Welcome to the website of the Western Orthodox University.
The Western Orthodox University was originally founded in 1945 as a private international ecumenical Christian university without walls. Celebrating its seventy-fifth anniversary in 2020, it continues to deliver its programmes around the globe by correspondence study. The University is an intentionally small and select institution, open to students worldwide (regardless of denominational affiliation). Its study programmes at associate, bachelor, master and doctorate level are academically rigorous while allowing a high degree of individual customization.
The University offers religious degree programmes through its Faculties of Theology and Church Music. The programmes are designed to prepare individuals for religious vocations as ministers, professionals, or laypersons in the categories of ministry, counseling, theology, education, administration, music, fine arts, media communications, and social work. They are offered from an initial postsecondary level through to research and practice-based doctorates. There is also provision for the award of honorary degrees. The University does not award secular degrees.
The degree-granting authority of the Western Orthodox University Faculties of Theology and Church Music comes from the State of Florida, USA, where the University is a religious institution that meets the requirements found in Section 1005.06(1)(f), Florida Statutes and Rule 6E-5.001, Florida Administrative Code.
The other principal function of the Western Orthodox University is as a research institution and archival repository. The University has an overall mission to collect information and resources concerned with the smaller Catholic, Orthodox and Continuing Anglican churches during the post-1866 period. This embraces a general scholarly interest in the modern independent sacramental movement both historically and in terms of theology and practice, and ongoing programmes of research conducted through the Arnold Harris Mathew Centre and the J.S.M. Ward Society. The European-American University Press provides the main means for the book publication of the University’s research output while the Orthodox Catholic Review serves as its occasional journal.
The University was founded on 1 August 1945 by the Prince-Catholicos of the Catholicate of the West, and today continues to be managed by the Catholicate of the West in union with the Apostolic Episcopal Church, a traditionalist Anglican denomination. The Western Orthodox University is classified as a Pontifical University in that it is administered under episcopal authority. As a fully independent religious institution, the University greatly values its status as a private body controlled by a Church which has since its inception presented a distinctively Western Orthodox viewpoint and a determinedly ecumenical Christian witness.
Today, the Western Orthodox University has a full relationship of reciprocal partnership, recognition and accreditation with the historic Pontificia Accademia Tiberina in Rome, Italy, founded in 1813 and recognized by the Sacred Congregation of Studies under Pope Leo XII in 1825. The Western Orthodox University is also accredited by the Anglican Association of Colleges and Schools, the umbrella body for the educational institutions of the Catholicate of the West and the Apostolic Episcopal Church, and holds a number of other recognitions and validation agreements.
The Western Orthodox University also has dual degree agreements with several universities in Central America which have agreed to accept its degrees as fulfilling their requirements. These agreements make it possible for graduates of the Western Orthodox University to go on to obtain a reciprocal degree from a university accredited by governmental authority without further academic requirements.