Loyola Marymount University offers undergraduate and graduate courses in theological studies taught by faculty affiliated with the Huffington Ecumenical Institute. Many courses contribute to the achievement of the HEI’s goals in promoting Christian ecumenism and Orthodox theology.
Below are examples of courses that have been taught by HEI-affiliated faculty:
Orthodox Christian Spirituality
THST 3252/MDGK 3352/EURO 3252 (4 units)
This course is intended as an introduction to the rich spiritual tradition of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. We will examine principles of spiritual direction, as well as various dimensions of spirituality of the desert fathers and monastic traditions. Readings and discussions will focus on the hesychastic tradition, prayer, liturgical piety, Iconography, and the Sacramental life. The use of the icon in corporate and personal devotional prayer, and the Jesus prayer in lay spirituality will be highlighted. The fundamental principles of Orthodox Christian Spirituality are often very similar to those in the whole of Christendom. The methods and practices may differ in the Orthodox and catholic worlds. The differences do not bear on the chief points. On the whole, there is one Christian spirituality of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, with variations of stress and emphasis. The spiritual life we will study, review, and discuss will be the light of the doctrines of the Eastern Orthodox Church. This name applies to the “sister churches” whose faith is expressed by the decisions of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, and who maintain communion with the Patriarchates of Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem.
Eastern Christian Traditions
This course surveys Eastern Christian theological traditions by studying the history, theology, and practices of Oriental Orthodoxy, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and Eastern Catholic churches. Topics of more intense study will include the emergence of monasticism and its contribution to spirituality, Eastern liturgical and iconographic practices, surveys of ancient and contemporary hagiography, the Eastern views on Christology, the Church (ecclesiology), and the laity (marriage and moral theology), the ecumenical relationships among the Eastern churches, and between Eastern churches and the Roman Catholic Church.
Liturgical Theology explores the dynamic relationships between liturgical history, sacramental theology, and pastoral ministry. Liturgical theology contains numerous schools of thought on how liturgy, as a gathering of Christian people who encounter God in prayer and worship, serves as a primary source for all theology. This course examines the ways in which liturgical rites, texts, contexts, history, hermeneutics, and art make a significant contribution to the theological enterprise. The course covers the methods of discovering and articulating liturgical theology for parish ministry. Students will read works of classical liturgical theology from Christian antiquity, samples of liturgical theology by leading contemporary experts, and will practice using liturgical sources and sacramental celebration for parish ministry.