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Holy Apostles Glastonbury Biblical Seminary

hagbsFounded in 1941 in New York by Archbishop Arthur W. Brooks (Mar John Emmanuel), first Primate of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, Holy Apostles Glastonbury Biblical Seminary remains the seminary of the Apostolic Episcopal Church today. It is an integral part of the Western Orthodox University.

The activities of the Seminary were first sanctioned by the laws of the State of New York, art. 3-A. no. 50, chap. 597 of the Laws of 1932, as amended in 1933, which continues to empower the Apostolic Episcopal Church to grant ecclesiastical degrees of orders in theology. However, today, all degree awards of the Seminary are made by the Western Orthodox University on the basis of its incorporation in the Commonwealth of Dominica.

The Seminary prepares ordinands for a Bachelor of Theology for Ministry degree, which is designed to fulfil the requirement for a first degree in theology for the purpose of ordination in the Apostolic Episcopal Church and is open to ordinands in that church only. In addition, the Seminary offers degrees including those of Bachelor, Master and Doctor of Theology to the general public by mentored study (generally resulting in the submission of a dissertation; it is also possible to supplicate for the higher degree of Doctor of Divinity by published work), and a pioneering Doctor of Ministry programme for serving clergy of all faiths. These latter programmes are open to both men and women, while the programme for ordinands is open to men only.

The general approach of the Seminary is conservative and reflects the Continuing Anglican position of the Apostolic Episcopal Church. Notwithstanding this, the Seminary has significant interests in the wider exploration of the Christian Faith and is open to insights from a wide range of sources, including the study of comparative religion. Generally, the Seminary’s strengths are to be found in classical theology, ministry and church history, particularly the history of the smaller conservative churches.

Programmes open to the general public

Taught programmes
undertaken through individualized distance learning study with a faculty mentor

>>Doctor of Ministry

Assessment programmes
undertaken by portfolio of professional achievement

>>Doctor of Ministry
>>Doctor of Theology
>>Master of Ministry
>>Master of Theology
>>Bachelor of Theology

>>Guidance on APEL

Programmes by Published Work
undertaken by portfolio of published books and articles

>>Doctor of Philosophy in Theology
>>Doctor of Letters
>>Doctor of Divinity

>>Regulations for Degrees by Published Work

Programmes by Dissertation

>>Doctor of Philosophy in Theology
>>Master of Theology
>>Bachelor of Theology

>>Guidance on Dissertations


Acting Head of School

The Most Revd. Professor John Kersey
OCR, OA, Dr.h.c.mult., STD, DChr, DD, DLitt, EdD, PhD, DMus, HonMSc, MBA, MA, MMusRCM, DipRCM, HonFNCM, HonFDipSCSM, HonFMusICMA, HonFCAM, HonFNMSM, HonFASC, FRSA, FRGS, FSA Scot, FDipOXCEL, FVCM, FIMEB, FCCM, FNSCM, FCSM, FHSM, FMCM, FPerfASMC, FLSMR, FIAL(Lond), FWOU, HonCIL, HonAFCM, HonIWA, CertINSEAD, Honorary Academician, Pontificia Accademia Tiberina, Rome
Primate and Presiding Bishop of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, Chancellor of the University, Professorial Fellow and Richard Williams Morgan Professor of History


Mr Jason Derr
Research Fellow in Contemporary Theology

The Most Revd. Paget E.J. Mack
Missionary Archbishop of the Antilles in the Apostolic Episcopal Church, Honorary Fellow

Dr Allan Savage
Official Fellow in Interdisciplinary Philosophy and Theology

The Most Revd. Francis C. Spataro
Emeritus Primate of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, Emeritus Fellow

Information for ordinands in the Apostolic Episcopal Church

AEC vesica sealThe work of the Seminary is conducted entirely by mentored study, with ordinands assigned to an experienced member of clergy who prepares them for the requirements of their Bachelor of Theology for Ministry programme in addition to their training in ministry at a chapel or oratory associated with the Church. Much of the work is usually done via correspondence, with the programme of study arranged to take account of the candidate’s prior education, experience and to allow for the exploration of particular areas of interest. The core areas of Biblical Theology, Church History and Ministry form the basis of the programme, together with elective study in a range of subjects. The precise availability of electives will depend on the expertise of available mentors and examiners, although it is also possible to transfer in credit from other seminaries and tertiary institutions.

There are no centrally-set fees for ordinands, but ordinands are expected to pay an honorarium to their mentor and to cover any costs of obtaining books and other materials themselves. They must also cover any costs incurred in external mentoring or taking credit for transfer at other institutions.

Information for other members of the Apostolic Episcopal Church

The Seminary also provides continuing education for existing clergy and laity of the Apostolic Episcopal Church. Programmes are individually designed and are usually offered without fee except for an honorarium payable to the candidate’s mentor. The candidate is responsible for the costs of obtaining books and other materials, together with any externally-incurred costs.

Doctor of Divinity programme for serving bishops

The Western Orthodox University recognizes historical precedent from time immemorial whereby the degree of Doctor of Divinity may be supplicated for by a man who has been consecrated as a bishop within the Apostolic Succession as that concept is understood by the Catholic and Orthodox Church and who professes the Catholic and Orthodox faith. Originally such supplication was done at the university from which the bishop had graduated, but this practice has now fallen into disuse.

The Western Orthodox University will confer the degree of Doctor of Divinity, jure dignitatis, upon a man who provides proof, in the form of the relevant Instruments and any other required documentation, that he has been consecrated to the episcopate in accordance with accepted Catholic and Orthodox canon law and the practice of the Catholic and Orthodox Church throughout the ages.

Such conferral is not automatic, and depends upon the discretion of the University, which will also consider other aspects of the candidate’s application, such as his ministerial history and standing. Full details of the candidate’s work in lay and ordained ministry should be provided in the form of a portfolio of written evidence which will be examined by the Seminary’s experts. The process will also involve a detailed examination of the candidate’s lines of Apostolic Succession and may also, if successful, provide a certification of the authenticity of the said descent.

A non-refundable administration fee shall be payable by all candidates upon supplication.

Those admitted to the degree of Doctor of Divinity under this provision may be invited to become advisors to the Seminary. However, admission to this degree does not grant any form of affiliation or status in the Apostolic Episcopal Church itself.