Scripture Studies offered:



New Testament Study, The Epistle to the Philippians (6:30-8:00pm at St. Anna Parish in the Founder’s Hall, upstairs). Please contact Rev. Fr. Serpahim Ivey for more information about this study.


Old Testament Study, Tuesdays (11am – 12:30 at St. Anna Parish in the Founder’s Hall, upstairs). This course is currently studying the Book of Leviticus. Contact Fr. Christopher for more information about this study.

Lincoln Bible STudy

Beginning in October, Rev. Dn. Joseph Ruocco Brown will begin a New Testament Study in Lincoln to accommodate those that live in that region.  Please contact him for more information.

The preferred Bible for these courses is the Orthodox Study Bible. The Orthodox Study Bible, created by The Orthodox Study Bible Old Testament Project and published by Thomas Nelson, uses the New King James Version of the Bible as the basis for a fresh translation of the Septuagint text (the Septuagint is the Greek version of the Bible used by Christ, the Apostles, and the early church). Comprehensive study guides and teachings bring to our modern world the mind of the ancient Christian Church.

Why we study

"Wherefore to search the Scriptures is a work most fair and most profitable for souls. For just as the tree planted by the channels of waters, so also the soul watered by the divine Scripture is enriched and gives fruit in its season, viz. orthodox belief, and is adorned with evergreen leafage, I mean, actions pleasing to God. For through the Holy Scriptures we are trained to action that is pleasing to God, and untroubled contemplation. For in these we find both exhortation to every virtue and dissuasion from every vice…. But let us not knock carelessly but rather zealously and constantly: lest knocking we grow weary. For thus it will be opened to us. If we read once or twice and do not understand what we read, let us not grow weary, but let us persist, let us talk much, let us inquire.” 

Saint John of Damascus, in his seventeenth chapter of An Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, clearly states the importance of Scripture in our lives. The Bible – both the Old Testament and the New Testament – is the book of the Orthodox Christian Church, which we are called to read (and live!) not as isolated individuals, but as members of the Body of Christ.

In the spirit of our early church fathers and mothers, who dedicated their whole lives to the study, teaching, and preaching of Scripture, our Scripture Studies were established:

…to educate
…to inspire
…and to challenge the faithful to recognize the centrality of sound biblical interpretation for life in Christ.


About St. Philip the Deacon, the Patron Saint of Orthodox Christian Religious Education

The Patron Saint of Orthodox Christian Religious Education is St. Philip the Deacon. The Holy Apostle Philip of the Seventy, one of the 7 Deacons, is not to be confused with St Philip one of the Twelve Apostles (November 14). This Philip was born in Palestine, was married and had four daughters who had the gift of prophecy.

After the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Twelve Apostles made Philip a deacon in the Church of Jerusalem. Along with the other six deacons, they appointed him to deal with the offerings of the faithful and attend to the concerns of the widowed, the orphaned and the needy. The eldest among the seven deacons was the holy Archdeacon Stephen. When the persecution of Christians began, the Jews stoned the Protomartyr Stephen. The Apostle Philip left Jerusalem and settled in Samaria. There he successfully preached Christianity. Among the disciple’s converts was the noted magician Simon, who “after being baptized, continued with Philip.” (Acts 8:9-13)

At the command of an angel of the Lord, St Philip set out upon the road connecting Jerusalem with Gaza. There he met an official of the empress of Ethiopia, whom also he converted to Christianity (Acts 8:26-39).

The holy Apostle Philip tirelessly preached the Word of God in many of the lands of the Near East adjoining Palestine. At Jerusalem the Apostles made him a bishop and sent him to Tralles in Asia Minor, where he also baptized many. St Philip died in old age. He is also commemorated on October 11.

This course will survey the rich artistic and architectural heritage of the Christian Church – the parish, cathedral, and monastic traditions – considering the stylistic and theological developments of art and architecture therein beginning with the Apostolic Church, through Byzantium, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and the post-Reformation world. We will focus on the ritual use and context of sacred space, monumental decoration, icons, manuscripts, and liturgical objects.

Course Schedule


  • Judaism & Sacred Space (continued)
  • Jesus, the Rise of Christianity

Week One

  • Course Overview
  • Introduction of Sacred Space
  • Judaism & Sacred Space
  • The Tent of Meeting
  • The First Temple Jerusalem
  • The Synagogue


  • The Beginnings of Christian Art & the Use of Space
  • The House Church


  • The evolution of catacomb and sarcophagus art
  • Review Pre-Constantinian Worship and its Setting


  • The Age of Justinian
  • Hagia Sophia Church
  • The Monastery of St. Katherine
  • The Church of St. Demetrius
  • Minor Arts
  • Ivory Carvings
  • Illuminated Bibles
  • Liturgical Instruments
  • Monastic Dwellings
  • The iconoclast controversy c726-843

Week Five

  • The Age of Constantine
  • the Birth of the Byzantine Empire
  • Christianity
  • Churches
  • Architecture, (Cathedrals and Parishes)
  • Sacred Art (Iconography)
  • The Sanctuary and the sacred rites celebrated therein


  • Gothic Art & Architecture


  • Middle to Late Byzantine Architecture and Art
  • Romanesque Christendom


  • Formal Worship and Architecture
  • Non-formal Worship and Architecture


  • The Renaissance Art & Architecture
  • Classical Renaissance and the Baroque synthesis
  • Churches of the Enlightenment and Gothic Revival


  • Review


  • Evangelical Architecture in the Nineteen Century
  • The New Community

The Three Hierarchs Academic Lecture Series was established to celebrate our fathers among the saints, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian & John Chrysostom, Ecumenical Teachers of Christendom and the patron saints of Greek Letters and learning.

This earthly trinity has taught us in their writings and through their lives to worship and glorify the Holy Trinity, the One God in three Persons. 

We have received a most sacred inheritance as their descendants; an inheritance shared in this Lecture Series by these pious Christian and distinguished academics.


Recovery from Addiction: A Kenotic Theology
January 31, 2015
Rev. Dr. Timothy J Meier, SJ, PhD
Chaplain (Major) California Army National Guard
Ph.D., Stanford University


Inquiry Seeking Wisdom: Why Christian Higher Education Matters
January 30, 2016
Frank J. Papatheofanis, M.D., M.P.H, MLitt (Div) Ph.D. (Illinois, Johns Hopkins)
Founder and President of Saint Katherine College



Eastern Christianity and Islam: Conflict and Cooperation in the Middle Ages
Sunday, January 27, 2012
Dr. John Thomas, Independent Scholar
Adjunct Professor, Patriarch Athenagoras Institute
Ph.D., Harvard University


Penitent Characters and the Character of Repentance: Biblical Interpretation in the Hymnography of the Early Church
February 9, 2014
Dr. George Parsenios
Associate Professor of New Testament & Chair of the Department of Biblical Studies Princeton Theological Seminary
Ph.D., Yale University

View it here:



The New Atheism and Beyond? Reestablishing the relationship between science & religion
Dr. Daniel Buxhoeveden, Research Associate Professor of Biological Anthropology at the University of South Carolina
JD, Loyola University, Ph.D., University of Chicago

View it here:


The Iconic Face of Christ
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Dr. Gary Vikan, Director of the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD, 
Adjunct Professor, Johns Hopkins University, Department of Art History & Faculty, Johns Hopkins University School of Continuing Studies
Ph.D., Princeton University



“A Journey through Greek Letters” 
Dr. Theony Condos, Professor of Classics, University of California, Santa Barbara
Ph.D., University of Southern California 


Origin of Alexandria, A Great Hellenistic Father of the Church
Dr. Kevin Starr, State Librarian Emeritus
Ph.D., Harvard University

View it here:

This course is an introductory study of the Gospel of Luke, taking into consideration the historical, religious, and cultural background of Luke’s rich and inspirational narrative. We will highlight key events in the life of Jesus and the themes found in this Gospel, together with their significance for Jesus, his disciples and for the Christian Church. This course is not designed to provide easy answers to questions of personal faith or piety, although the readings, discussions and papers should provide considerable foundation of historical, literary, and theological data, which will enable participants to arrive at a more mature personal faith.


Arthur A. Just (ed), Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament III, Luke (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2003).
Luke Timothy Johnson, Sacra Pagina: the Gospel of Luke (Collegeville, The Liturgical Press, 1991).
C. Kavin Rowe, Early Narrative Christology: The Lord in the Gospel of Luke (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006).

*Supplemental Readings wil be provided


Week Two

  • Introduction to the Gospel of Luke
  • The Use of the term “Lord” in the Gospel of Luke

Week One

  • Luke the Evangelist, Physician, Iconographer and Apostle
  • The Canon of Scripture
  • Introduction to Patristic Exegesis

Week Four

  • The Birth and Childhood of the Prophet (continued)

Week Three

  • The Birth and Childhood of the Prophet

Week Six

  • The Prophet John and Jesus (continued)

Week Five

  • The Prophet John and Jesus

Week Eight

  • Preparing a Leadership for the People

Week Seven

  • The Prophet John and Jesus (continued)

Week Ten

  • The Prophet Journeys to Jerusalem (continued)

Week Nine

  • The Prophet Journeys to Jerusalem


Week Twelve

  • The Suffering of the Prophet

Week Eleven

  • The Prophet in Jerusalem


Week Fourteen

  • “Lord” in the Gospel of Luke

Week Thirteen

  • The Prophet is Raise Up

Week Fifteen

  • Review of the Gospel of Luke

This introductory course in New Testament Greek is designed to give students a foundational knowledge of the forms, syntax and discourse structures of the language. Our study will include phonology, morphology, syntax and vocabulary development. We will re-enforce our study of morphological and grammatical structures with opportunities to read aloud from the Greek text and work through exercises andpassages from the New Testament text together. Our goal is to work toward reading and understanding Greek as Greek and not only approaching the text to work up an English translation.

In order to stay together as a class it will be important that students have read and prepared the material in the grammar for each week, as well as the exercises assigned from the workbook. The instructor will be available for questions and assistance between class sessions and in our initial evening we will try and find the best way to make these follow-up opportunities available to as many students as possible.

Required texts for the course:
The text for the course is available on Amazon.

This course is taught by Brian Lucas, Adjunct Faculty, Bible & Theology Department at William Jessup University.

The Apostles to Justinian 

Study the origins and growth of Christianity from a small sect within first-century Judaism that professed the Galilean Jesus as Christ, Lord, and Son of God, to an imperial religion of the fourth century that wielded political and economic power, and which possessed sophisticated doctrines that proclaimed a universal salvation. Discover the unifying elements of faith and worship, the lives and writings of the church fathers, and the ecumenical councils as well as the threats (both internal and external) that challenged the health and growth of the faith through the sixth century.

This twelve-week course will again be offered in the fall of 2016.

Course Schedule

Week One:

  • Judaism & the Origins of Christianity
  • The Primitive Church
  • Jewish and Hellenized followers of the Christ in Jerusalem
  • Apostolic Missions (the recorded travels of the Apostles)
  • Councils (the Apostolic Constitutions)
  • The Christian Synagogue and the Break with Judaism

Week Two:

  • The Church in the Roman World
  • The Liturgy
  • Persecution and Martyrdom
  • Ignatius of Antioch & Polycarp

Week Three:

  • Gnosticism
  • Emergent Orthodoxy (the Apologists)
  • Threats to Unity
  • Persecutions (Justin Martyr)
  • Clement of Alexandria

Week Four: 

  • The Church, State, & Society in the Third Century
  • Persecutions, & Martyrdom under Diocletian
  • Latin & Greek Christianity
  • Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine & the Cappadocians

Week Five: 

  • Constantine & New Rome
  • Church and State: Their Organization and Functions

Week Six:

  • The Trinitarian & Christological Controversies
  • Ecumenical Councils

Week Seven:

  • Ecumenical Councils Continued

Week Eight: 

  • The Christian Rites of Initiation

Week Nine: 

  • Liturgy and Time
  • Haigography & Relics

Week Ten: 

  • The Ascetic Movement
  • Athanasius, the Life of Anthony
  • The Rules of Basil

Week Eleven:

  • Justinian & Byzantine Achievement
  • Art & Architecture
  • Iconography
  • The Monastery of St. Katherine & Hagia Sofia

Week Twelve: 

  • Review
  • Answers & Questions 

In addition to supplemental readings, the primary texts are The Story of Christianity (Volume 1), by Justo L Gonzalez, and the Didache, translated and annotated by James A Kleist. Both books are available in our bookstore. 


Discover a Church that has withstood 2,000 years of changing politics, fashionable trends, and cultural adaptation by continuing to practice and preach the Christianity of the early Church.  Find a two thousand year history of consistent theology, reverential worship, and salvation through the fullness of living as Christ taught and the Apostles witnessed.  Learn how the early Church worshipped, what the Old and New Testament tells us about the early Church, and how the Church continues to live scripturally then and today. Embrace the Christianity you know in your heart.  Come and see the early Church.

This course begins in Fall 2016.

Week One: The history and practices of the Church from it’s inception on Pentecost to the Great Schism of the Church will be covered.

Week Two: How did the Church start? Why do we celebrate Pentecost, what is it’s significance, and how the events have shaped the Church and us to this day?  

Week Three: Have you ever asked, ‘why does the Orthodox Church baptize infants?’ Have you wanted to know more about the Mysteries of Baptism and Chrismation?

Week Four: Have you ever been asked if you are ‘saved’? How are we saved? What is humanity’s role in salvation? What helps us to attain salvation?

Week Five: Who succeed the Apostles? What are the responsibilities of the bishop? The priest? The deacon? Who decides who becomes a priest? We will explore the Ordained ministries of the Orthodoxy Church, their origins, ordination, and responsibilities. 

Week Six: Who wrote the scriptures? To whom were the scriptures addressed? How were the scriptures intended for use? How do the answers to these questions shape our study of scripture today? How do we interpret scripture?

Week Seven: The early Church struggled with heresy, but what does ‘heresy’ mean? Learn what the struggles were about, how they were resolved, and why the deliberations of these Councils continue to impact us today.

Week Eight: What is dogma? What do we believe as Orthodox Christians? How do we affirm our faith? What is included in our beliefs and why? 

Week Nine: The Orthodox Church is sometimes criticized for it’s rich interiors, iconography, the use of precious metals, and for unfamiliar utensils in their Church building.

Week Ten: What are icons? Why does the Orthodox Church have them? And what do they mean? 

Week Eleven: How is the Divine Liturgy structured? When and how did Orthodox worship develop?  What is the role of the laity?

Week Twelve: We will discuss how the Mysteries unite us to Christ and one another in our journey toward salvation.