graduate Theological Union 2400 Ridge Road Berkeley, California 94709 USA Tel: 510 649 2400 or 800 826 4488

Program Requirements

The program requirements follow those of the the GTU Common M.A., with additional stipulations. For details about the Common M.A. of the Graduate Theological Union and issues not covered by this description, please consult the GTU Catalog



Fourteen full courses (42 units) are required, at least five of which shall be offered by faculty associated with the PAOI, and five offered by faculty from GTU member schools. Students must take one course each in Biblical Studies, History, Theology, and Ethics. Eight courses (24 units) in Orthodox Christian Studies are required for the degree. In the specialized M.A., the courses are distributed as follows:

  • Orthodox Christianity: History and Theology
  • Orthodox Christian Spirituality
  • One course in each of the following: History, Liturgy, Theology and Patristics (may be fulfilled simultaneously with the general distribution).
  • Two additional courses in an area of specialization (History, Liturgy, Spirituality, Theology, or Patristics)

Courses taught by GTU faculty that fulfill requirements for this degree will be identified on an annual basis. Courses taught by the University of California at Berkeley that will fulfill requirements for this degree will also be identified. M.A. students may cross register one course per semester at the University of California at Berkeley.



A student must demonstrate proficiency in at least one language helpful to the study of Eastern Christianity (French, German, modern Greek, Russian, Church Slavonic, Serbian, Arabic, Coptic, et al) and the thesis topic of the student.


Students are required to submit a thesis that represents the equivalent of at least two three-unit courses.

Library Resources

The Library of the Graduate Theological Union provides students and faculty with a rich and unique learning environment. The Library’s collection reflects the broad theological and academic spectrum of the GTU, as well as the diversity found within Christian traditions and within global Christianity. In addition, the collection is growing in the areas of Judaism, Buddhism and Islam. Students of the GTU have borrowing privileges at the Library of the University of California, Berkeley, one of the five largest libraries in the United States.




The M.A. in Orthodox Christian Studies is awarded by the Graduate Theological Union, which is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).

Financial Aid


Students are expected to apply for financial aid throught the Graduate Theological Union. The PAOI has some scholarship resources available for students enrolled in the M.A. program.