Studies in the Faith

Intended to be a survey course, ‚ÄúStudies in the Faith‚ÄĚ will give the participant a foundational understanding of the Orthodox Christian Faith, its belief, worship, and practices.¬† The class will meet twice a¬†month (with a few exceptions), as noted in the syllabus.¬† Our first class will begin on Monday evening, September 26th.¬† All classes will meet from 7:00-8:30 pm in the Assumption Church¬†Library.

This class is mandatory for those individuals who wish to become Orthodox Christians.

To those who are already Orthodox, this course will provide you with an enriched understanding of your faith.

And to our guests, we welcome you.  Please feel free to attend whichever class, or combination of classes interests you most.

All participants will be asked to purchase the textbooks used.  Although not necessary to participate, if you are not an Orthodox Christian, we would like to invite you to offer a donation to the Church.  If you are an Orthodox Christian attending the class, if you have not already done so, we would like to invite you to fill out a stewardship card for 2017.  For further information on Stewardship, please contact the Parish office.  Confidential scholarships are available for the purchase of the textbooks through the Church office as well.  Please contact the parish you are attending for further information.

What follows is a list of the texts to be used and schedule for the class.  The reading assignments from the texts below and from various articles will be distributed in class.  The texts may be purchased from the bookstore.

Texts to be used in class:

  1. The Holy Bible, including the Old Testament and deutero-canonical books (Apocrypha).   Orthodox Study Bible is recommended.
  2. The Orthodox Church, by Bishop Kallistos Ware
  3. The Divine Liturgy Service Book to be distributed in class.

Other recommended texts:

  1. Introducing the Orthodox Church by Fr. Anthony Coniaris  (Alternative to The Orthodox Church, by Bishop Kallistos Ware)
  2. Contemporary Moral Issues, by Fr. Stanley Harakas
  3. Making God Real In The Orthodox Christian Home, by Fr. Anthony Coniaris
  4. Beginning to Pray, by Archbishop Anthony Bloom
  5. The Orthodox Way, by Bishop Kallistos Ware
  6. The Inner Kingdom, by Bishop Kallistos Ware, Volume one of the Collected Work

Links to the class materials may be found below (or here).

For those wishing to become Orthodox Christians, Baptism and / or Confirmation will be celebrated before the feast of Pascha.

For those thinking of becoming Orthodox Christians, please remember, regular Church attendance is mandatory as worship is central in the life of the Orthodox Faith.  In addition, connecting to the community is important as you will need to choose a Godparent for your Baptism and / or Chrismation.  Godparents are usually chosen from within the parish you are attending. 

To register for this class, please state your intent to participate via email at frdean@assumptionseattle.org.  Please feel free to contact the Assumption Church office with any questions at (206) 323-8557.

Internet Home Study:  In this age of modern technology, quite often the question is asked regarding home study using Orthodox educational videos posted on the Internet.  Although this is an option, it is not recommended.  Fellowship and connection with others in the class is an important part of integrating yourself into our faith community.  In addition, questions and dialogue in class is encouraged.  A question offered in class often invites the participants to have discussions leading to a deeper understanding of Orthodoxy in a way not possible in a home study environment.  Educational videos posted on the Internet will be utilized as part of the class structure however it is important to note that all web-based data contained in the class will have been thoroughly vetted.  Web addresses for these websites will be provided in class so the material may be reviewed at any time.

Syllabus

1st Session  

      History of the Church (Part 1)
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†From 33 AD ‚Äď 325 AD
            -  The Beginnings:  The spread of Christianity from Jerusalem to the nations
            -  The Early Martyrs, The Administrative Structure of the Church, The Development
                of the Administrative Structure of the Church, The Development of the Liturgical
                Life of the Church.

2nd Session  

      History of the Church (Part 2)
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†Byzantium, 325 AD ‚Äď 850 AD
            - The Ecumenical Councils, The Nicene Creed, The Fathers of the Church
      History of the Church (Part 3)
            -  The Church in Captivity, Moscow: The Third Rome, The Ancient Patriarchates
                Today

3rd  Session  Monday, November 14th   

      The Trinity, The Person of Jesus
       
      The Church Fathers
      Holy Tradition and the Bible

4th Session  

      Theosis
          - An Orthodox Perspective on Spiritual Growth
          - Salvation
          - Life after Death

5th Session  

      The Sacramental Life of the Church (Part 1)
          -  Prayer as an expression of Sacrament
          -  An Orthodox perspective on Sacrament

6th Session  

      The Sacramental life of the Church (Part 2)
        -  A survey (from a Biblical and theological foundation) of the Sacraments                            
            of Baptism, Chrismation, Confession, Ordination, Marriage and Holy Unction              

7th Session  

      The Divine Liturgy (Part 1)
          The Historical Development of the Liturgy
            -  The Liturgy of the Catechumens

8th Session  

      The Divine Liturgy (Part 2)
          -  The Liturgy of the Eucharist

9th Session  

      The Saints of the Church

      Iconography
          -  The Church Triumphant vs. The Church Militant

10th Session   

      The Interior of the Church
          -  Orthodox theology in Church architecture and structure  

11th Session   

      The Church Calendar (Part 1)
          -  The measurement of time in the Orthodox Church
          -  The daily and weekly calendars of the Church
          -  The twelve major feasts in the Orthodox Church

12th Session  

      The Church Calendar (Part 2)
          -  The moveable calendar of the Church
          -  The fasting calendar of the Church
          -  The calculation of the day of Pascha (Easter in Orthodoxy)
         -  The New vs. the Old Calendar
      The Church Calendar (Part 3)
          -  Holy Week and the Journey to Pascha (Easter)      

13th Session  

      Contemporary Moral Issues
          -  The Orthodox position on contemporary moral issues such as contraception,
               abortion, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, homosexuality, capital
               punishment, euthanasia, and more.  A brief discussion on each.

14th Session 

      Living an Orthodox Lifestyle (Part 1)
          -  Beginning to Pray
          -  On fasting, prayer and almsgiving
      Living an Orthodox Lifestyle (Part 2)
          -  Living the Liturgical life of the Church

15th Session  

      The role of monasticism in the Orthodox Church
      A review of the Great and Holy Council

16th Session  

      The Eastern and Western Churches
          -  The differences between Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Catholicism and
             Protestantism
          -  The relationship of the Orthodox Church with the churches of the West
          -  The Orthodox Church and the World Council of Churches


We welcome all visitors who may wish to come and experience an Orthodox Christian Liturgy.  For those who wish to become Orthodox Christians, it is important for you to regularly attend Church on Sundays while taking this class.  The schedule of worship services is as follows:

Assumption Church Liturgical Schedule
Saturday afternoon:¬† Great Vespers ‚Äď 4:00 pm
Sunday mornings:  Orthros - 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy - 10:00 am
 

 

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