About Us

IOCS Students The Institute's choir rehearsing

The Institute's choir rehearsing

Who we are

Marcus Plested teaching IOCS students

The Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies is the pan-Orthodox house for theological studies in the ancient university city of Cambridge, England functioning with the formal approval and blessing of the Pan-Orthodox Episcopal Assembly for Great Britain and Ireland. Founded in 1999 the Institute is situated at a major crossroad for academic exchange and attracts students and scholars from across the world.

Our Institute is the sole Christian Orthodox institution for higher education in the United Kingdom, gathering together Christians from all the historical Orthodox Churches in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Russia and Greece, but also from the various Orthodox jurisdictions in the UK and the Western world. We aim to reach out to meet the needs of the developing Orthodox parishes in the United Kingdom, while simultaneously, through the internet, conveying the message by distance learning to the furthest corners of the world.

A Member of the Cambridge Theological Federation, IOCS is an Allied Institution of the University of Cambridge and also works in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University. At IOCS, students study together with colleagues from other traditions in the Cambridge Theological Federation: Anglican, Methodist, Roman Catholic and Reformed.

Established in an ecumenical context, the Institute trains clergy and laity to cooperate, dialogue and share with other Churches in propagating the Christian message to an increasingly secular and pluralist world, while at the same time presenting the riches of the Orthodox tradition.

IOCS Staff

David Frost

Professor David Frost, MA, PhD (Cambridge) is Principal and Administrator. David is Emeritus Professor of English Literature in the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, where he served for twenty-one years in various capacities, as Head of Department, Chairman of Religious Studies, and as Chairman of a number of administrative committees of the University Senate. Prior to that, he was for ten years a Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, Director of Studies in English, and a University Teaching Officer in the English Faculty of the University of Cambridge. Since his early retirement from his chair in 1998, he has been Visiting Professor at the University of Zhengzhou, China, a Director of IOCS, Director of the Institute's outreach programme, THE WAY, and from October 2005 Honorary Administrator of the Institute. He has also been Visiting Lecturer in Liturgy and in Ethics at St Paul's School of Theology, Sydney.

Though David was initially a student of Shakespeare and his contemporaries in the drama, his interests include the theory and practice of translation, and prayer books and Bible translations from the renaissance to the present day. A member of the Church of England Liturgical Commission from 1969 (and later also a member of the Liturgical Commission of the Anglican Church of Australia), he advised throughout the period of modern liturgical revision that culminated in An Alternative Service Book 1980, to which he contributed chiefly material for the Communion and Marriage services and Collects for the Church's year. Subsequent to his chrismation as Orthodox in 1997, he has translated into modern English the liturgies of St John Chrysostom and St Basil for use in the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australasia. He is best known in church circles, however, for his modern English version (composed with the help of a distinguished ecumenical panel of Hebraists) of the Book of Psalms, otherwise The Liturgical Psalter, which was used in ASB and included in national prayer books in England, Ireland, Australia (twice), and South Africa. It is also reprinted in various other publications, including the Methodist Hymns and Psalms.

David is a narrow-boat enthusiast, writes fiction, and while in Australia administered a national symphony orchestra and acted - not least as Lucifer and Herod in the Newcastle Cathedral production of the Chester mystery plays. He is married to Christine Mangala, a convert to Christianity from a Brahman background, whose novels explore what differing religious faiths mean in human experience. She has lectured extensively in the field of comparative religion. They have four children.Arrow

Christoph Schneider

Dr Christoph Schneider, MA (King’s College London), Staatsexamen (University of Zürich), Ph.D. (University of Zürich), is Academic Director and joined the Institute in 2010. Contact details: E-mail cs300@cam.ac.uk, Telephone 01223 741 440. His research interests include:

Recent Publications:


Razvan Porumb

Dr Razvan Porumb is a Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer at IOCS. He has recently taken his doctorate through the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies and the Cambridge Theological Federation - a degree awarded by Anglia Ruskin University - on the topic of 'Orthodoxy and Ecumenism. Towards Active Metanoia'. Razvan had previously completed an MA in Pastoral Theology (also through IOCS/CTF), writing his research thesis on 'Deification and Spiritual Life in Orthodox Pastoral Theology.' He previously worked for the Metropolitanate of Moldavia and Bucovina (Iasi, Romania) as editor and translator of theological literature - an activity he enjoyed for almost nine years. Razvan has always had a special interest in ecumenism, being involved in various ecumenical milieux and projects.Arrow

Razvan Porumb

Revd Dragos Herescu is Assistant Lecturer and Secretary of the Institute. He is an alumni of the Institute, having completed the MA in Pastoral Theology some years ago. He later graduated an MPhil in Theology with the Divinity Faculty, University of Cambridge. He is currently undertaking doctoral research with Durham University, exploring the secularisation paradigm in the social and religious context of Eastern Orthodoxy, with particular focus on Romania. Apart from administrative duties, Revd Dragos is also teaching at undergraduate level on the degree programmes offered through the Institute and the Cambridge Theological Federation. He serves for 'St John the Evangelist' Romanian Orthodox parish in Cambridge and, as part of the Institute's liturgical life, leads our small Byzantine choir. Before coming to Cambridge, Revd Dragos worked for the Metropolitanate of Moldova and Bucovina (Iasi, Romania) as administrator and later as project officer responsible with accessing funds from the European Union for social assistance and cultural projects. Arrow

Deacon Alexander Tefft

Revd Dr Alexander Tefft is Chaplain at IOCS and a Tutor for the Distance Learning Courses. A graduate of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary in the USA, he is Parish Priest of the Orthodox Parish of Saint Botolph, meeting at St. Botolph-Without-Bishopsgate, London, near Liverpool Street. He has been Assistant to the Dean of the Antiochian Orthodox Deanery of the United Kingdom and Ireland and theological advisor to its ordination committee. A Canadian resident in London, Fr. Alexander has served in parishes of both Slavic and Byzantine tradition. He has been a Commonwealth Scholar at Oxford University and has taught Orthodox dogmatics and history in Canada, the USA, and the UK since 1991. His main research interests focus on ecclesiology, specifically the dogmatic foundations of the Orthodox Church and the heresy of phyletism, the concept of a national church. Since 2004, he has been a tutor at the Institute and taught the MA in-house course on Orthodox apologetics. Arrow

Father Raphael Armour

Fr Raphael Armour is Associate Chaplain at IOCS and also a member of THE WAY Organising Committee. Following a career in the marine industry in London and New York, he and his family returned to the UK in 1996 and moved to Cambridge four years later. He was ordained to serve as deacon for the Russian Orthodox parish in Cambridge in October 2000 and to the priesthood in July 2001. Fr Raphael is also a member of the ecumenical Chaplaincy Team at Oakington Immigration Reception Centre, near Cambridge.Arrow

Victoria Tokareva

Mrs Victoria Tokareva, Assistant Librarian

Federation Staff

Dr Mat Ridley

Dr Matthew Ridley is the Federation's IT Officer. He is also IT Officer for IOCS, Wesley and Westminster College.

Carol Reekie

Dr Carol Reekie, Federation and IOCS Librarian