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Orthodox Christian Theology

Master of Arts (MAOCT)


The online Master of Arts in Orthodox Christian Theology (MAOCT) is intended for students who seek a theological understanding of Orthodoxy in preparation for graduate and research studies or personal enrichment. Students of Christian theology take on challenging questions about the relationship between God and humankind, humankind and the created world, and the meaning of faith in contemporary society. In addition to graduate-level courses in theology, the program gives students the opportunity to explore deeply a particular question or hypothesis via a supervised master’s thesis. Educational programming includes regular seminars and seasonal gatherings of students and faculty.


The MAOCT is an advanced theological degree that emphasizes research skills and independent scholarship. All students complete five semester-long courses in Old Testament, New Testament, Patristics, Christian Ethics, and Research Methods in addition to a 15,000-word thesis. Students may complete the program over 12 months of full-time study; most employed students can complete it in 1-2 years of concurrent part-time study. This 30-credit program is offered entirely online with no required residential components.


Admissions Requirements

  • Option 1: Master of Divinity (MDiv), Master of Theology (MTh), or Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS) earned from an accredited institution.
  • Option 2: Master of Arts in a related subject such as classics, history of Christianity, etc.
  • Option 3: A portfolio of previous study (graduate classes, seminars, publications, etc.) demonstrating adequate preparation for rigorous graduate-level study.

Prospective students are encouraged to enhance their applications by submission of additional materials such as GRE scores, academic letter of recommendation, current resume, and/or personal essay.


Prerequisite Courses

Foreign language competency is required for students with research projects that involve primary and secondary sources authored in ancient or modern languages. Other prerequisite or concurrent courses may be assigned at the discretion of the Registrar based on past academic experience.




  • THEO501, Old Testament (4 semester credits)
  • THEO502, New Testament (4 semester credits)
  • THEO510, Patristics (4 semester credits)
  • THEO511, Christian Ethics (4 semester credits)
  • THEO 598, Research Methods (4 semester credits)
  • THEO 599, Thesis Research (10 semester credits)


We have outstanding faculty with expertise across traditional theological disciplines and in dialogue with secular disciplines and contemporary concerns. We are a free-standing University rooted in the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition; many of our faculty belong to the Orthodox Church and work within its historic theological heritage; others represent a wide variety of other Christian traditions, providing a richly ecumenical dialogue. Our Forum Lecture Series offers a remarkable opportunity for students to engage with Orthodox Christian thought leaders from around the world. Additionally, USK plans to host annual graduate theology conferences virtually in order to provide our students an opportunity to present their own research to the wider academic community. We maintain a strong academic relationship with the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies in Cambridge (UK) which further facilitates rich dialogue and specialized research for faculty and students.

The Center for Ecumenical, Missiological and Environmental Studies (CEMES) is part of USK and offers students an opportunity to concentrate their studies in Orthodox Ecumenical Theology. It operates with the blessing of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholemew. The Master Program in Orthodox Ecumenical Theology (MOET) is an inter-Orthodox and inter-jurisdictional Program, which aims at applying the invaluable theological legacy of Orthodox Christianity to the needs of the present, following all international standards of excellence and the critical study pursued in modern academic scholarship.



Tuition is $500/ semester credit. The degree requires 30 credits of study for a total tuition of $15,000. This may be paid one course at a time or in aggregate. Institutional scholarships are not available for this program. The University participates in Federal Student Aid programs.