SPIRITUAL FORMATION AND PASTORAL TRAINING
The EOC collaborates with St Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology in regards to the spiritual formation and learning for its potential future clergy and interested lay people. The courses can be undertaken irregardless of ecclesial background. The diploma of Orthodox Theology is a good preparation and compliment for men who are anticipating ordination to the deaconate and the priesthood and women who are preparing themselves for the diaconate or other ministry within the EOC communion of churches. The courses are available by correspondence/online but must be administered and overseen by a local EOC bishop (mentor) and in conjuction with the liturgical life of a local EOC church if the aim is to be ordained within the EOC communion of churches. If you are interested in connecting with the EOC communion of churches don't hesitate to do so through the contact information provided in the registration form. Please see the PDF documents below for detailed information about the courses.
The Evangelical Orthodox Church Pastoral and Theological Training program, partially facilitated through St Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology, exists to serve all its parishes for the purpose of preparing and training men and women for leadership roles in the church through holistic evangelical orthodox Christian education and spiritual development in a manner consistent with the EOC's common mission and polity.
In this way, the Academy prepares students for ministry as bishops, priests, deacons, lay leaders, monastics, and scholars so that they may plant and build up church communities, foster Church growth through mission and evagelism, teach the orthodox Christian faith, and care for those in need.
"With God's help and with the guidence of the Holy Spirit, the EOC course of theology and pastoral care aspires to produce theologically knowledgeable, spiritually devotional, and pastorally practical servant - leaders to, if God wills, carry the EOC successfully into the future as a vital communion."
- To believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to adhere to His commandments, as expressed in the life and teachings of the Evangelical Orthodox Church.
- To acknowledge our responsibility to communicate evangelical orthodox Christianity to the world and to invite all to partake of the fullness of the faith.
- To take a holistic approach to theological education and spiritual formation - integrating study, work, worship and personal discipline.
- To manifest orthodox Christian love, service, worship, and learning in the life of the seminary community.
- To teach the the critical appropriation of the orthodox Christian Tradition in order to proclaim the unchanging gospel in a manner relevant for today and tomorrow.
- To be commited to Christian unity and cooperation at all levels of Church life and with other Christian communities.
- To be open, transparent, and responsible stewards of the resources entrusted to us.
- To model for our students and to expect from them integrity of character and work ethic characterized by consistent and honest communication, good order, and informed, wise decision - making through godly counsel and under the oversight and governance of the EOC synod of bishops.
- To encourage every member of the seminary community to be a full and active participant in the Seminary's mission.
- To aspire to excellence through continuous and ongoing improvement.
- To be committed to fairness, respect, and hospitality for all members of the seminary community.
A LIFELONG PROCESS
The EOC follows the ancient methodology of catechism, questions and answers from a instructor to a student when we teach and learn about the faith. Catechism takes place in the local church usually either in the teenage years or when someone wants to join the church. The active instruction and lessons lasts 6 months - 2 years. The process of learning about the faith lasts a lifetime.
TO GROW IN FAITH
Catechism offers both a physical and spiritual place to grow in our faith. We can ask questions, wrestle with things that are hard to understand and unlock creativity that may bring clarity. All questions are valid as long as they are posed with sincerity.
TO BE A MEMBER
If a person has received the gospel of Christ and, after being among us for a while, wants to become a member of our communion, they would be taken through the catechism class. This will orient them to what we believe but also, maybe more importantly, help them get to know the people they are joining on this journey. At the end of catechism, if they desire to become a member, they will be received into the local church through chrismation if they have already been baptized in the name of the Trinity, or they will be baptized and chrismated.