St. Macrina Orthodox Institute

Growing Vocations Through Continuing Education

Icon of St. Macrina

The St. Macrina Orthodox Institute for Diakonia and Catechesis of the Diocese of the Midwest guides local parishes and Deaneries within the diocese in setting up high quality, rigorous continuing education programs to train men and women to assist in parish and deanery ministries.

The Saint Macrina Institute continues and expands the previous programs that had run for many years in various Deaneries of the Diocese.  We have added more classes and offer ministry training for women and men not seeking ordination.  A Catechist Certificate is awarded to all who successfully complete the program.  All who apply for Diaconal Vocations in the Diocese are also registered with the OCA Diaconal Vocations Office.  All diaconal vocations work in the Diocese is arranged through St. Macrina Orthodox Institute, which serves also to maintain the accountability of all programs of diaconal formation.  The goal of the Institute is to increase the scope of Church education and to support the reinvigoration of “diakonia,” both ordained and lay, through education and communities of learning.

The St. Macrina Orthodox Institute fulfills the dream of Archbishop Job of blessed memory, to expand Orthodox educational opportunities at home for those who, with good reason, cannot go off to seminary to seek an intensive vocational formation in the faith.  We take very seriously the students’ connection with the local parish and the Diocese, and are happy to provide them education where they are.

The St. Macrina Orthodox Institute is both rigorous and sensitive to people’s educational needs and abilities.  We work to bring direct, ongoing instruction to the faithful on the local level.  In dialogue with local Deans and pastors, we arrange for academically qualified and experienced instructors, preferably drawn from local clergy and laity, to give classes which can suit a working person’s schedule.  We set up small “cohorts” of students that can share the educational experience together, and form communities of support for education and ministry within Midwestern deaneries and parishes.

If there are no local instructors, the Saint Macrina Institute is willing to provide ongoing education, support, and resources to clergy or lay instructors who may be interested in embarking on a process of continuing education in specific areas of theology and practice, so that they in turn can teach the students. The Institute can also on some occasions send instructors from other locations to teach classes.  Instruction is arranged as a cooperative effort between the diocesan St. Macrina Institute and local instructors and cohorts of students.  Each local program may have some different emphases and meet different needs, approved by and accountable to the diocesan St. Macrina Institute.

The Program consists of a cycle of, ideally 7 courses of approximately 8 or more class sessions by local instructors, or, in some special cases, 2-4 intensive class sessions with instructors brought in from a distance.

For your convenience, a brochure can be downloaded and printed here.

Cycle of Courses

  • Spirituality
  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Church History & Patristics
  • Dogma, World Religions & Catechesis
  • Sacraments, Liturgical History and Theology & Homiletics
  • Ethics, Canons, Pastoral & Liturgical Practice

In addition, the Diocese offers a Conference and Diaconal Practicum each summer, and partners with the national OCA Diaconal Practicum.

Is This Right For You?

If you are considering a diaconal vocation or find yourself desiring a greater education in the Bible, Church Dogma, the Fathers, and more: get in touch with us!  Theological education is for all in the Church.  The Saint Macrina Orthodox Institute’s program is for anyone who wants to increase their knowledge and engage in greater, diakonia, service in the Church, both in the ordained diaconate and in other unordained ministries.  Speak to your pastor and to your local Dean about getting involved in a local cycle of courses.  Help to organize a local cycle.  Join in a community of learning throughout the Diocese, and benefit from the instruction of people trained and specialized in each particular theological area and discipline.

Information & Applications

For further information, contact:

Fr. Elijah Mueller
Phone:  312-714-9775

Applications should be sent to:

Diocese of the Midwest, OCA
c/o: Catechist & Diaconal Program
Diocesan Chancery
5037 W 83rd St
Burbank, IL  60459

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