Pre-Master/Minor Orthodox Christianity


The Pre-Master/Minor Programme is designed to provide a basis in Orthodox theology and to raise the student’s academic level to be able to enter the Masters programmes. The 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 and the liturgy of the Orthodox Church. In the Pre-Master we will study all the rudiments of Orthodox history, the reading of Scripture, theology, liturgy, and spirituality. During the course of the Pre-Master, 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 for the academic year 2017-18 are: Fr John Behr, Fr Michael Bakker and Fr Joan Lena.

The Pre-Master 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 2018-19.

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 modules and dates for 2017-18 are as follows:

  1. History of Orthodox Christianity (4 Sept. to 28 Oct., intensive 21 Oct.)
  2. Scripture in Orthodox Christianity (30 Oct. to 23 Dec., intensive 16 Dec.)
  3. Liturgy in Orthodox Christianity (5 Feb. to 31 March, intensive 24 March)
  4. Orthodox Theology (9 April to 2 June, intensive 25 May)
  5. Orthodox Anthropology (8 Jan. to 3 Feb., intensive 27 Jan., and 4 June to 7 July, intensive 23 June)

At the start of the programme there is a general orientation day to acquaint yourself with your fellow students, the Pre-Master 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 2017-18.

The classes are taught in English.

The cost of the Pre-Master is € 1003 for 2017-2018.

If you are interested in this programme, please contact us with this form. 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.

Planning Pre Master & Faculty 2017-2018updated