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Pastoral Program for Ordination to the Diaconate

Level: Seminary level & First cycle (60 ECTS credits)

Organiser: Sankt Ignatios Community College & University College Stockholm

Location: Södertälje

Language of instruction: English

Length: 2 years

Study pace: Full-time (125%)

Teaching hours: Daytime, Certain weekends & evenings

This two-year pastoral program prepares candidates for ordination to the diaconate in the Orthodox Church.

Sankt Ignatios seeks to train a new generation of deacons who are prepared to serve both Church and society, through liturgical service, and by ministering to marginalized groups and individuals.

The program consists of studies in both theology and caritative work. By laying a broad theological foundation, students are immersed in the liturgical and spiritual tradition of their Church. Furthermore, they are trained to express the gospel through practical service; to minister to people in crisis, to organize diaconal work in a parish, and to develop an attentive, humble and loving attitude towards their neighbor.


This is a college program, which means that university studies (50%) are combined with community college studies (75%). In this way academic studies are combined with the possibility for personal formation. The education at Sankt Ignatios College is characterised by study, prayer, and fellowship, giving students the opportunity to grow as humans and as Christians, and to deepen their spiritual identities, while establishing a broad foundation of knowledge in Orthodox theology and tradition.

The first year focuses on the theology and tradition of the orthodox Church, as well as practical liturgics, pastoral theology and Church languages.

The second year this is combined with practical work in the caritative sector.

Examination Format

This is a college program which means that courses at both community college level and university level are included. Students are always informed about the level of the course at each individual course start.

Community college studies are assessed based on attendance and active participation. For full-time studies, this means that the student should be present as a rule every Monday-Friday from 9.00-16.00, unless the teaching is arranged for another time or day, and complete all tasks that are included in the course. If a student's absence is higher than 20%, the school has the right and obligation to remove the student from the program, which also means that any student financial aid for the program will be withdrawn.

Courses at university level use examination forms including but not limited to: written examinations, seminars, PM's, take-home examinations, interpretation exercises, oral examinations and essays. In addition, mandatory attendance with limited exceptions also applies.

Certificate & Diploma

The program leads to a certificate of completion. By the end of the second year, students have the opportunity of taking an examination which leads to a diploma in diaconal ministry. The program also offers the opportunity to earn 60 ECTS credits, however, this is not a requirement for being able to take the examination for the diploma.


The program does not automatically lead to ordination in the Orthodox Church. While the seminary faculty may recommend a seminary graduate for ordination, the final decision rests exclusively with the hierarchy of the respective Church.


For participants of this program it is mandatory to live at the school, since the seminary life is an integral part of the students formation for service in the Church.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition at Sankt Ignatios is free for everyone with citizenship or residence permit in Sweden or another EU country. However, we do charge a service fee for studies at the college or community college. For full-time studies this fee is SEK 1200 per semester. The service fee covers things like insurance, administration, and some materials used by students in connection with their studies. The service fee does not cover course literature, which is the participant's own responsibility to acquire.

The cost of boarding ranges from SEK 2500 to SEK 5000 per month (for 9 months per year) depending on the students choice of living arrangement. The fee for boarding includes both meals and accomodation.

Student Financial Aid

Participants of this program who are Swedish citizens are eligible to apply for student loans and grants via The Swedish Board of Student Finance (CSN). In some cases, participants who are not Swedish citizens but who have a residence permit in Sweden may also be eligible to apply for student loans and grants via CSN. Applicants must be prepared to validate their eligibility by providing documentation detailing previous education, since this will determine the outcome of their application for student financial aid.

Read more about how to apply for student financial aid via CSN at www.csn.se.

Participants who are not eligible to apply for student financial aid via CSN are encouraged to investigate whether they can apply for student financial aid in their home country for studies at Sankt Ignatios.

Utilising student financial aid is however not required in order to study at Sankt Ignatios.

Next program start: Fall term 2020

Applicants within Sweden or other EU/EEA-countries:

Application period: March 15 - April 15.

Occasionally, additional application periods for late application are opened, depending on available spots. Such application periods are announced on our website shortly before opening.


General entry requirements for university studies in Sweden.

Requirements for Admission

Applicants are required to be over the age of 18 and have a citizenship or residence permit in Sweden or another EU country.

In addition to the regular application, applicants also need to provide the following attachments:

  • A letter of recommendation from their spiritual father.
  • A letter of recognition from the ordaining bishop


Qualified applicants will also be called to an admission interview. The interview takes place over the phone with the rector of the relevant seminary.

Admissions Process

March 15 - April 15: Fill out the online application form for this program. Within a few days you will receive an e-mail confirmation that we have received and processed your application.

Send your grades and other attachments (a letter of recommendation from your spiritual father and a letter of recognition from the ordaining bishop

) to us. You can scan the attachments and e-mail them to admission@sanktignatios.org, or send them by post to:

Sankt Ignatios Theological Akademy

Mälaregatan 4

151 71 Södertälje

Interview: After the application period, qualified applicants will be contacted via e-mail and a telephone interview will be booked with the rector of the relevant seminary. In the interview, an initial assessment is made of the student's motivation for studies, family, background and grounding in their church. A general assessment of suitability for studies and boarding at the school is also made.

April 16 - July 11: A letter of acceptance is sent out by e-mail to those who have been admitted. In order to keep your place you need to accept it no later than two weeks after your letter of acceptance was sent. The letter also contains information about the start of the program.

July 29 - August 2: A welcome letter is sent out with additional information about the start of the program.

August 12 - August 18: Those who will be living at the school move in.

August 19 - August 23: program start and introductory week in Tysslinge.

If the program has too few participants

If the program has too few participants after the last application date, the program may be cancelled. If a program is cancelled, students will be informed of this no later than one week before the program starts. Any fees already paid will be refunded.

Applicants outside the EU/EEA:

This program is not open for applicants outside the EU/EEA.