History for the Orthodox Christian – From Abraham to St. Constantine (High School and Adult Levels)

Spring, 2020: February 3 – June 14

Available Times (EST)


Tuesdays 4-5PM

Thursdays 11AM-12PM


Sundays 7-8PM


High School $400US/$550CAN

Adult (Audit) $300US/$400CAN

For any questions regarding registration, please e-mail orthodoxeducationalinitiative@gmail.com or call (215) 987-2655.

Course Description

It almost goes without saying that it is important to study history. Yet, for the Orthodox Christian, the study of history has become an ideological minefield. One can read book after book on world history or western civilization. These textbooks leave the young reader with the impression that Christianity is a tool of oppression, that the sacred history in the Old and New Testaments is more myth than fact.
In this class, we will approach the study of history from an Orthodox point of view. Indeed, Orthodoxy will be the foundation for all of our studies. This is not to say that we will only study Biblical and Church history. In addition to Biblical and Church history, we will study the history of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

Learning Objectives

Students will

  • learn how to examine historical evidence.
  • learn how history can be approached from an Orthodox worldview.
  • learn how to write an historical essay.
  • learn how to apply historical methods to the following units:
    Week I: The Patriarch Abraham
    Week II: Patriarchs Isaac and Jacob
    Week III: The Prophet Moses
    Week IV: From the Judges to King David
    Week V: The Holy Prophets
    Week VI: Ancient Greece I: The significance of Homer
    Week VII: Ancient Greece II: Athens, Sparta, Pericles, Plato, Aristotle
    Week VIII: Alexander the Great and Hellenism
    Week IX: Rome: The Republic
    Week X: Rome: The Empire
    Week XI: The Incarnation, Passion and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ
    Week XII: The Apostolic Period
    Week XIII: The Age of the Martyrs and Apologists
    Week XIV: St. Constantine

Textbooks and Other Resources

The Law of God, Fr. Seraphim Slobodskoy
A copy of the King James Version of the Bible
The rest of the reading will be provided by the instructor.

Instructional Format: A class will be held each week in real-time, using the Zoom web conferencing system. Students will be expected to participate actively in classroom discussion. In addition, video lessons will be sent out throughout the week. Students
will be expected to watch these lessons each week, completing any reading sent out with the videos. In addition, students will be expected to write essays relating to the materials that we have read and discussed. Students will be required to have a one on
one session with the instructor every two weeks. This allows each student to ask questions about the reading, the essay he is presently working on (whether with the writing process or the material itself), or other concerns that are relevant to the class.

Office Hours: In addition to the required weekly meetings, the instructors will hold “office hours” each week. Office hours will be conducted using Zoom and will be by appointment.

Anticipated Assignments and Exercises

Students will complete the assigned readings and watch the course videos each week.


Participation 33%
Essays, Projects 33%
Quizzes and Tests 33%