Pre-Master/Minor Orthodox Christianity


The Pre-Master/Minor Programme is designed to provide a basis in Orthodox theology. It is also intended to raise the student’s academic level to be able to enter the Orthodox variant of the Master Spiritual CareThe entry requirements are a Bachelor’s degree, which may be in a subject other than theology, from a regular university or a Dutch university of applied sciences (HBO) and general familiarity with the Bible. In the Pre-Master/Minor we will study the rudiments of Orthodox history, the reading of Scripture, theology, liturgy, and spirituality. During the course of the Pre-Master/Minor, students will compile a portfolio of the work they have undertaken during the programme as well as knowledge and skills that they have acquired elsewhere.

The teaching faculty are: Fr John Behr, Fr Michael Bakker and Fr Joan Lena.

The Pre-Master/Minor programme is set at 30 European Credits (1 EC = 28 hours of study), and consists of five modules (each of 6 EC) during the two semesters of the academic year.

The programme is taught in a ‘blended’ or ‘hybrid’ format, that is, it utilizes both online and residential components: the first six weeks of each period will be done online, followed by a weekend face-to-face residential session, and concludes with a final week in which students prepare their work for submission. This format involves what is known as the ‘inverted’ or ‘flipped’ classroom, where, instead of hearing from the professor during the class session and then working independently outside the class, students now learn collaboratively online and bring the fruits of their work to the intensive residential session, where they are now ready to present and discuss their work. The online components of the programme can, within the framework of the deadlines assigned, be completed at the student’s convenience; the residential component is a necessary (and mandatory) component of the course.

The courses (modules in the terminology of VU) are as follows:

  1. History of Orthodox Christianity
  2. Scripture in Orthodox Christianity 
  3. Liturgy in Orthodox Christianity
  4. Orthodox Theology
  5. Orthodox Anthropology (in two parts)

At the start of the programme there is a general orientation day to acquaint yourself with your fellow students, the Pre-Master/Minor programme and the learning management software Canvas. Technical staff of VU are working hard to provide access for students who have enrolled and possess a ‘VUnetID’ to Canvas, in which we will provide an orientation module to the Pre-Master.

Below is the schedule for the academic year 2018-19.

The classes are taught in English.

The cost of the Pre-Master is € 1030 for the academic year 2018-2019.

If you are interested in this programme, please contact us through this form. You will be contacted and receive information about the admission procedure. You can also use this form if you are a bachelor student and would like to do the Pre-Master as a 30 EC Minor programme in 2018-2019 or a following academic year. It will you provide you with a solid academic introduction to Orthodox Christianity. You are welcome to study alongside the Pre-Master students.

Both Pre-Master and Minor students may enrol after this programme in the Master programme.

Planning Orthodox PremasterMinor 2018-2019