The Western Orthodox Academy was founded in 1945 and was the original body from which the Western Orthodox University developed. Today, the Academy is a division of the University responsible for the Theology degree pathway.
The Academy offers a staged route to postsecondary study in theology from an initial postsecondary award up to a Postgraduate Diploma. This staged route is intended to be particularly helpful to students who do not wish to commit to a full degree programme at this stage, or who would like the progressive stages of their degree programme to terminate with a specific award as recognition of that achievement.
Admission to the theology programmes is open to individuals regardless of their position on faith. While most students will be practising Christians, they are not required to be, and members of other faiths and none who wish to study Christian theology are welcomed. The programmes consist of structured coursework completed under the guidance of a mentor, with scope for individual choice and the customization of assignment titles.
The Academy’s awards are mapped to the levels established by UNESCO’s International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) (2011 edition) for easy comparability across different educational systems.
Certificate of Higher Education in Theology (Cert.H.E.(Th.)) (UNESCO ISCED level 5)
This is a first postsecondary award in theology commensurate with the standard expected of a student after one year’s full time postsecondary study. The candidate must submit a total of eighteen assignments, each of between 2,000 and 2,500 words in length. It is possible to combine certain assignments to form a mini-project. No formal entrance qualification is required other than graduation from high school or its equivalent.
Subjects for assignments
The learner selects eighteen assignments, so that at least two are chosen from each block, with the remaining four being freely chosen from the remaining topics.
|Block 1||Block 2||Block 3|
|Genesis 1-11||The Pauline Epistles||History of the Celtic Church before 1066|
|Pentateuch||The Epistle to the Hebrews||History of the Church up to the Council of Chalcedon in 451AD|
|Psalms||The Acts of the Apostles||The Reformation|
|Prophecy during the pre-exilic period||The Book of Revelation||The Oxford Movement|
|Prophecy during and after the period of exile||The Synoptic Gospels||The Thirty-Nine Articles|
|Block 4||Block 5||Block 6||Block 7|
|The Holy Trinity||Healing Ministry||Liturgy||Homiletics|
|The Incarnation and the Atonement||Pastoral Theology||Funeral Ministry||The Nature of Ministry|
|The Gifts of the Spirit||Prophecy in the Modern Age||Pastoral Counselling||Christian sexual morality|
|The Creeds||Anglican Realignment||Hymnology||The Sacraments|
|The Nature of Sin||Youth Ministry||History of Church Music||Ecumenism|
Associate of Theology (A.Th.)) (UNESCO ISCED level 5)
This award requires the Cert.H.E.(Th.) or equivalent for entry. Its standard is commensurate with that expected of a student after two years’ full time postsecondary study. The candidate must submit a total of eighteen assignments, each of between 3,000 and 3,500 words in length, not to duplicate subjects taken for the Cert.H.E.(Th.) A dissertation of 10,000 words is also required. The dissertation will be on a subject relevant to Christian Theology, widely interpreted, chosen by the candidate and approved by the Academy.
Subjects for assignments
The learner selects eighteen assignments, so that at least one is chosen from each block, with the remaining ten being freely chosen from the remaining topics. Subjects already taken for the Cert.H.E.(Th.) may not be duplicated.
|Block 1||Block 2||Block 3||Block 4|
|Genesis 1-11||The Pauline Epistles||History of the Celtic Church before 1066||The Holy Trinity|
|Pentateuch||The Epistle to the Hebrews||History of the Church up to the Council of Chalcedon in 451AD||The Incarnation and the Atonement|
|Psalms||The Acts of the Apostles||The Reformation||The Gifts of the Spirit|
|Prophecy during the pre-exilic period||The Book of Revelation||The Oxford Movement||The Creeds|
|Prophecy during and after the period of exile||The Synoptic Gospels||Theodicy||The Nature of Sin|
|Block 5||Block 6||Block 7||Block 8|
|Healing Ministry||Liturgy||Augustine||History of
the Papacy in the twentieth-century
|Pastoral Theology||Funeral Ministry||The Nature of Ministry||Outline of a particular monastic
|Prophecy in the Modern Age||Pastoral Counselling||Christian sexual morality||Non-Conformism|
|Soteriology||Hymnology||The Sacraments||The Holy Spirit|
|Determinism and Free Will||History of Church Music||Ecumenism||Aquinas|
Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.) (UNESCO ISCED level 6)
Candidates should hold the Associate of Theology or an equivalent credential.
The degree may be earned through the preparation and submission of a Major Project (Creative Senior Study) of 30,000 words on a topic approved by the University related to public worship. The Project can combine any or all of the following elements, the exact balance to be decided through the submission of a learning contract and its approval by the University:
- Research – which is not required to be original, but which should be a systematic and critical exposition of existing thought in a given area.
- Spoken word – which would normally consist of a series of assessments accompanied by a written exposition and critical commentary.
- Music – which would normally consist of a series of assessments accompanied by a written exposition and critical commentary.
Candidates who wish to earn a Pass Degree solely, and who do not wish to be candidates for classed Honours, may substitute a series of three monographs of 8,000 words each, or projects considered to be equivalent by the University.
Postgraduate Diploma in Theology (P.G.Dip.(Theol.)) (UNESCO ISCED level 7)
This diploma requires a bachelor’s degree in theology or equivalent for entry. Its standard is commensurate with that expected of a student following a year of study above the bachelor’s degree level.
The candidate is required to complete a 30,000 word dissertation under the supervision of a mentor. The dissertation will be on a subject relevant to Christian Theology, widely interpreted, chosen by the candidate and approved by the Academy.
Degree programmes offered by the Western Orthodox University Faculties of Theology and Church Music leading to the degrees of Master of Philosophy in Theology (by dissertation) and Pontifical Doctor of Philosophy in Theology are available to students successfully completing the Western Orthodox Academy pathway.