As summer draws towards its close and we anticipate the beginning of a new Academic Year (which begins for us on 22nd September 2015), we wanted to share some of the good news coming out of the Institute as we wrap up our summer term and head into the Autumn.
The first piece of wonderful news to share is that our most current enrolment statistics indicate a 98% retention rate for returning students this Autumn — a number almost unheard of in Distance Learning-based studies. We credit this to what we believe is a strong program that engages our students in study that feeds soul, heart and mind in a creative and powerful way, but also to the students themselves: a wonderful mix of Orthodoxy laity, clergy and faithful, together with non-Orthodox students desiring to learn more about the Church and be drawn closer to her, who work together with each other and with our collection of Instructors to grow in the Orthodox faith.
Not only are we looking to welcome back our returning students, our new application rates for the 2015-2016 Academic Year are surpassing our estimates, and in September we look forward to welcoming new students from California, Washington, Romania and Texas, as well as several other locales — from the ROCOR, OCA, Antiochian Church and several other Orthodox traditions. They’ll be taking a range of modules including “Foundations in Orthodox History and Practice (The Earliest Church)
“, “Controversies, Councils & Creeds — Into the Conciliar Age
“, and “Orthodox Trinitarian Theology
“; as well as working on special longer-term Dissertation Projects
In addition, we are actively planning our usual activities that extend beyond our chief academic program, the Certificate Program in Orthodox Studies by Distance Learning
— including ourannual symposia, and in September 2016 our second international educational pilgrimage. All these bring our annual numbers of participants in various Institute activities to over 500, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to play a part in the lives of so many.