This page provides information about the diploma programmes in theology offered by the Western Orthodox Academy in the United Kingdom.
About the Western Orthodox Academy
The Western Orthodox Academy was founded in 1945 and is an institution of the Apostolic Episcopal Church. It is a private United Kingdom distance education college that is not within the UK state education system and cannot award degrees by law. In the United Kingdom, no governmental authority, recognition, licensing or accreditation is required for a private distance learning college to award its own diplomas or certificates and many such bodies do so. These awards are fully legal United Kingdom qualifications which are designed for independent learners who are seeking an award for professional and personal development.
The Western Orthodox Academy is registered on the UK Register of Learning Providers (UKRLP) with Provider Reference Number 10063798. The UKRLP does not quality assure or accredit in any way the learning provision of the provider. However, registration with the UKRLP does serve as an official confirmation that the education provider’s existence and details have been verified by a UK government agency.
The Western Orthodox Academy does not have its own campus, but operates via distance and blended learning at locations internationally. The Academy mailing address handles our mail and routes communications to officers as necessary.
Admission to the diploma programmes is open to individuals regardless of their position on faith. The diploma programmes are taught by members of the Apostolic Episcopal Church and reflect the theological position of that church. The programmes consist of structured coursework completed under the guidance of a mentor, with scope for individual choice and the customization of assignment titles.
In addition to the diplomas in theology offered by the Western Orthodox Academy, diplomas in Public Worship (via the pathways of research, spoken word and music) are offered by the Epiphany Guild as a division of the Academy, and diplomas in Music are offered by the J.S. Bach Academy.
The Academy’s diplomas are mapped to the levels established by UNESCO’s International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) (2011 edition) for easy comparability across different educational systems.
Associate of Theology diploma (A.Th.) (UNESCO ISCED level 5)
This is a first diploma in theology commensurate with the standard expected by the Academy of a student after one year’s full time postsecondary study. The candidate must submit a total of eighteen assignments, each of between 2,000 and 2,500 words in length. It is possible to combine certain assignments to form a mini-project. No formal entrance qualification is required other than completion of secondary education or its equivalent.
Subjects for assignments
The learner selects eighteen assignments, so that at least two are chosen from each block, with the remaining four being freely chosen from the remaining topics.
|Block 1||Block 2||Block 3|
|Genesis 1-11||The Pauline Epistles||History of the Celtic Church before 1066|
|Pentateuch||The Epistle to the Hebrews||History of the Church up to the Council of Chalcedon in 451AD|
|Psalms||The Acts of the Apostles||The Reformation|
|Prophecy during the pre-exilic period||The Book of Revelation||The Oxford Movement|
|Prophecy during and after the period of exile||The Synoptic Gospels||The Thirty-Nine Articles|
|Block 4||Block 5||Block 6||Block 7|
|The Holy Trinity||Healing Ministry||Liturgy||Homiletics|
|The Incarnation and the Atonement||Pastoral Theology||Funeral Ministry||The Nature of Ministry|
|The Gifts of the Spirit||Prophecy in the Modern Age||Pastoral Counselling||Christian sexual morality|
|The Creeds||Anglican Realignment||Hymnology||The Sacraments|
|The Nature of Sin||Youth Ministry||History of Church Music||Ecumenism|
Licentiate of Theology diploma (L.Th.) (UNESCO ISCED level 5)
This diploma requires the A.Th. or equivalent for entry. Its standard is commensurate with that expected by the Academy of a student after two years’ full time postsecondary study. The candidate must submit a total of eighteen assignments, each of between 3,000 and 3,500 words in length, not to duplicate subjects taken for the A.Th. A dissertation of 10,000 words is also required. The dissertation will be on a subject relevant to Christian Theology, widely interpreted, chosen by the candidate and approved by the Academy. Information on dissertation standards may be found here.
Subjects for assignments
The learner selects eighteen assignments, so that at least one is chosen from each block, with the remaining ten being freely chosen from the remaining topics. Subjects already taken for the A.Th. may not be duplicated.
|Block 1||Block 2||Block 3||Block 4|
|Genesis 1-11||The Pauline Epistles||History of the Celtic Church before 1066||The Holy Trinity|
|Pentateuch||The Epistle to the Hebrews||History of the Church up to the Council of Chalcedon in 451AD||The Incarnation and the Atonement|
|Psalms||The Acts of the Apostles||The Reformation||The Gifts of the Spirit|
|Prophecy during the pre-exilic period||The Book of Revelation||The Oxford Movement||The Creeds|
|Prophecy during and after the period of exile||The Synoptic Gospels||Theodicy||The Nature of Sin|
|Block 5||Block 6||Block 7||Block 8|
|Healing Ministry||Liturgy||Augustine||History of
the Papacy in the twentieth-century
|Pastoral Theology||Funeral Ministry||The Nature of Ministry||Outline of a particular monastic
|Prophecy in the Modern Age||Pastoral Counselling||Christian sexual morality||Non-Conformism|
|Soteriology||Hymnology||The Sacraments||The Holy Spirit|
|Determinism and Free Will||History of Church Music||Ecumenism||Aquinas|
Fellow of Theology diploma (F.Th.) (UNESCO ISCED level 7)
This diploma requires a bachelor’s degree in theology or equivalent for entry. Its standard is commensurate with that expected by the Academy of a student at Postgraduate Diploma level.
The candidate is required to complete a 30,000 word dissertation under the supervision of a mentor. The dissertation will be on a subject relevant to Christian Theology, widely interpreted, chosen by the candidate and approved by the Academy. Information on dissertation standards may be found here.
Status of Western Orthodox Academy diplomas
The diploma programmes offered by the Western Orthodox Academy lead to diploma awards which are not degrees. While Western Orthodox Academy diplomas have been recognized for credit by some overseas degree-awarding bodies, the degrees issued by those bodies are not United Kingdom awards, nor are they designed to be comparable to United Kingdom awards.
Western Orthodox Academy diplomas in theology are offered at Associate Diploma, Licentiate Diploma, and Fellow Diploma levels. The titles of associate, licentiate and fellow used by these diplomas are not regulated titles in the UK and there is no universally recognized standard for their content or length.
All issues of acceptance and recognition relating to Western Orthodox Academy diplomas are entirely the responsibility of the receiving party concerned. The prospective candidate should check with any third party from whom they might desire recognition to establish what their position will be before they enrol. The Western Orthodox Academy cannot undertake this process for enquirers.