St. Thomas is currently developing a catechesis program for inquirers, catechumens, and anyone interested in broadening their knowledge of Orthodox Christianity.

Below is the proposed layout of classes about to provide a foundation for an Orthodox life, with the study of Sacred Scripture, the Church Fathers, Church History, and the Divine Services.

Part I: Basics of Orthodoxy - The Law of God by Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy


Month 1: Basics: Orthodox Faith and Life

  • Wk. 1: About the World and About God

  • Wk. 2: What is Sin? What is prayer? 

  • Wk. 3: What makes us Orthodox? Why are we Orthodox? 

  • Wk. 4: Orthodox Prayers

Month 2: Old Testament

  • Wk. 1: Introduction to the Old Testament, Creation through Tower of Babel 

  • Wk. 2: Abraham through Job 

  • Wk. 3: Moses through King Solomon 

  • Wk. 4: The Prophets through the Inter-testamental Period 


Month 3: New Testament Part I

  • Wk. 1 & 2: Intro. to New Testament, Nativity of the Mother of God through Jesus Christ Entry into the Temple 

  • Wk. 3 & 4: John the Baptist and Christ's Early Ministry through the Parable of the Prodigal Son 


Month 4: New Testament Part II / Orthodox Life and Practice

  • Wk. 1: Raising of Lazarus through the Ascension 

  • Wk. 2: Pentecost through the Enlightenment of the Slavs 

  • Wk. 3: Christian Faith and Life, The Purpose of Man, Christian Life, Ten Commandments, and the Beatitudes.

  • Wk. 4: Divine Services - Serving God, the Church Building, Clergy, Feasts, and Fasts.


Part II: The Saints and Church History 

Month 5: Introduction to The Saints

  • Wk. 1: Great female saints

  • Wk. 2: Great Male Saints 

  • Wk. 3: Holy Hierarchs

  • Wk. 4: Contemporary Saints


Month 6: The Ecumenical Councils

  • Wk. 1: Early Church - Review Book of Acts and the pre-Conciliar Period

  • Wk. 2: Nicea I, Constantinople I - The Creed

  • Wk. 3: Ephesus, Chalcedon, Constantinople II, and Constantinople III

  • Wk. 4: Nicea II - Restoration of the Holy Icons


Month 7: Church History

  • Wk. 1: Development of Monasticism

  • Wk. 2: Trullo, Photian Council, the Palamite Synods, and Other Important Synods

  • Wk. 3: Pre-Schism Christianity in the West

  • Wk. 4: Sts. Cyril and Methodius through Pre-Revolutionary Russia and early Orthodoxy in America


Month 8: Russian Revolution, ROCOR, and Orthodoxy in America

  • Wk. 1: Appearance of Orthodoxy in America, the Russian Revolution, and the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia

  • Wk. 2: Foundation of ROCOR and History

  • Wk. 3: ROCOR Through the Years

  • Wk. 4: Reunification with Moscow, Current Hierarchy and Church Life Today

Part III: The Russian Orthodox Spiritual Tradition

Month 9: The Way of a Pilgrim, the Jesus Prayer, and Beginning to Pray

  • Wk. 1: Way of a Pilgrim 

  • Wk. 2: Metropolitan Anthony Bloom's Beginning to Pray

  • Wk. 3: The Art of Prayer by Igumen Chariton

  • Wk. 4: Morning and Evening Prayers, Canons and Akathists


Month 10: Russian Monasticism and The Elders of Optina

  • Wk. 1: Early Russian Monasticism

  • Wk. 2: Early Struggles and Foundation of Optina Monastery - Elders Moses, Leonid, Anthony, Macarius, Ambrose

  • Wk. 3: Elders Joseph, Barsanuphius, Nektary, Anatoly, Sebastian

  • Wk. 4: St. Seraphim of Sarov and other famous Russian Monastics


Month 11: Recent Figures and their Spiritual Works

  • Wk. 1: St. Ignatius Brianchaninov and St. Theophan the Recluse

  • Wk. 2: Fr. Seraphim Rose and Priest Daniel Sysoev

  • Wk. 3: St. Nikolai Velimirovich and St. Justin Popovich

  • Wk. 4: Contemporary Saints of Mount Athos and Other Orthodox Elders


Month 12: The Holy Mysteries

  • Wk. 1: Institution of the Sacraments: Biblical Basis, Anointing of the Sick, Marriage, and Holy Orders

  • Wk. 2: Baptism and Chrismation

  • Wk. 3: Confession

  • Wk. 4: Holy Communion


Part IV: New Testament Study

Study of Holy Scripture with Commentary from Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop Averky, and Other Church Fathers


Month 1: Gospel of St. Matthew

Month 2: Gospel of St. Mark

Month 3: Gospel of St. Luke

Month 4: Gospel of St. John

Month 5, Weeks 1 and 2: Acts of the Holy Apostles


Month 5, Week 3: Pauline Epistles

Month 5, Week 4: Other Epistles

Month 6: Apocalypse of St. John


Part IV (Abbreviated Form): The Four Gospels by Archbishop Averky


A study of Archbishop Averky's "Four Gospels", with the events in the Gospels arranged in chronological order. Divided into eight weeks. 

Part V: Old Testament Study

Study of the Old Testament with Commentary from the Church Fathers


Month 7: In the Beginning... Books of the Law and Joshua

  • Wk. 1: Genesis

  • Wk. 2: Exodus

  • Wk. 3: Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

  • Wk. 4 Joshua

Month 8: History Part I

  • Wk. 1: Judges

  • Wk. 2: Ruth

  • Wk. 3: Kings I-IV, Chronicles

  • Wk. 4: Esdras I and II


Month 9: History Part II

  • Wk. 1: Tobit

  • Wk. 2: Judith

  • Wk. 3: Ester

  • Wk. 4: The Maccabees


Month 10: Books of Wisdom and Poetry

  • Wk. 1: Psalms with the Prayer of Manasseh

  • Wk. 2: Job

  • Wk. 3: Solomon: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and Wisdom of Solomon

  • Wk. 4: Wisdom of Sirach


Month 11: Minor Prophets

  • Wk. 1: Hosea, Amos, and Michah

  • Wk. 2: Joel, Obadiah, Jonah

  • Wk. 3: Nahum, Habbakuk, and Zephaniah

  • Wk. 4: Haggai, Zachariah, and Malachi


Month 12: Major Prophets

  • Wk. 1: Isaiah

  • Wk. 2: Jeremiah - Jerimiah, Baruch, Lamentations, and the Epistle of Jeremiah

  • Wk. 3: Ezekiel

  • Wk. 4: Daniel


Part VI: The Liturgical Life of the Orthodox Church


Month 1: The Divine Liturgy

  • Wk. 1: Liturgy of the Catechumens Part I

  • Wk. 2: Liturgy of the Catechumens Part II

  • Wk. 3: Liturgy of the Faithful Part I - The Anaphora of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil

  • Wk. 4: Liturgy of the Faithful Part II - Communion, Final Prayers


Month 2: The Liturgical Books of the Orthodox Church

  • Wk. 1: The Typikon and The Menaion, Calendar of Saints and Fixed Liturgical Material

  • Wk. 2: The Octoechos - Daily and Weekly, Tones of the Week

  • Wk. 3: Triodion - Lenten Liturgical Material and Themes

  • Wk. 4: Pentecostarion - Themes of the Resurrection, Pentecost


Month 3: The "All Night Vigil" and the Smaller Hours

  • Wk. 1: Order and Theology of Vespers

  • Wk. 2: Order and Theology of Matins

  • Wk. 3: The Hours

  • Wk. 4: The Theology and order of Compline and the Midnight Office


Month 4: Other Services

  • Wk. 1: Royal Hours of Nativity and Theophany

  • Wk. 2: Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

  • Wk. 3: Services of Holy Week and Pascha

  • Wk. 4: Blessing of Waters at Theophany, Small Blessing of Waters


Month 5: Occasional Services of the Orthodox Church

  • Wk. 1: The Moleben 

  • Wk. 2: The Pannikida/Memorial Service

  • Wk. 3: Various Blessings

  • Wk. 4: Services In the Absence of a Priest


Month 6: Clergy in the Orthodox Church

  • Wk. 1: Reader, Subdeacon - Purpose and Ordination Rite

  • Wk. 2: Deacons - Liturgical Function and the Ordination Rite

  • Wk. 3: Priests - Purpose, Liturgical Function, Ordination Rite, Priestly Awards and Ranks

  • Wk. 4: Bishops - Hierarchs of the Orthodox Church, Function and Duties and Ordination Rite