As of September 2021, the Saint Arseny Institute (SAI) is offering courses according to the following model. Members of the laity enroll in our online courses with their local Priest as a mentor. SAI provides the lecture material for the student and the Priest on Moodle. Should the mentoring Priest (non-editing teacher) need guidance, he is welcome to reach out to one of our qualified Instructors. A small honorarium is offered by SAI to the Priest for every enrolled student. The goal of this arrangement is to keep costs down. Further details are provided below.
The following classes require a mentoring Priest:
- Reader I - (Set up by Fr. Mirone Klysh - retired)
- Doctrine I - (Set up by Fr. Anthony Estabrooks - retired)
- Holy Scripture I - (Set up by Fr. Anthony Estabrooks - retired)
- Church Fathers I - (Set up by Fr. Anthony Estabrooks - retired)
- Ethics/Spirituality - (Set up by Fr. Anthony Estabrooks - retired)
- Christian Education - (Set up by Fr. Anthony Estabrooks - retired)
- Liturgics/Liturgical Theology I - (Set up by Bishop Win Mott - retired)  
The following courses are delivered by Instructors:
- Homiletics – Dr Fr. Oleg Mironov
- Church History I, II & III – Dr Dn. Lasha Tchantouridze
- Pastoral Theology/Counseling – ( Set up by - Dr Fr. Photios Parks - advisor)
Reader I
Due to budget constraints, Saint Arseny Institute (SAI) is embarking on a new way of delivering Reader I. Orthodox Christians who wish to be tonsured as Readers in the Orthodox Church are now able to enrol in this 26-week course with their local Priest or Deacon as a mentor.
The role of SAI is to provide Reader I materials online and to assign the Priest or Deacon of the enrolled student as the Instructor. A one-time fee of $100 is charged to the Parish for unrestricted access to our Moodle resources. This cost may be shared among students if more than one student from the same Parish applies. The Priest or Deacon would be registered as the Instructor at no cost.
The course would then be made available to the student(s) and to any other member of the same Parish under the guidance of the Priest or Deacon. The cost for Reader I would be $200 to each student.
SAI offers a qualified Instructor (Choir Director with relevant experience) to provide vocal training support for all students. This would be done through remote learning tools such as Zoom. The course includes the following subjects:
- Introduction / Course Outline / Sources Service Books
- Kathismas
- Hours
- Great Vespers for Sundays / Structure of Litiya.
- Matins for Sundays / Structure of Vigil
- Holy Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
- Holy Liturgy of St. Basil the Great
- Changing parts for Holy Liturgy on Major Feast Days
Diaconate Program
Saint Arseny Institute (SAI) is also embarking on a new way to deliver the Diaconate Courses to Orthodox Christians who desire to become clergymen in the Church. The program consists of 19 Diaconate courses, each divided into 8-week sessions. All courses are delivered on Moodle.
While some of our Diaconate courses are facilitated by Instructors, most courses require mentorship by the student’s local Priest. SAI will support the Priests with qualified Instructors. The student’s local Priest would be enrolled in the course as a non-editing Instructor with full access to the course content. He would receive an honorarium for every class he mentors. In addition, most Archdioceses encourage Priests to be involved in continuous learning. We believe that mentoring a student is an excellent way to refresh one’s knowledge of the various subjects of ministry.
The cost to the student for each Diaconate course is $400, except for Church History II & III, which is a combined 10-week course at $600. Church History I, II & III are taught by Dr Dn. Lasha Tchantouridze.
Please Note: Reader's Program is required for Diaconal ordination
1st Year - Semester I
[Starting in March, June, September, or December]
Church History I
Beginnings to the 9th Century. Pentecost; Apostles and Early Christian Community; Judaism; Apostle St. Paul; Council of Jerusalem; Persecutions; Conversion of Constantine; Church and State; 5 Patriarchates; Writers and Teachers of the Church – 1st through 4th centuries; Heresies; Ecumenical Councils; Monasticism; Rise of Islam; Oriental Christianity; Iconoclasm; Byzantium and Rome; Writers and Teachers of the Church – 5th through 8th centuries; Christian life and worship; Holy Mysteries.
Christian Education
The Church’s liturgical life as the framework and context for Christian education.
Sanctification of life. Sanctification of time. Sanctification of matter. Resources and means for Christian education: Holy Scriptures, lives and teachings of the saints, icons. Educational materials produced by the North American Orthodox Churches. Age-appropriate themes and means of Christian education.
Doctrine I
Sources of Christian Doctrine. God: Creation, Angels, Man, Fall, and Preparation for the coming of Christ. Jesus Christ: Incarnation, Redemption, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension, Coming again.
1st Year - Semester II
[Starting in March, June, September, or December]
Holy Scripture I
A comprehensive introduction to, and overview of, Holy Scripture. Jesus Christ as the key to understanding Scripture. What is the Bible? By whom and for whom was it written? Types of literature in the Bible. The Bible as revelation – the word of God. Geographical settings of the Bible. Historical background to the Bible. A survey of the books of the Bible with brief summaries of their content, purpose and themes. Main themes of the Bible. The place, significance and use of Holy Scripture in the Orthodox Church. Canon of Scripture. The Septuagint translation. Personal Reading of Holy Scripture. The changing place and influence of the Bible in European and North American civilization over the centuries.
Liturgics/Liturgical Theology I
The Church Building: external arrangement, internal arrangement, iconostasis, the altar and its furnishing, antimension, the bells, candles and their symbolism. Services: the daily cycle, the weekly cycle. The annual cycle of feasts: the moveable feasts, the fixed feasts. The great feasts: Major feasts of the Church according to the spring equinox and the Jewish Passover, great feasts of the Lord, great feasts of the Mother of God. The Church Year: the Triodion, Pentecostarion, Octoechos (eight tones). The daily cycle of the services. The evening service: the order of little vespers, daily vespers, the order of great vespers, first hour, the order of matins in the Holy and Great 40-day fast. The Church year: fasting seasons, fast-free weeks, fast days, concerning fasting, pre-Lent.
 1st Year - Semester III
[Starting in March, June, September, or December]
Church History II & II
9th to the 21st Centuries & History of Orthodox Christianity in North America
Doctrine II
Holy Spirit, Pentecost. Church, Sacraments, Eternal Life. Concepts of Orthodoxy and Heresy.
Holy Scripture II
A study of the content of the New Testament. Major themes of the New Testament. The use of the New Testament Scripture in the life and worship of the Orthodox Church.
1st Year - Semester IV
[Starting in March, June, September, or December]
Liturgics/Liturgical Theology II
The Eucharistic Liturgy of the Orthodox Church: origin, development and theological meaning.
The Eucharistic Liturgy: its relationship to the total sacramental and spiritual life of the Church.
Church Fathers I
The Fathers of the 2nd to early 5th centuries: Apostolic Fathers, Ante-Nicene Fathers and Nicene Fathers. St. Ignatius of Antioch; St. Justin Martyr; St. Irenaeus; Tertullian; St. Clement of Alexandria; St. Cyprian of Carthage; Origen. Trinitarian Controversy. St. Athanasius of Alexandria; St. Basil of Caesarea; St. Gregory of Nazianzus; St. Gregory of Nyssa; St. John Chrysostom; St. Hilary of Poitiers; St. Ambrose of Milan; St. Jerome; St. Augustine of Hippo.
2nd Year - Semester I
[Starting in March, June, September, or December]
Canonical Tradition
The history, basis, scope and principles of canon law in the Orthodox Church.
Directives and official statements of the Orthodox Church in America and the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in North America on moral issues, and other matters. Guidelines for clergy. Ecumenical relations. The Church and Canadian law.
Church Fathers II
The Fathers of the late 5th century to the 15th century. Christological Disputes. St. Cyril of Alexandria; St. Leo of Rome; St. Maximus the Confessor; St. John of Damascus; St. Symeon the New Theologian; St. Gregory Palamas; St. Mark Eugenicus.
2nd Year - Semester II
[Starting in March, June, September, or December]
Doctrine/Comparative Theology III
Christian West. Development of Distinctive Western Forms of Christian Thought. A Comparative Study of Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant Theology. Relationship between Orthodox - Roman Catholic and Orthodox - Protestant in Past and Present.
Holy Scripture III
A study of the content of the Old Testament. Major themes of the Old Testament. The use of the Old Testament in the life and worship of the Orthodox Church.
Liturgics/Liturgical Theology III
Holy Mysteries for the Church: origin, structure and theological meaning. Theology of the Orthodox Icon.
2nd Year - Semester III
[Starting in March, June, September, or December]
The foundation and goal of Orthodox spirituality and ethics. The creation of humanity in the image of God. The fall of man. Redemption through Christ. Incorporation into the Church. Deification. The means of Christian spiritual growth. Co-operation with the grace given in the Holy Mysteries. Our calling as Prophets, Priests, and Kings. Specific Tools for spiritual Growth: fasting, prayer, love of neighbour, the virtues, lives and teachings of the saints. Moral life and reconciliation with all as the basis for, and fruit of communion with God. Orthodox perspectives on, marriage, family, suffering, death and current ethical dilemmas. The goal of life in Christ: becoming like Christ, acquiring the Holy Spirit, resurrection.
The theory of preaching: historical background, purpose of sermon, types of sermons, selection of topics, source materials, structure and style, composition and proclamation. The ministry of the Word: related to various life situations, related to the Liturgical Year, preparation by Pastor for preaching, other forms of public address. Practicum: sermon based on Sunday Gospel reading, sermon based on Sunday Epistle reading, sermon for a Feast-day, sermon for a Holy Mystery (including funeral).
2nd Year - Semester IV
[Starting in March, June, September, or December]
Liturgics/Liturgical Theology IV – Practical course with mentoring Priest
Book of Needs. Service. Monastic tonsure. Practicum.
Pastoral Theology/Counselling
Introduction to pastoral theology: priest and pastor in Scripture and Tradition. Vocations, ordination, education, priestly spirituality, purity. Ministry in the church, the home, society and family. Relations with the parish council, sisterhood, choir, youth, altar servers. Chaplain visitations to the sick; hospital visitations; shut-ins and elderly visitations. Visitations to those in prisons. Family planner to the family as groups, couples, or individuals. Youth advisor to teen-agers, youth in conflict and maturation. Inter-Orthodox and ecumenical relations. Important problems – sin, pain and suffering, age and ageing, dying and death, alcoholism, drug abuse, and marital problems. Deacon’s ministry with pastor/priest. The Pastor and his family. The Priest and the administration of the holy Mysteries - pre-marital counseling, pre-baptismal counseling, counseling for conversion.