Admission and Student Services
Telephone: 613-236-1393
1-800 637-6859
Quick Links
Back Return to list of programs of study

Theology - Eastern Christian Studies (B.Th.) (Honours Bachelor)

PDFDownload the program description (PDF)

  • Program requirements

Program description

Saint Paul University is proud to be the home of the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies. This Institute is named after the primate of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Andrey Sheptytsky (1865-11524), who dedicated his life to the furthering of East-West understanding and rapprochement between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches.

The Sheptytsky Institute specializes in Eastern Christian Studies, with special but not exclusive emphasis on the tradition of the Church of Kyiv. Its main interests lie in the fields of theology, spirituality, history, and ecclesial polity of the Eastern Churches, both Orthodox and Catholic. The Institute studies all four families of Eastern Churches: Eastern Orthodox, Pre-Chalcedonian, Assyrian and Eastern Catholic.

A student enrolled in the Eastern Christian Studies Honours Bachelor may add a complimentary minor in Conflict Studies, Group Intervention and Leadership, Human Relations and Spirituality, Philosophical Theology, PhilosophyPrivate and Public Ethics or Social Communication providing an additional 9 credits.

*The foundational courses are a compulsory part of every bachelor’s degree program offered at Saint Paul University.

What you’ll learn

During your studies you will acquire a sound basic knowledge of a range of research areas in theology: sacred scripture, Church history, ethics, systematic theology and Church practice. You will also reflect on the major issues facing our society and the Church today.

Why choose Saint Paul University?

  • For its small class sizes and close student-teacher ratio
  • For its safe, secure and friendly campus with personalized services
  • For its bilingual setting in the heart of the national capital
  • For its diverse student population and international vision
  • For its solid reputation, experience, history and Catholic tradition

Career opportunities

  • Attendant for the elderly
  • Catechist
  • Community or not-for-profit organization worker
  • Missionary
  • Ordained minister
  • Pastoral agent in a school, hospital or prison setting
  • Pastoral associate
  • Youth development worker
  • Youth minister
  • Youth services worker

Click here to find out more about Admission Scholarships at Saint Paul University.

Other programs that may interest you

A student can add a complementary minor, providing an additional 9 credits.

Applications: A step-by-step guide

STEP 1: Choose a program of study
STEP 2: Learn about admission requirements
STEP 3: Submit your application
STEP 4: Gather the documents needed for the assessment of your application
STEP 5: Assessment of your application
STEP 6: Accept your offer of admission
STEP 7: Choose your courses


Undergraduate programs:



Ontario applicants

From secondary school
Have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with at least six 4U or 4M level courses, including one 4U level course in English or français.

From Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT)

  • After one year of studies
    You are eligible if you have completed one year of a college program and have obtained the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with one language course (English or français) at the college or 4U level.
  • After a two- or three-year program
    If you have completed a two- or three-year college program, you can obtain up to 30 credits of advanced standing (transfer credits).

Our transfer agreements
Saint Paul University has developed a number of transfer agreements with colleges, allowing applicants to receive up to 30 equivalency credits. Find out more by consulting the tab entitled College Credit Transfer.

Quebec applicants

From secondary school
Have a Secondary School Diploma with an average of 84%, including one course in English or français at the Secondary V level.

From Cégep
Have completed 12 courses of general studies (not including physical education and refresher courses), including English (603) or français (601). Applicants who have successfully completed 12 courses of general studies may obtain up to 15 credits of advanced standing, and those who have successfully completed more than 12 courses of general studies may obtain up to 30 credits of advanced standing.

Applicants from the Atlantic and Western provinces

Have a Secondary School Diploma, including one course in English or français at the Grade 12 level.

Applicants from other universities

Applications from other Canadian or international universities will be assessed based on the applicant’s previous secondary and post-secondary studies. University equivalency credits may be granted depending on the studies completed and the program into which the person is admitted.

International applicants

Have a diploma attesting to 12 years of education equivalent to the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). Persons who have completed a secondary diploma attesting to 13 years of education, such as the Baccalauréat de l’enseignement secondaire français, can receive up to 30 credits of advanced standing. 

Mature applicants

When the applicant’s academic record does not meet normal conditions for admission, it is possible to apply as a mature applicant, provided that the person has not been enrolled in full-time studies for at least two consecutive years. In order to be considered for admission, applicants must have experience that can be considered sufficient preparation for pursuing undergraduate studies.



You have two options



If you are applying for admission to an undergraduate program at more than one Ontario university, including Saint Paul University:


Apply through OUAC

IMPORTANT NOTE: Because Saint Paul University is federated with the University of Ottawa, you will find programs offered by Saint Paul University listed under the University of Ottawa.


If you are applying for an undergraduate program at Saint Paul University only, or if you are applying for a master’s or doctoral program:

  • Complete the following form.

 Apply Now




In order for us to assess your application, you must submit official transcripts for all of your previous studies (secondary, college and university). These transcripts must be sent directly from your academic institution to the following address:


Saint Paul University
Office of Admissions and Student Services
223 Main Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1S 1C4


However, to expedite the assessment process for your application, you can scan your documents and e-mail them to the Office of Admissions at and then send your official documents through the mail.



Once the Office of Admissions receives all the required documents, it will begin to assess your application. One of the following decisions will be sent to you at the email address you gave us, as well as to your postal address.

Possible decisions

  • Offer of admission
    The Office of Admissions will send you an offer of admission (unconditional).  
  • Conditional offer of admission
    The Office of Admissions will make you a conditional offer of admission, with specific conditions that you must meet by a certain deadline. You can still proceed to registration (course selection).
  • Deferred decision
    The Office of Admissions can inform you that some information is missing and therefore the University is unable to make a decision regarding your eligibility. If applicable, the Office will tell you which documents to send and by what date.
  • Refusal
    The Office of Admissions will inform you of the reasons for the refusal.



To accept an offer of admission and a scholarship offer, if applicable, you must sign the form entitled Admission acceptance form that accompanies your offer of admission and send it to Saint Paul University by email, before the deadline, to the following address or mail it to:

Saint Paul University
Office of Admissions and Student Services
223 Main Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1S 1C4



With your offer of admission, you will receive all the information you will need to choose your courses. You will also receive the contact information for our academic advisors; you can meet with them one on one or during information sessions for guidance and to help you finalize your course selection.

Foundational Courses (24 credits)

Compulsory Courses: 21 credits

  • HTP1101 Trends in Western Thought
  • HTP1102 Artistic and Literary Imagination: Expressions of the Human Experience
  • HTP1103 People, Politics and the Planet
  • HTP1104 Faith, Justice and the Common Good
  • ISC2309 English Composition
  • ISC2314 Public Speaking
  • PHI2181 Human Knowledge

Optional Courses: 3 credits from

  • MIS2103 World Religions
  • THO1306 Exploring the Sacred
  • THO1307 Understanding the Bible (this course is a prerequisite for many THO courses)

Discipline Specific Courses (75 credits)

Compulsory Courses: 57 credits

  • PHI2311 Selected Topics in Political Philosophy I
  • THO2130 Foundations of Eastern Christian Theology
  • THO2131 General Introduction to the Eastern Churches
  • THO2315 Ethics and the Human Person
  • THO3160 Pentateuch and Historical Books
  • THO3161 Gospel Interpretation – Mark
  • THO3167 History of the Church: The First Five Centuries
  • THO3301 Hermeneutics and Exegesis in Eastern Christianity
  • THO3315 Eastern Christian Doctrine II: Salvation, Humanity, the Church and Escathology
  • THO3316 Ecclesiology and East-West Ecumenism
  • THO3318 Eastern Christian Spirituality
  • THO3319 Eastern Christian Doctrine I: Trinity, Christ, and Holy Spirit
  • THO3322 Byzantine Eucharistic Liturgies
  • THO3323 Canonical Tradition of the Christian East
  • THO3324 Introduction to Eastern Christian Ethics
  • THO3328 The Holy Mysteries: Byzantine Sacraments
  • THO3347 Byzantine Liturgy of the Hours and Liturgical Year
  • THO4102 Pauline Literature
  • THO4103 Johannine Literature

Optional Courses: 18 credits                                                                             

3 credits from (Ethics):

  • THO4104 Sexual Ethics
  • THO4105 Social and Political Ethics
  • THO4124 Feminist Ethics

3 credits from (Philosophy):

  • PHI1103 Fundamental Philosophical Questions (UO)
  • PHI1104 Great Philosophers (UO)
  • PHI2154 Moral Philosophy
  • PHI2182 Human Existence
  • PHI2184 Philosophy of Religion

3 credits from (Scripture-O.T.):

  • THO4100 Wisdom Literature
  • THO4101 Prophetic Literature

3 credits from:

  • THO2137 Selected Topics in Eastern Christian Thought
  • THO2138 Selected Topics in Eastern Christian History
  • THO2189 Introduction to Theology
  • THO3303 The Seven Ecumenical Councils in Eastern Christian Tradition
  • THO3309 Contemporary Moral Issues in Eastern Theology
  • THO3317 History of the Ukrainian Church
  • THO3325 Theology and Spirituality of Icons

6 credits from:

  • Other THO courses

Elective Courses (21 credits)

Students choose 21 credits to complete the bachelor program.

HTP 1101 - Trends in Western Thought

This course addresses multiple aspects of the evolution of western thought, from Antiquity to current times, and the impact of major events and thinkers, and the influence of other civilizations on the contemporary understanding of human nature, culture and society.

HTP 1102 - Artistic and Literary Imagination: Expressions of the Human Experience

This course addresses the following themes: the notion of aesthetics and its application in art; the study of important works of art and literature with emphasis on the understanding of ‘Self’ in relation to the ‘Other’; the power of symbolic expression in the quest for meaning in a globalized and interconnected world.

HTP 1103 - People, Politics and the Planet

This course addresses personal, social and ecological challenges facing humanity today. We will examine issues at three levels – personal, political and planetary – in terms of community building and efforts towards global transformations for a hopeful future.

HTP 1104 - Faith, Justice and the Common Good

This course investigates faith, justice and the common good from religious, philosophical and human science perspectives. The course draws on classic and contemporary resources, in particular those from the Christian intellectual traditions.

ISC 2309 - English Composition

This course is dedicated to the improvement of writing skills in order to become an effective communicator in several contexts.

ISC 2314 - Public Speaking

Learning the techniques of efficient public speaking. Introduction and training to personal impression making in electronic media. Development of a professional attitude and self-confidence.

MIS 2103 - World Religions

Introduction to the world religions with an emphasis on Christian faith in interaction with other living faiths.

PHI 2154 - Moral Philosophy

Survey of the major ethical systems in the Western world. Relationship between philosophical and religious thinking in ethical matters. Fundamental questions facing contemporary moral consciousness.

PHI 2154 and PHI 2174 are mutually exclusive. PHI 2154 was previously under course code PHI 3183.

PHI 2181 - Human Knowledge

From Lascaux’s cave paintings to mythology, history, philosophy, and the experimental sciences,  human knowledge is the product of diverse approaches.  The course aims to show the diversity of human knowledge, its evolution and transmission, as well as the central role philosophy plays in the structuring of this knowledge in different types of discourse.

PHI 2182 - Human Existence

Essential dimensions of human existence. Its specificity with regard to the world around it. Openness to the religious realm, self awareness, reason, political life, relation to others, relationship to the world of nature.

PHI 2184 - Philosophy of Religion

Philosophers and religion. Questions raised by the scientific study of religion in the contemporary period. Contributions of linguistic analysis to the study of the expressions of religious faith.

PHI 2311 - Selected Topics in Political Philosophy I

Study of a particular theme in political philosophy or of a particular author in political thought.

THO 2130 - Foundations of Eastern Christian Theology

Revelation, and our access to it. The Trinitarian nature of Revelation. Interaction of Logos and Spirit in the process of Holy Tradition. Scripture within and above Tradition. The sources of Tradition: Bible, Councils, Creeds, Fathers, Liturgy, Icons, etc. Tradition vs. traditionalism. Questions of theological method.

THO 2131 - General Introduction to the Eastern Churches

A general survey of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches of the East, with attention to the history as well as the theological, liturgical and spiritual traditions of ecclesiological considerations: Church as an image of the Trinity; Church as communion of eucharistic communities; Church as eschatological reality. Pentarchy and Papacy; The conciliar process "sobornost".

THO 2137 - Selected Topics in Eastern Christian Thought

Study of a particular tradition, period, or representative author from the Eastern Churches, with an emphasis on the history of ideas.

THO 2138 - Selected Topics in Eastern Christian History

Study of a particular tradition, period, or representative author from the Eastern Churches, with an emphasis on the history of ecclesiastical institutions.

THO 2189 - Introduction to Theology

An introduction to basic questions and fields of inquiry in Christian theology.

THO 2315 - Ethics and the Human Person

What is ethics? Introduction to the key ethical ideas that shape our lives. Ethical riches of the Christian tradition to understand ourselves and our responsibilities to other persons.

THO 3160 - Pentateuch and Historical Books

The Old Testament in its historical and cultural contexts. The Pentateuch: oral traditions; the Yahwistic, Elohistic, Deuteronomistic and Priestly traditions. The Deuteronomistic History.

THO 3161 - Gospel Interpretation - Mark

The cultural and religious context of the New Testament history of the formation of the Gospels. Various methods of interpreting the Gospel texts. Special study of Mark.

THO 3167 - History of the Church: The First Five Centuries

Relationship between history and theology. Methodology of historical research. Overview of the historical evolution of Christianity from its beginnings to the end of the fifth century.

THO 3301 - Hermeneutics and Exegesis in Eastern Christianity

Patristic approaches to Scripture. Literal and non-literal exegesis. Allegory, theoria, typology. Alexandrian and Antiochene schools. Scripture in Byzantine worship. Contemporary Orthodox authors.

THO 3303 - The Seven Ecumenical Councils in Eastern Christian Tradition

Development of conciliar structures and processes. Historical context and ecclesial setting of each of the great councils of the first millennium. Doctrinal and other ramifications of each council. Their significance for the Church today.

THO 3309 - Contemporary Moral Issues in Eastern Theology

A survey of moral thought in modern Eastern Christian authors and ecclesiastical pronouncements in the areas of both personal and social morality, with special attention to emerging thought in the areas of bioethics, sexual ethics, and a response to social, political, and technological changes in the world today.

THO 3315 - Eastern Christian Doctrine II: Salvation, Humanity, the Church and Eschatology

The human person before God. Creation, fall, and salvation in their anthropological and cosmological aspects, as well as an examination of understanding of the Church, according to the ancient and modern exponents of the tradition of the Christian East.

THO 3316 - Ecclesiology and East-West Ecumenism

Inculturation of the Gospel: the cultures of the Mediterranean basin and their Christianization. Growing diversity in the Church. Doctrinal, liturgical and politico-social issues involved in the estrangement of the East and West. Schisms and their healing. Unionistic activity. Modern ecumenism and East-West relations.

THO 3317 - History of the Ukrainian Church

Christianity in the Kyivan-Rus’ before the tenth century. Official Christianization and the establishment of the metropolitanate of Kyiv. Relations with the Churches of the West and with other Churches in the East. The first Ukrainian state. The Union of Brest-Litovsk and its aftermath. Ukrainian monasticism and the reform of the Order of Saint Basil the Great. The Synod of Zamost. The metropolitanate of Halych-Lvov. Orthodox and Catholics in Soviet and post-Soviet Ukraine. Catholic and Orthodox Ukrainians in Canada.

THO 3318 - Eastern Christian Spirituality

The sacramental foundations. Major trends. Contemplation and praxis. Forms of holiness.

THO 3319 - Eastern Christian Doctrine I: Trinity, Christ and Holy Spirit

Essence and Energies in God. God as Three and One. Christ as Divine and Human. The procession and activity of the Holy Spirit.

THO 3322 - Byzantine Eucharistic Liturgies

Historical evolution and theological analysis of the Byzantine liturgies of St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil, St. James, and the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.

THO 3323 - Canonical Tradition of the Christian East

The Eastern Churches and ecclesial communion. Historical development of the canonical tradition of the Eastern Churches, both Orthodox and Catholic. The teaching of Vatican II and post-conciliar documents on the Eastern Churches. The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. General principles of Eastern Catholic canon law with particular reference to the dispensing authority of ordinaries. Ecclesial institutions: eparchies, parishes. General principles of Eastern sacramental legislation.

THO 3324 - Introduction to Eastern Christian Ethics

An overview of the distinctive sources, history, spirit and methods of Eastern Christian ethics, past and present.

THO 3325 - Theology and Spirituality of Icons

Icons and image theory in Byzantine Christology and anthropology. Theology of icons, theology in icons. Use of icons in worship and personal prayer.

THO 3328 - The Holy Mysteries: Byzantine Sacraments

The Holy Mysteries in the Byzantine tradition. Historical, theological and practical considerations. The Seven Sacraments and the issue of other sacraments. Sacramentality of the world and the Church.

THO 3347 - Byzantine Liturgy of the Hours and Liturgical Year

Vespers, Matins, Lesser Hours, and the liturgical seasons and feasts of the Byzantine tradition. Theologies of time and ritual. Historical, pastoral, and theoretical considerations.

THO 4100 - Wisdom Literature

General introduction to Wisdom Literature: its origin and evolution. Exegesis of selected passages.

Prerequisite: THO 3160.

THO 4101 - Prophetic Literature

General introduction to the prophets. Chronological study of prophets in their cultural and religious contexts. Evolution of prophetic literature towards the apocalyptic form.

Prerequisite: THO 3160.

THO 4102 - Pauline Literature

Overview of the life of Paul and his work. Special study of some of his letters.

Prerequisite: THO 3161.

THO 4103 - Johannine Literature

A study of Johannine writings, their structure, theology, and cultural setting. Exegesis of selected passages in the Gospel of John and Letters of John, and the Apocalypse.

Prerequisite: THO 3161.

THO 4104 - Sexual Ethics

Meaning of human sexuality. Sexuality understood in terms of personal growth. Discernment of moral values in sexual behaviour.

Prerequisite: THO 3166.

THO 4105 - Social and Political Ethics

Human being as personal and social being. Respect for human rights. Freedom in the socio-political context. Society as the milieu of personal growth.

Prerequisite: THO 3166.

THO 4124 - Feminist Ethics

An introduction to ethics from feminist perspectives. Historical background to feminist approaches to ethics; introduction to feminist analysis; approaches within feminist ethics; Christianity and feminist ethics; Christian praxis as foundational to ethics; the social, cultural, and political dimensions of ethics; specific issues arising in contemporary discussions.

Prerequisite: THO 3166.

Courses offered by the University of Ottawa:

PHI 1103 - Fundamental Philosophical Questions (UO)

A critical examination of fundamental philosophical problems such as the mind and body distinction, the possibility of knowledge of the external world, freedom and determinism, the definition of the concept of truth and the meaning of life.

Prerequisite: PHI1101.

PHI 1104 - Great Philosophers (UO)

An historical introduction to philosophy through the study of writings of major Western philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Sartre. (HP)

Prerequisite: PHI1101.

Print the Course Sequence


Bachelor Components (120 credits)


8 courses
(24 credits)

Main Program
25 courses
(75 credits)

Elective Courses
7 courses
(21 credits)

1st Year


PHI 2311
THO 2130
THO 2131
THO 2315
THO 3160

1 course

2nd Year


THO 3161
THO 3167
THO 3301
THO 3315

2 courses

3rd Year


THO 3316
THO 3318
THO 3319
THO 3322
THO 3323
THO 3324
THO 3328
THO 3347

2 courses

4th Year


PHI 1103 or PHI 1104 or PHI 2182 or PHI 2184 or PHI 2154

THO2137 or THO 2138 or THO 2189 or THO 3303 or THO 3309 or THO 3317 or THO 3325

THO 4100 or THO 4101
THO 4102
THO 4103
THO 4104 or THO 4105 or THO 4124
2 THO courses

2 courses

*This recommended course sequence can be modified depending on Saint Paul University's annual course offering or a student's choices.

Contact Us

Office of Admissions, Registrar and Student Services
Room 154
Saint Paul University
223 Main Street
Ottawa, ON
K1S 1C4

Telephone: 613-236-1393
Fax: 613-782-3014

Hours of Operation

August 15 to May 31

Monday to Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

June 1 to August 14

Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.