IOCS Courses


MA in Pastoral Theology

Course structure

The MA course consists of five modules:

An Orthodox Approach to Pastoral Life: Liturgical theology and the mission of the Church

Institute students must attend the module An Orthodox Approach to Pastoral Life: Liturgical Theology and the Mission of the Church. This module, taught by IOCS staff and visiting Orthodox lecturers, encourages students to bring the teachings of the Church to bear upon contemporary issues in Orthodox pastoral life.

Pastoral Theology in History and Practice (The Core Module)

The compulsory Core Module (Pastoral Theology in History and Practice) has a special importance for our students since it exposes them to the faith and perspective of other denominations, and (most importantly) it challenges them to examine and confess their Orthodox identity, faith and tradition. The module aims to impart the biblical and theological basis for Christian pastoral work whether that is undertaken formally for a church or informally in everyday life.

Texts and Practices in the Early Church

This compulsory module enables students to undertake a thorough exploration of pastoral practices in the Early Church (to ca. 600 AD). The course focuses on selected primary texts which constitute the indispensable starting point for discussion of the pastoral life of the Early Church. In certain years, students take an alternative 'Church and Ministry' module.

Optional Module

Students are required to choose a fourth module from those offered each year by the Cambridge Theological Federation. Please consult the Cambridge Theological Federation website for an up-to-date list, which may include:

MA dissertation

The MA dissertation is the goal and crown of the MA programme. It requires from each student independent research but under academic supervision. Students choose their topics according to individual preference and academic interests. It is expected that personal experience will be related to the faith of the Orthodox Church, as expressed in the patristic heritage and in present practice. The Institute is proud of the achievements of its past MA students and of the high proportion of distinctions awarded for their dissertations.