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St. Athanasius and St. Cyril Theological School


Welcome to St. Athanasius & St Cyril Coptic Orthodox Theological School (ACTS), we are very excited you are here.
Here, both faculty and students – male and female, single and married – study together, providing the best environment for the study of theology and the formation of future priests, theologians and other co-workers of God.
ACTS embraces the challenge of serving the Church and the needs of Orthodox Christians in the 21st Century. Time brings change but the Truth of the Gospel is eternally unchanging; adjustments must be made to engage a rapidly changing world, but without sacrificing that which is the same yesterday, today, and forever.


St. Athanasius and St. Cyril Coptic Orthodox Theological School traces its origins to the world’s first Catechetical School.

By the dawn of the third century AD, a theological school, the first of its kind, flourished in Alexandria. The School, originally established by Saint Mark the Apostle, strived to introduce catechumens to the tenets of the Christian faith, and to enable the faithful, both lay and ordained, to plumb the depth of the Holy Scriptures and to articulate the mysteries of salvation. In its day, the School of Alexandria equipped individuals to live as devout Christians, and to answer their calling, be it to serve as theologians, missionaries, clerics, or martyrs. In the 20th century, the modern-day Dean of the School was Archdeacon Habib Girgis.

In 1989, the Trice-Blessed Pope Shenouda III (1971 – 2012), delivered a message to the faithful of Los Angeles regarding his vision for the importance of world branches of the Theological School. During this visit, His Holiness established branches in Los Angeles, New Jersey and Australia.

At the Los Angeles location, from 1989 to 1995 a board of directors, and courses were established under the direct supervision and blessing of H.H. Pope Shenouda, with the Very Rev. Fr. Mikhail as Academic Dean, and Very Rev. Fr. Felimon Mikhail as Administrative Dean. In 1993, the first class of students graduated from the School.

In July 2007, Saint Athanasius and Saint Cyril Coptic Orthodox Theological Library was established to further the efforts and goals of the School by organizing theological conferences, seminars, and events. In 2015, the two organizations merged to form Saint Athanasius and Saint Cyril Coptic Orthodox Theological School (ACTS).

On October 19, 2015 His Holiness Pope Tawadros signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with Claremont School of Theology (CST) and Claremont Graduate University (CGU), home of the renowned Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia. The MOUs with CST and CGU enabled ACTS students to take courses across all three institutions and obtain fully accredited graduate degrees.

ACTS currently resides at our Orange County Campus in Anaheim, California. Please see current course offerings for more details.

Mission. Vision. Values.

Very Rev. Father George Dragas, of the Greek Orthodox Church, giving a lecture on St. Athanasius on one of his many visits to ACTS.


The mission of Saint Athanasius and Saint Cyril Coptic Orthodox Theological School is to provide students with a sound Orthodox Christian education, which prepares them to become Christian leaders who are spiritually mature, biblically and theologically responsible, professionally competent, intellectually astute, deeply committed to sharing the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ and fully equipped for the various ministries of His Church.

Through Orthodox Christian theological education, research, and scholarship, ACTS seeks to edify the Church throughout the world – directly through the preparation of bishops, priests, deacons, servants, scholars, and leaders to teach the Orthodox faith, to preach the gospel throughout the world through mission and evangelism, to serve those in need, and to heal the historic divisions of the church through inter-Orthodox and inter-religious cooperation.


Very Rev. Father George Dragas, of the Greek Orthodox Church, giving a lecture on St. Athanasius on one of his many visits to ACTS.

Fr. Daniel Azer, in Jerusalem at ACTS annual study abroad trips.
Fr. Daniel Azer, in Jerusalem at ACTS annual study abroad trips.


In every aspect of its life and work, ACTS is guided by the following principles:

  • Teach the critical appropriation of the Orthodox tradition through a holistic approach that integrates study, work, worship, and personal discipline, in pursuit of the highest standard of academic excellence, professional ethics, and personal integrity.
  • Preach and proclaim the Gospel in the world today, inviting all to partake of the fullness of the faith, as expressed in the life and teachings of the Orthodox Christian Church.
  • Serve the Church of God and the word in love, humility, worship, and education as faithful stewards for the glory of God, the edification of the Church, and perfect unity of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Statement of Faith


We believe in one God, God the Father the Pantocrator who created heaven and earth, and all things seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten not created, of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made; Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy spirit and the Virgin Mary and became Man. And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried. And on the third day He rose from the dead, according to the scriptures, ascended to the heavens; He sits at the right hand of his Father, and He is coming again in His glory to judge the living and the dead, Whose kingdom shall have no end.

Yes, we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Life-Giver, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets.

And in one holy, catholic and apostolic church. We confess one baptism for the remission of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the coming age. Amen.

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Posted by Fr. Moses Samaan

June 24, 2009