New DL Master's Program > Inst. of Ecumenical Studies @ Ukrainian Catholic University

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by BruceP, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. BruceP

    BruceP Member

    This is an interesting DL program offered in English. The coursework targets Ecumenical Studies from an Eastern Christian (Orthodox and Eastern Catholic) perspective. Tuition is listed as $1000 per semester. If courses are taken full-time you could theoretically complete the degree in four semesters (2 years). The Master's program in Ecumenical Studies consists of the following courses:

    First Semester
    -Survey of the Eastern Christian Tradition
    -Survey of Catholic Ecclesiology
    -Survey of Contemporary Contextual Theology
    -Survey of the Protestant Tradition
    -Ecumenical Theology

    Second Semester
    -Christian History – an Ecumenical Perspective
    -Opposition to Ecumenism
    -Introduction to Ecumenical Christian Ethics
    -History of the Ecumenical Movement
    -Ecumenical and Contextual Biblical Hermeneutics

    Third Semester – Electives (choose five of the following)
    -Ecumenical Ecclesiology
    -Liturgy and Sacraments
    -Bilateral and Multilateral Dialogues
    -Chalcedonians and Non-Chalcedonians in Dialogue
    -The Orthodox Church in the Ecumenical Movement
    -Eastern Catholic Churches and Ecumenism
    -Ecumenical Hagiology
    -Ecumenical Perspectives on Christianity and Science

    Fourth Semester
    Master's Thesis

    Course Structure and Requirements. All classes have a similar design. The course of reading for each class is structured by the writings of its professor. In some cases, guiding questions accompany the texts. Each class is divided into three-week sections. At the end of each section, students write a one-page response to a key argument made by the professor, to which the professor then responds with comments. At the end of the semester, students are required to submit a 10-15 page paper for each class, to be evaluated by a teacher at the Institute of Ecumenical Studies, and an abstract of the paper, to be evaluated by the professor. As they progress through each course, students will also engage in discussion with their peers on at least a weekly basis through an online forum and a blog. Students will also have opportunities to communicate with their teachers and peers through phone and web resources.

    In addition to the classes, to receive full credit students will make three Ecumenical Visits each semester to a church that is not in their own tradition, and submit reports on their experience to the program coordinator and to their fellow students. Students are also required to submit a short paper at the end of the semester reflecting on their learning experience.
    MaceWindu likes this.
  2. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Co-oool! Go Ukraine!

    In a couple of years, I might be very tempted to take this course, even though "ecumenism" is the biggest curse word in some Orthodox circles.
  3. BruceP

    BruceP Member

    Interestingly, at least three faculty are Orthodox priests (1-Greek Orthodox-USA, 1-Orthodox Church in America and 1-Orthodox Church of Finland) if I recall correctly.

    Additionally the price is also very attractive... Hard to find DL graduate level tuition in a "legitimate" brick and mortar university for only US$4k...
  4. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Clearly, good Fathers are not from these circles... good for them! ROCOR even condemned the "arch-herecy of ecumenism" in a council. Of course, none of the churches involved profess "ecumenism" as defined by that council (iirc, basically branch theory), but some traditionalists are still very suspicious of any dealings with heterodox. I would say many Orthodox in Russia have more hostility towards Catholicism than towards Islam (veasel word is "traditional religions of Russia"). And, certainly, Uniates (especially Ukrainian Uniates) are sworn enemies who "forcibly took our churches" and "proselytize among our flock".

    Seriously, the program is way cool.
  5. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Apparently, IES had its first graduate in English language distance program last December. It's none other as Fr. Prof. Laurent Cleenewerck of EUCLID:
    The first online Master

    His activities aside, Fr. Laurent appears to be a good writer and passable scholar. Apparently he has no fewer than 5 refereed articles published (in real journals), in addition to his self-published book on Great Schism and ecclesiology/
    Dustin likes this.
  6. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

    Good to hear that at least one person has graduated! I'm still tempted to start this program but since I'm hoping to return to full-time school in Sept 2012, I won't have time to finish it ...
  7. Messdiener

    Messdiener Active Member

    I must admit that I'm still curious about this program. I wonder if it might be a nice program to get my feet wet before diving into something more intensive. How many others are considering it? Do you guys figure it will be super time-consuming? The cost isn't bad at all!
  8. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    As to the workload, I guess you'll have to ask Fr. Laurent :) (he may try to recruit you into his own pet school, I guess). I can only reiterate that UCU enjoys good reputation in Ukraine. It is not a huge school, but prominent out of proportion to its size. It hosts the flagship seminary of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (the largest of the Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with Rome) and, it seems, tries to follow Western models of Humanities education. UCU's Chancellor is the Major Archbishop (head) of the UGCC, His Eminence Svyatoslav of Kyiv-Galich.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2011
  9. Messdiener

    Messdiener Active Member

    Based on what I mentioned in at least one of my other threads, I wish they would offer some of their actual seminary courses or degrees by distance education. I think it would be fascinating. Maybe if this current program works out well, we can petition (and/or beg) them to offer more? =P

    In all seriousness, I might actually contact Father. Any idea how to get in touch with him?
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2011
  10. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    He is all over the Web. Fr. Laurent is professor and administrator at the questionable EUCLID University, so you could contact him there. He also runs a parish in Eureka, CA. Finally, he has a personal Web page, Laurent Cleenewerck, home page .
  11. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Seriously, I think it would be cool if Cleenewerck participated here. He must have some unique perspectives on DL. We may have to go easy on his intergalactic university, though.
    EUCLID is becoming an interesting phenomenon. There's no way they can back up all the claims on their Web site with real resources. On the other hand, Theology program now lists three Orthodox priests with enough graduate dergees for a small unaccredited-but-real seminary. It's not Orthodox school due to the lack of hierarchical endorsement, but still... Disclaimer: I would't enroll in Euclid nor recommend it to anyone.
  12. Messdiener

    Messdiener Active Member

    Hello, everyone!

    Just yesterday, I stumbled on the blog of a student from this program and thought others might be interested in it. The student comes from one of the Eastern Orthodox Churches and has been sharing his essays through the blog. I hope that others find this find of interest:

    Pater Noster


    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2011
  13. Asymptote

    Asymptote Active Member

    How exactly does one list this program on a resume / CV ?

    Would it be: Masters of Ecumenical Studies (M.E.S.) ?
  14. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure there's a designated postnominal or abbreviation. I notice it's more common in some other countries (especially Australia) to award degrees that are Master of Subject, as opposed to the US model where most degrees are Master of Arts in Subject or Master of Science in Subject, which complicates the issue of postnominals.

    For example, Griffith University offers a Master of Suicidology (, University of Adelaide offers a Master of Data Science ( and Queensland University offers a Master of Advanced Economics ( That first degree is often listed as MSuicide, but I haven't seen anyone with the others to know how they list it.

    The post-nominals that we use today are rarely, but not never, designated by the university. In the US or Canada I can earn a Master of Science degree, but it's an MSc in Canada and an MS in the US, even though it's the same degree.

    So I think you'd be fine to call it an MES, but of course on your CV you'll be spelling the whole thing out anyway.
    Asymptote likes this.
  15. Asymptote

    Asymptote Active Member

    Messdiener likes this.
  16. Messdiener

    Messdiener Active Member

  17. Asymptote

    Asymptote Active Member

    I wonder how these guys are making out these days given current events.
  18. Messdiener

    Messdiener Active Member

    Funny you should ask. I just spoke with a professor from the Ukrainian Catholic University earlier this week about this program. She said that the program isn't active right now, largely due to lack of enrollment. Having said so, she did say that they would like to continue on, if more students were to register.
  19. MaceWindu

    MaceWindu Active Member

    Good to know. Ukraine. Distant Learning. Interesting.
  20. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    As a general rule, private schools aren't prestigious in Ukraine. UCU is the ultimate exception. It doesn't hurt that its direct predecessor institution (UCU in Rome) was founded by the absolute legend, Cardinal Yosyp Slipyj. I do not understand why the man still isn't Sain Joseph. And the future cornerstone of the modern revival was blessed by Saint Pope John Paul the Great. Some legacy to uphold.
    MaceWindu and Messdiener like this.

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