Unofficial website about Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto
Religious Academy Produces Powerful Global Faith Leaders
The Toronto Orthodox Theological Academy allows eager learners of religion and major theological principles to partake in a rigorous four-year course of study in order to gain the knowledge necessary to meet the vast and varied spiritual needs of their local communities.
In general, academies of theology allow students to be taught major religious traditions from across the world, and from throughout history. The academy is located within the heart of one of the most international cities in North America. This location allows for theological students to learn first hand the influence of inter-faith interactions upon communities and how offering various religiously related services and general community service can impact people from all walks of life.
Presiding over the studies of these ready pupils is His Grace Bishop Christoforos of Andidon, who serves as the dean and also as a significant source of spiritual supervision and inspiration to faculty and students alike. Bishop Christoforos also delegates the incoming donations of parishioners and community members who seek to strengthen the academy on its holy mission to provide an enhanced learning environment for future religious leaders. Donations are not limited to financial offerings, but any form of energy and talent are also welcome and highly useful as the students of the Academy are there for the express purpose of learning how to interact effectively with all people.
Other academic programs may not seek spiritual support of community members, but for these devoted theological students, all help is absolutely vital and cherished. Being able to offer service from the very beginning of their courses puts them in a better position to minister to the sheep of their flock no matter the life situation that comes knocking.
A common scenario for a member of a clergy is offering end of life support in a hospital or hospice setting. Typically a time of crisis for associated friends and family, the spiritual leader must coordinate the focus and hopes of many people at different stages of grief, and additionally provide a strong spiritual comfort to those who are soon to depart this life. Because people cannot wait simply to die until a priest is more experienced, these students must be prepared to handle anything from the day they walk across the graduation stage.
There is a particular academic factor that sets this institution apart from other religious seminaries and programs. When students complete their courses at the academy with great success, they are also awarded a full Bachelors degree from a local university. Offering their studies in conjunction with a secular place of education makes the Theological Academy far more competitive in the sphere of vying for the patronage of eager students from across the world.
Managed by a full board of directors, the academy activities are ever surrounded by an atmosphere of focus and gratitude. Beyond heading a school that provides priests to global parishes, the Academy also prepares both men and women who seek to work in various positions as youth directors, teachers, secretaries and choir directors.
Being able to educate students in such a different array of specialities requires dedicated teachers and the continual utilization of daily religious devotions. Because the roster of students is quite small (about a dozen at any given time) efforts are made to project a family feeling as students gather together at multiple points throughout the day to recite prayers, participate in communal devotions and sing hymns of praise. These practices give them the perpetual synchronization with the holy Spirit of Christ that is desired and necessary to undertake such a hefty load of studies. Seeking divine inspiration from every source, be it community help or designated worship time allows trainees to return to their respective homes and build powerful parishes.