This website provides details of distance learning external programmes provided by the Western Orthodox Academy in the United Kingdom and open to students worldwide. These programmes lead to diploma awards made by the Western Orthodox Academy and to overseas, non-United Kingdom degree awards made by the Western Orthodox University on the basis of its incorporation in the Commonwealth of Dominica. In addition, through a dual degree programme, graduates of the Western Orthodox University can obtain a further reciprocal (non-UK) degree from the Universidad Panamericana (UPA), Costa Rica, the Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica (UNEM), or the Universidad San Juan de la Cruz, Costa Rica (USJDLC). The website also gives details of distance and blended learning programmes offered via affiliated campuses in Africa and Asia that lead to Western Orthodox University awards, and explains the history, research and archival work of the University.
Both the Western Orthodox University and the Western Orthodox Academy have since 6 August 1977 been formally united with the Apostolic Episcopal Church, a worldwide Continuing Anglican jurisdiction founded in 1925 and recognized by the Statutes of the State of New York, USA, since 1932. The Western Orthodox University and the Western Orthodox Academy are both accredited by the Anglican Association of Colleges and Schools, the umbrella body for the educational institutions of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, and hold a number of other recognitions.
Although the Western Orthodox Academy and the Western Orthodox University are Christian institutions, admission to their programmes (with the exception of certain programmes in theology) is open to all, regardless of their religious beliefs.
About the Western Orthodox Academy (United Kingdom)
The Western Orthodox Academy is a private British education provider. It does not award degrees as it does not have the legal powers to do so. It provides distance learning programmes leading to its own diploma awards in theology, to diplomas in Public Worship awarded through the Epiphany Guild, and diplomas in Music awarded through the J.S. Bach Academy. In addition, it provides academic and administrative services that support learners both in the United Kingdom and worldwide who desire to obtain an overseas (non-UK) degree award from the Western Orthodox University (Commonwealth of Dominica) through independent, mentored distance study and assessment. It also administers the dual degree programme whereby graduates of the Western Orthodox University can obtain a reciprocal (non-UK) degree from the Universidad Panamericana (UPA), Costa Rica, the Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica (UNEM), or the Universidad San Juan de la Cruz, Costa Rica (USJDLC).
The Academy is operated on the principle of a social enterprise, whereby it is not designed to make a profit but instead to cover its operating costs out of income derived from student fees and donations from those supporting its work.
The Academy is registered on the UK Register of Learning Providers (UKRLP) with Provider Reference Number 10063798.
About the Western Orthodox University (Commonwealth of Dominica)
Originally founded on 1 August 1945, the Western Orthodox University is a private Christian distance-learning international university that is today open to men and women of all faiths and backgrounds from around the world.
The University’s highly traditional approach, very different from the standardized mass education philosophy prevalent today, is based on one-to-one mentoring, with no pre-packaged courses and with most programmes consisting of guided reading and written assignments that are tailored to the student’s aims and interests. Students interact with their mentors face to face, by electronic means or by correspondence. Mentors are co-opted as necessary from among the University’s Fellows, as well as from other academic institutions and established scholars internationally.
The student body is currently concentrated mainly on the arts, humanities, theology, and business, including such specialisms as accounting and management, but also embraces some work in the sciences and in cross-disciplinary areas. The individually tailored nature of the University’s programmes means that many non-standard and unusual academic specialisms can be accommodated.
In addition to the distance learning programme, there are further options for learners on campus. Rather than having its own campus, the University instead affiliates with independent campus-based institutions who offer their own validated programmes leading to Western Orthodox University degrees. Around twenty affiliated campuses are currently located in Africa and Asia, and these allow students to prepare for degree and certificate awards in the classroom or through blended learning. The modes of study available range from full-time campus-based classes to part-time individual mentoring at a distance, with much overlap between these methods.
Most of the University’s students are mature, experienced professionals who can bring extensive expertise to their programmes. With existing learning gained both formally and informally through the workplace, they may be suited to the assessment of previously published academic work and the assessment of prior experiential learning. Experiential assessment is a particular strength of the University, with a number of its Fellows being highly expert in this process. The University also offers more traditionally structured degree routes both on campus and by distance learning, and the preparation of a dissertation incorporating either original research or a critical and systematic exposition of existing knowledge is an established route to a degree. The University’s PhD via research thesis remains one of the few research doctorates available entirely by distance learning with no residential requirements.
The University’s vision of education is one of tailored solutions for discerning high achievers who prefer the efficiency and freedom from bureaucracy that a private university can offer, rather than the mass market product available elsewhere. This independent outlook allows the University to place the learner at the heart of their own educational process, offering uniquely flexible programmes that are capable of considerable individual customization.
Since its foundation in the dying months of the Second World War, the University has spread its work over several continents. It remains committed to providing educational opportunities in the developing world for emergent leaders and executives who are in a position to benefit from bespoke training that empowers their businesses and other organizations. The University’s alumni include a number of distinguished individuals in varied walks of life – royalty, government ministers, business leaders and judges as well as clergymen. They form a community that, however geographically widespread, is united by a unique institutional ethos and a shared passion for the improvement of the human condition.
The activities of the University today also include significant responsibilities for archival preservation and dissemination. The University has an overall mission to collect information and resources concerned with the smaller Catholic, Orthodox and Continuing Anglican churches during the post-1866 period. This embraces a general scholarly interest in the modern independent sacramental movement both historically and in terms of theology and practice, and an ongoing programme of research. The European-American University Press provides a means for the book publication of its research output.
As a fully independent religious institution, the University greatly values its status as a private body controlled by a Church which has since its inception presented a distinctively Western Orthodox viewpoint and a determinedly ecumenical conservative Christian witness. Today, the Western Orthodox University also has a full relationship of reciprocal partnership, recognition and accreditation with the historic Pontificia Accademia Tiberina in Rome, Italy, founded in 1813 and recognized by the Sacred Congregation of Studies under Pope Leo XII in 1825.
Currently, the Western Orthodox University maintains its corporate registration in the Commonwealth of Dominica. While the Western Orthodox University is not itself a government-accredited university, this has not prevented it from achieving external accreditation or from forming validation partnerships with universities that are government-accredited, currently including the Universidad Panamericana, Costa Rica, the Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica, and the Universidad San Juan de la Cruz, Costa Rica. Over time, several other institutions have merged into the University, notably the former European-American University, which did so at the end of 2016.