In this unit students will study priesthood in the Orthodox Church. The priesthood of Christ - the priesthood of all believers - and the priesthood of the ordained minister of Christ, will be defined and contrasted to arrive at a theological basis of priesthood. The theology and formation of the ministerial priesthood, the role of the priest in the care of the soul, ritual and sacramental resources available to the priest in discharging this care and how the role of the priest differs from that of other helping professions will be considered. Practical applications and challenges in pastoral ministry will be presented and discussed. Strategies in safeguarding the wellbeing of the priest and the congregation will be workshopped to arrive at practical application.

Unit code: DP2500A

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies

Delivery Mode: Blended

Proposing College: St Athanasius College

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Learning outcomes


Define the role of the priest in the care of the soul and contrast it to other forms of supportive psychotherapy


Understand the steps in the formation of the ministerial priesthood and contrast that to the priesthood of all believers.


Explain the rituals and sacramental resources available to the priest in the care of the soul.


Discuss the competing roles and responsibilities of the parish priest.


Identify strategies priests should put into place in the discharge of their duties that will safeguards their and their parishioners wellbeing.


Blended mode, synchronous and asynchronous. Pre-recorded readings, weekly tutorials, group discussions, case studies and guided reading.

Indicative Bibliography

Alfeyev, Met Hilarion. Orthodox Christianity. NY: Saint Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2019.

Burmester, O. H. E. Ordination Rites of the Coptic Church: Text according to Ms. 253 Liturgy, Coptic Museum. Cairo: Société D'archéologie Copte, 1985.

Constantinou Eugenia Scarvelis. Thinking Orthodox : Understanding and Acquiring the Orthodox Christian Mind. Chesterton Indiana: Ancient Faith Publishing, 2020.

Dalton, Ron. Discovering Christian Ministry. Kansas City: Foundry Publishing, 2015.

Gabrielle Thomas, and Elena Narinskaya. Women and Ordination in the Orthodox Church: Explorations in Theology and Practice. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, 2020.

Goergen, Donald, Ann Garrido, and Benedict M Ashley. The Theology of Priesthood. Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 2000.

Hopko, Thomas. "Ministry and the Unity of the Church: An Eastern Orthodox View" in SVTQ 34, no. 4 (1990): 269-279.

Hopko, Thomas. “On Ecclesial Conciliarity” in The Legacy of St. Vladimir: Byzantium, Russia, America. Crestwood: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1990, 209-225.

Neville, Graham (trans.). Six Books on the Priesthood, by St. John Chrysostom. Crestwood: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1996.

Percival, H.R. Nicene & Post-Nicene Series 2 Vol 14: The Decrees and Canons of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 14. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1991.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Essay 2000 40.0
Essay 2500 60.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 14 Oct, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-10-14 15:23:46 +1100