The discipleship course is a servants preparation course. The aim of this course is to deepen our understanding and get closer to God and the church sacraments. When we are able to taste the glory of God, His love will grow in us and overflow to those we serve and attract others to God and His house.
The discipleship couse runs over two years and comprises of three main sections: 1. Eight study modules, 2. Services Placement, and 3. Mentoring Program
Options of study: 1. Attend the course in person every Friday night from 7:30pm to 9pm and complete all course requirements, including an attendance minimum, placement and mentoring. (No tests required).
2. Online course (only for those over 18 years old). Study the course in your own time using the materials provided, then sit a written test in each of the eight modules and complete all course requirements (placement and mentoring).
The Eight Modules are: 1. Church Traditions & Rites 2. Christian Leadership & Psychology 3. Biblical Studies 4. Contemporary Issues 5. Liturgical & Coptic Studies 6. Comparative Theology & Religion 7. The Spirituality of the Servant 8. Church History
Some of the topics covered in this course are:
> Understanding the Seven Sacraments of the Church > Understanding the Holy Liturgy, how to pray parts of the Liturgy and meanings of each > The duties/responsibilities in the Church > Our early fathers and their lives, saying and teachings > The differences between Orthodoxy, other Christian beliefs and other religious traditions > Introduction to books of the Bible > The orthodox faith in the twenty-first century; including topics such as self-control and wisdom, how to behave, rights/wrongs and other contemporary issues > Manners of speaking, discussions, trips etc. > Managing conflicts and building relationships with others > The experience of the service; working with other servants and members of the church > Christian education; how to pass on the faith to others > Orthodox belief, teachings, and history
Placement acts as an opportunity for the students to see first hand the requirements of service. They need to complete 30hrs per year of Sunday School placement, usually in junior or upper primary year levels. The hours include attendance in the Sunday school class as well as servants meeting, lesson preparation and visitations. They also are required to attend a spiritual day and camp; including attending meetings that prepare for them. To allow the youth to experience a breadth of service, they are required to do 20 hrs over the two years of the course in any service of their choosing. This may include, making Korban, assisting in the church fetes, participating in cleaning the church services or any other service of their choosing. In all placements, the attendees are required to write a reflection on their participation in the service and receive written feedback from their supervisors.
Mentoring is necessary for the youth to fulfil the spirit of Discipleship by learning from another experienced servant. This allows them to have dialogue with an experienced servant and learn from their experiences. The mentoring portion of the course particularly provides the students to develop their skills and talents in working with other servants such as soft skills, conflict management and dealing with other complex issues that surround the service.
While the discipleship course is mainly comprised of youth, any person who is interested in service is encouraged to participate. In addition, those already serving are particularly encouraged to maintain and refresh their knowledge in service.