This course derives from selected portions of a classic of ascetic theology first published by the Italian monk Laurence Scupoli in 1589 as Spiritual Combat and also the contemporary work of Archimandrite Sergius Bowyer, the Abbot of St. Tikhon’s Monastery in Pennsylvania. Though this course is designed primarily for personal study and use, we believe significant value can be gained by its use by small groups studying together. Therefore the questions are so constructed that they may be used as either personal study guides or as means of entering into group discussion. Forming and maintaining a rule of prayer, the sacrament of confession, liturgical participation will also be stressed in this course. An understanding of the Orthodox Mindset or Phronema in terms of spiritual growth and salvation will be juxtaposed with the post Scholastic Period Western Christian understanding of the same to provide clarity as to the Orthodox Christian viewpoint.
Students are required to have an electronic journal that contains all of their notes for every content assignment in the course. There is a required minimum of one paragraph of notes per hour spent on a content assignment. The journal will be submitted in the Lesson Five Quiz when the course is completed.
Students are required to maintian an electronic journal that contains personal reflections on their prayer rule, church service attendance and reading of the daily Inspirational emails from Father Nicholas and Presbytera Roxanne Louh. Because of the personal nature of this journal, it will not be collected but instead students will give an oral presentation during the last class on any ways that they saw changes in their spiritual and prayer lives as was reflected in their journaling.