Orthodox Christianity

Learn about the traditions of Orthodox Christianity

Orthodox Christianity and its various traditions

This minor programme offers Bachelor's students of all backgrounds the possibility to learn more about Orthodox Christianity and its various traditions: Armenian, Greek, Syriac, Bulgarian, Arabic, Coptic, Ethiopian, Romanian, Eritrean, Russian, etc.

It is a comprehensive package that covers Christian history, the Bible, anthropology (what is it to be human?), liturgy and theology from an Orthodox perspective. You will be studying during two semesters in a blended learning format together with Orthodox Pre-Master's students.

Take a look at the schedule and course codes.

The programme is taught mainly online through the Canvas digital learning environment. You are required to watch videos and make assignments (posts in discussions, paper, essays etc.) on a weekly basis. 

Apart from the orientation day, it is obligatory to attend Intensives on six Saturdays towards the end of each course. For the academic year 2019-2020 these days are: October 19th, December 14th, January 25th, March 21st, May 23rd and June 20th.

This minor consists of the following five courses of 6 credits each:

  • History of Orthodox Christianity (period 1)
    We will make a sweeping overview of the history of Orthodox Christianity from an Orthodox perspective, and in addition provide a more detailed examination of the history of Christianity in the various geographical regions: Africa, the Middle East, India, Eastern Europe, and finally Western Europe.
  • Scripture in Orthodox Christianity (period 2)
    This course introduces students to the books of Scripture, addressing issues related to their collection as Scripture, the question of 'canon', their translation into Greek (the Septuagint), and their interpretation as understood by the early Christian tradition and the Orthodox tradition thereafter, in both its liturgical and theological dimensions.
  • Orthodox Anthropology Part 1 (period 3)
    We will explore the anthropology of the Orthodox Church - that is, the theological understanding of human beings in all their dimensions - through the reading of classic spiritual texts from the ascetic tradition and relate this to contemporary Western understanding of man as a rational and irrational being.
  • Liturgy in Orthodox Christianity (period 4)
    This course introduces students to the central role of liturgical worship within the Orthodox Church. It focuses on the services of Baptism and the Eucharist and the different liturgical cycles.
  • Orthodox Theology (period 5)
    We will look at the key themes of Orthodox theology as developed in the early Church, the age of the Councils, as articulated by particular Fathers, in particular St Athanasius, St Gregory the Theologian, Dionysius the Areopagite, and St John of Damascus.
  • Orthodox Anthropology Part 2 (period 6)
    See above, Part 1.

All students with a Bachelor's degree and basic knowledge of the Bible can enrol.

If you are interested in the programme Orthodox Christianity, please contact us through the Amsterdam Centre for Orthodox Theology (ACOT) website. You will receive detailed information about the admission procedure.

Please note that there is a limit of 16 to the number of registrations!

Not a VU-student?
Currently not studying or a HBO degree? You can enrol as a Pre-Master's student and follow the same programme.
Are you a student from another university? You will have to register as a secondary course student (‘bijvakstudent’). Go to Admission and Registration for more information (Dutch: Aanmelden voor een minor).

In all cases, your registration starts with filling in this online form from the Amsterdam Centre for Orthodox Theology (ACOT).

For more information, please contact the coordinator of this minor:

Revd. Dr Michael Bakker
+31 (20) 59 82879

Overview Orthodox Christianity




1 semester (30 EC)


September 1st