Greek returns to the Theological School of Balamand in Lebanon after 15 years

greek The University of Balamand lebanon

On the initiative of Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and with the coordination of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Hellenism Abroad and Public Diplomacy Ioannis Chryssoulakis, in cooperation with the Patriarchate of Antioch, the Greek language program for the students of the Theological School of Balamand in Lebanon started after a 15-year break.

The program is being implemented through the Ecclesiastical Affairs Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Deanery of the Theological School of Balamand.

Specifically and according to the plan, newly admitted theology students at Balamand will attend a year-long Greek language learning program (4 hours of class per day), an intensive 6-week summer program in Greece with a visit to Mount Athos.

After successfully passing the exams of Greek at the B2 level, they will be included in undergraduate courses at the School.

The University of Balamand

In addition to the annual course program of the school, at least 14 courses of the undergraduate and postgraduate program will be taught in Greek by Greek professors from the Theological Schools of Greece.

In the framework of the strengthening of the relations between the Theological Schools of Greece and the School of Balamand, in the autumn of each year a Theological Conference will be held, alternately in Balamand, Thessaloniki and Athens, where issues concerning the Orthodox Church and Theology will be examined.

For the academic year 2022-2023, two professors from the Greek Theological Schools are already in Lebanon, while five more professors will follow who will teach courses in the Studies program at the Balamand Theological School.

Chryssoulakis stated: "the Greek state immediately responded to the request of the Patriarchate and the Balamand School of Theology for the return of Greek studies to the School's curriculum, as this way the multi-level offer of Greek Theological Studies will be strengthened Schools for the training of candidate clergy of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and the fraternal ties between the Orthodox Churches will be forged as much as possible. Our feeling is that we are fulfilling a spiritual and national duty."

The Theological School of Balamand is headquartered in the Koura District, one of the 26 districts of Lebanon. It is believed that up to three quarters of residents are Greek Orthodox, making it the only majority Greek Orthodox district in Lebanon.

Koura comes from the Greek "xwra", meaning "country".

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