The Western Orthodox Academy

The Western Orthodox Academy was founded in 1945 and is an institution of the Apostolic Episcopal Church. Having originally been founded in England, the Academy was restructured to become a full centre of the Western Orthodox University in the Commonwealth of Dominica in 2018. The Academy’s awards are now made by the Western Orthodox University under its Dominican incorporation.

The Academy offers a staged route to postsecondary study in theology from an initial postsecondary award up to a Postgraduate Diploma. This staged route is intended to be particularly helpful to students who do not wish to commit to a full degree programme at this stage, or who would like the progressive stages of their degree programme to terminate with a specific award as recognition of that achievement.

Admission to the theology programmes is open to individuals regardless of their position on faith. The programmes are taught mostly by members of the Apostolic Episcopal Church and reflect the theological position of that church. The programmes consist of structured coursework completed under the guidance of a mentor, with scope for individual choice and the customization of assignment titles.

In addition to the awards in theology offered by the Western Orthodox Academy, awards in Public Worship (via the pathways of research, spoken word and music) are offered by the Epiphany Guild.

The Academy’s awards are mapped to the levels established by UNESCO’s International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) (2011 edition) for easy comparability across different educational systems.

Certificate of Higher Education in Theology (Cert.H.E.(Th.)) (UNESCO ISCED level 5)

This is a first postsecondary award in theology commensurate with the standard expected of a student after one year’s full time postsecondary study. The candidate must submit a total of eighteen assignments, each of between 2,000 and 2,500 words in length. It is possible to combine certain assignments to form a mini-project. No formal entrance qualification is required other than completion of secondary education or its equivalent.

Subjects for assignments

The learner selects eighteen assignments, so that at least two are chosen from each block, with the remaining four being freely chosen from the remaining topics.

Block 1 Block 2 Block 3
Genesis 1-11 The Pauline Epistles History of the Celtic Church before 1066
Pentateuch The Epistle to the Hebrews History of the Church up to the Council of Chalcedon in 451AD
Psalms The Acts of the Apostles The Reformation
Prophecy during the pre-exilic period The Book of Revelation The Oxford Movement
Prophecy during and after the period of exile The Synoptic Gospels The Thirty-Nine Articles
Block 4 Block 5 Block 6 Block 7
The Holy Trinity Healing Ministry Liturgy Homiletics
The Incarnation and the Atonement Pastoral Theology Funeral Ministry The Nature of Ministry
The Gifts of the Spirit Prophecy in the Modern Age Pastoral Counselling Christian sexual morality
The Creeds Anglican Realignment Hymnology The Sacraments
The Nature of Sin Youth Ministry History of Church Music Ecumenism

Associate of Theology (A.Th.)) (UNESCO ISCED level 5)

This award requires the Cert.H.E.(Th.) or equivalent for entry. Its standard is commensurate with that expected of a student after two years’ full time postsecondary study. The candidate must submit a total of eighteen assignments, each of between 3,000 and 3,500 words in length, not to duplicate subjects taken for the Cert.H.E.(Th.) A dissertation of 10,000 words is also required. The dissertation will be on a subject relevant to Christian Theology, widely interpreted, chosen by the candidate and approved by the Academy.

Subjects for assignments

The learner selects eighteen assignments, so that at least one is chosen from each block, with the remaining ten being freely chosen from the remaining topics. Subjects already taken for the Cert.H.E.(Th.) may not be duplicated.

Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4
Genesis 1-11 The Pauline Epistles History of the Celtic Church before 1066 The Holy Trinity
Pentateuch The Epistle to the Hebrews History of the Church up to the Council of Chalcedon in 451AD The Incarnation and the Atonement
Psalms The Acts of the Apostles The Reformation The Gifts of the Spirit
Prophecy during the pre-exilic period The Book of Revelation The Oxford Movement The Creeds
Prophecy during and after the period of exile The Synoptic Gospels Theodicy The Nature of Sin
Block 5 Block 6 Block 7 Block 8
Healing Ministry Liturgy Augustine History of
the Papacy in the twentieth-century
Pastoral Theology Funeral Ministry The Nature of Ministry Outline of a particular monastic
tradition
Prophecy in the Modern Age Pastoral Counselling Christian sexual morality Non-Conformism
Soteriology Hymnology The Sacraments The Holy Spirit
Determinism and Free Will History of Church Music Ecumenism Aquinas

Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.) (UNESCO ISCED level 6)

Candidates should hold the Associate of Theology or an equivalent credential.

The degree may be earned through the preparation and submission of a Major Project (Creative Senior Study) of 30,000 words on a topic approved by the University related to public worship. The Project can combine any or all of the following elements, the exact balance to be decided through the submission of a learning contract and its approval by the University:

  • Research – which is not required to be original, but which should be a systematic and critical exposition of existing thought in a given area.
  • Spoken word – which would normally consist of a series of assessments accompanied by a written exposition and critical commentary.
  • Music – which would normally consist of a series of assessments accompanied by a written exposition and critical commentary.

Candidates who wish to earn a Pass Degree solely, and who do not wish to be candidates for classed Honours, may substitute a series of three monographs of 8,000 words each, or projects considered to be equivalent by the University.

Postgraduate Diploma in Theology (P.G.Dip.(Theol.)) (UNESCO ISCED level 7)

This diploma requires a bachelor’s degree in theology or equivalent for entry. Its standard is commensurate with that expected of a student following a year of study above the bachelor’s degree level.

The candidate is required to complete a 30,000 word dissertation under the supervision of a mentor. The dissertation will be on a subject relevant to Christian Theology, widely interpreted, chosen by the candidate and approved by the Academy.

Further studies

Degree programmes offered by the Western Orthodox University leading to the degrees of Master of Theology (by dissertation) and Doctor of Theology or Doctor of Philosophy in Theology are available to students successfully completing the Western Orthodox Academy pathway.