The Chair of External Church Relations of the Ss Cyril and Methodius School of Post-Graduate and Doctoral Studies ensures academic process for all the curricula including an advanced training program on disciplines in the field of external church relations as well as academic guidance for seekers of the academic degrees of candidate and doctor of theology in this field of specialization.

The Chair is special as far as it concerns its faculty. It is chaired by the rector of the School, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations. The lecturers are senior staff members of the DECR, expert practitioners in various areas of church diplomacy.

The training is carried out in a number of disciplines covering such areas as external church relations, inter-Orthodox relations, dialogue with the Old Belief, inter-Christian relations, work with expatriates and dialogue with international organizations and institutions.

Advanced training students are given specialized knowledge in the field of church protocol. They have an opportunity to learn from the long-standing experience of the Russian Church in external work and to be introduced to the latest changes in the ecclesial life abroad as well as non-Orthodox and international life.

A special place in the advanced training program is given to secular disciplines related to inter-church relations, including international law, history and theory of diplomacy and other important subjects.

Among the Chair’s post-graduate students and doctoral candidates are representatives of Local Orthodox Churches and clergy and laity of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Chair has organized lecturers by primates and bishops of Local Orthodox Churches as well as representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian confessions.

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