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Pastoral Program for Ordination to the Priesthood

Level: Undergraduate level

Type of education: University & Folk highschool

Location: Bromma & Södertälje

Language of instruction: English

Length: 4 years

Study pace: Fulltime (100%)

Teaching hours: Daytime, Certain weekends & evenings

Application Information

Next program start: Fall term 2018

Applicants within Sweden or other EU-country:

The application period is over.

The application period for 2019 will be announced by the end of 2018.

Applications are submitted via universityadmissions.se. A direct link to this program on universityadmissions.se will be available here during the application period.

Applicants outside the EU:

The application period is over.

The application period for 2019 will be announced by the end of 2018.

Applications are submitted via application form (PDF).

This four-year program prepares candidates for ordination to the priesthood in the Orthodox Church.

The program is informed by the two dimensions of the pastoral ministry. The first dimension, that of spiritual leadership, entails bringing together the community of faith to prayer. The primary role of the Priest is to manifest the presence of God in the midst of our fragile existence. As Christians, we are all witnesses to the love of God. By gathering together around the Priest for worship in the Liturgy, the community is able to give corporate expression to that love. In the context of pastoral dialogue and confession, the Priest guides the faithful toward self discovery in the light of God’s love.

The second dimension is to empower people and equip them to critically engage with and participate in society at large, and in the life of the Church; to encourage the formation and education of the laity in the teaching and the life of the Church, and to provide care and relief to the vulnerable by supporting the diaconate in organizing and developing caritative work. To this end, a priest needs to develop a role of communicative leadership, gathering together and encouraging the competence and experience of the community in the service of the mission of the Church.

These two dimensions - the spiritual and the communicative - are the tributaries that flow through this program, converging in the discernment of a personal vision, as each candidate contemplates the kind of role they are to play in the mission of the Church.

The education focuses on the sources of the faith, practical theology and liturgical languages. Along with a bachelor's degree in theology, candidates are provided the means to form a secure identity from which to engage with both the discourse of modern society, as well as of the respective ecclesiastical tradition of the Church they will be serving.

Content

The first year of study is at tertiary (folk high school) level and is common to many of our theological programs. During this formative year students can grow as humans and as Christians, and deepen their spiritual identities, while establishing a broad foundation of knowledge in Orthodox theology and tradition (see Introductory Year to Orthodox Theology and Tradition in Södertälje or Introductory Year to the Theology and Tradition of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Örkelljunga).

Thereafter, students progress to university studies at Stockholm School of Theology where they study courses such as:

  • Theology and Church History
  • History of Eastern Christianity: Mission and Development
  • Text, Context and Interpretation of life
  • Peace, conflict and religion
  • Sacred Texts of Eastern Christianity
  • Eastern Christian Theology (Byzantine/Coptic/Syriac/Tewahedo)
  • Human Rights and Foundations of International Law
  • Ecclesiology and Canon Law in Eastern Christianity
  • Methodology – Eastern Christian Studies
  • Bachelor’s thesis

While taking these university courses, students continue their pastoral training and study liturgical languages, both at tertiary (folk high school) level.

For a full listing of the university courses included, see Bachelor's Program in Eastern Christian Studies.

Degree

The program leads to a bachelor's degree in theology with a focus on Eastern Christian studies as well as a vocational qualification in pastoral ministry.

Ordination

The program does not automatically lead to ordination in the Orthodox Church. While the seminary faculty may recommend a seminary graduate for ordination, the final decision rests exclusively with the hierarchy of the respective Church.

Optional Trip to Jerusalem

This program begins with a six-week period of intensive language study in either Kthobonoyo, Ge’ez, Church Slavonic, Coptic or Arabic. Students have the opportunity of taking this introductory part of the program in Jerusalem instead of at the seminary (at present this applies to Kthobonoyo and Arabic only). This entails additional costs (see Kthobonoyo (Syriac) with an introduction to the orthodox tradition - Intensive course in Jerusalem or Arabic with an introduction to the orthodox tradition - Intensive course in Jerusalem).

Cost

Tuition is free for Swedish and EU citizens or residence permit holders. Non-EU applicants are referred to info@sanktignatios.org for more information.

However, during the first year of this program we charge a service fee of SEK 1200 per term, as well as a fee of SEK 650 per month to cover the cost of meals at the seminary.

Accommodation at the Seminary

Students can apply for accommodation at the seminary. Students who live at the seminary are charged SEK 850 per month for accommodation.

While participants of many of our programs and courses may apply for accommodation, spots are limited and priest candidates always have priority.

Student Financial Aid

Participants on this program are eligible to apply for student loans and grants via The Swedish Board of Student Finance (CSN). Applicants must be prepared to validate their eligibility for study by providing documentation detailing previous education, since this will determine the outcome of their application for student financial aid. Students can participate in this program without applying for student financial aid.

Prerequisites

General entry requirements for university studies in Sweden.

Requirements for Admission

In addition to the regular application process, eligible applicants will be called to an interview.

Other Requirements

Candidates who are enrolled in this program are required to live at the seminary for at least one year in order to take part in the community life of the seminaries.

Admissions Proccess

Applicants within Sweden or other EU-country who are admitted will be informed via universityadmissions.se. Applicants outside the EU who are admitted will receive an admissions letter by e-mail in early March.

Applicants outside the EU are responsible for investigating which permits are required for them to study at a Swedish folk high school and university, and for applying for such permits.

A second application period for late application may be opened in early June, depending on available spots.

Application Information

Next program start: Fall term 2018

Applicants within Sweden or other EU-country:

The application period is over.

The application period for 2019 will be announced by the end of 2018.

Applications are submitted via universityadmissions.se. A direct link to this program on universityadmissions.se will be available here during the application period.

Applicants outside the EU:

The application period is over.

The application period for 2019 will be announced by the end of 2018.

Applications are submitted via application form (PDF).