Institute of Theology

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Communal Life

The uniqueness of student life at the Institute of St John of Damascus is based on the parallel growth of the student in spiritual and scientific knowledge, and the embodiment of the living Orthodox faith. The academic theological curriculum, which is inseparable from the students’ life at the Institute of Theology, aims to create a spiritual and knowledgeable future generation.

The study of theology at Balamand does not settle for only intellectual dialogue but seeks to foster authenticity in relationships among people. Thus, the students reside at the Institute of Theology for a period of four to five years, experiencing a phase of spiritual, intellectual, applied, and practical preparation for a life of consecration, service, and teaching in the Church.

The person responsible for the Internal Life attends to and supervises all that is related to student life, and interaction with colleagues, in addition to mentoring the spiritual life of the student, with coordination with his spiritual father when necessary. He also plans activities that enrich the knowledge and experience of the students to ensure that he is spending a constructive and enjoyable time in the Institute and making friendships not only with his colleagues but with friends of other backgrounds and fields.

At the Institute of Theology, the students live together in communal life. Its main components are prayer services and shared meals. Various student activities are based upon collaboration between professors and students to enrich daily life. Besides, these enliven talents and search for spiritual, cultural, parochial, and recreational opportunities that will activate student life and impart to it an ambiance of dialogue, broadmindedness, and creative interaction with the ecclesiastical, social, intellectual, and environmental milieu.

Every student has his or her room, which is a place of prayer and an atelier for studies. The setting of daily liturgical prayers, which encompasses life at the Institute of Theology, is the best field for student formation in liturgical worship. Indeed, it is a living fountain from which they taste the sweetness of Orthodox liturgy and the theology of prayer and worship.

Thus, they celebrate certain feasts such as the feast days of St John of Damascus, St. John the Theologian, Sts. Peter and Paul, Holy Week, and Holy Pascha, which contribute to the prayerful, joyful, and communal life.

The choir of the Institute of Theology is renowned for its professional performance and skilled mastery of Church music. The choir, composed of talented students, dedicates several hours every week to practice towards a harmonious chanting led by the choirmaster. Not only does the choir commit itself to the liturgical services in Balamand Monastery, but also, when needs arise, it chants in the Antiochian Dioceses or even in other Orthodox Local Churches.

In Balamand, the student finds himself thrust into a focal ecclesiastical Orthodox center that assembles the children of the Church, and the workers in it, who flock to it not only from all areas of our Patriarchate but also from other churches in the Christian world. This fact provides the student with a unique opportunity to become closely acquainted with the message of the Church, its concerns, aspects of work in it. The student also gets to meet eminent theologians, scholars, and workers servicing the Church in the global outreach of the Orthodox Church.

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Saint John of Damascus Institute of Theology
The University of Balamand

Address: Monastery of Balamand, PO Box 100, Tripoli, Lebanon
Tel: 00961 (0) 6 930 305 - Fax: 00961 (0) 6 930 304
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