edited December 1969 in Coptic Orthodox Church
waht does everyone think of the following idea.

What does everyone think of priests going through a very brief mandatory education in psychology and some good psychology techniques?
• Understanding human  psychology ranging from childhood to old age.
• Having the ability to recognise psychological problems and help them not only in spiritual aspects but psychology aspects and techniques in solving their problems e.g. managing anxiety with a specific problem seeing disorders like bi polar or life coaching issues.
• Having learnt skills that help them manage issues of others channelling it to the right place and learning organisational skill as a must.
• Help them selves and their family demands.

I think like a small 1 month course established by our church would really help. The forty days at the monastery doesn’t cover all this. And it can only be done before the priest gets consecrated after it is merely impossible.
I don’t think theology schools cover this and by the way theology schools are long and not all priests do them.
What does everyone think?


  • First of all, our theological schools aren't like the Catholic theological schools in that our purpose is not to bring out priests, but to bring out theologians.  Many of the great Church Fathers who attended or headmastered the Catechetical School of Alexandria were not priests as the school's main function was to educate, not to train for priesthood. 

    (As a matter of fact, just a side-note here, it was this misconception that caused Max Michel to create his big heresy.  Because he thought that attending the Catechetical School was going to land him a job as a priest.)

    With regards to the psychology classes and all that, I think it would be a great idea except for the problem of time.  If you think about it, the destiny of a priest is not determinable.  If God's plan for a person is to become a priest, and that plan isn't manifested until late in that person's life, then that person will probably not be able to learn all those things by the time he is ordained.  What that means is this: most of the priests being ordained nowadays, especially in the lands of immigration (America, Australia, South America, Europe), are people who have established a life in that area and taking up some sort of profession.  By the time they are chosed for the priesthood, they have probably reached past the age of 40 or 50, and are in no way fit for a rigorous academic curriclum coupled with the 40 days they have to do in the monastery.  With that said, the primary goal of ordaining priests is so they can start serving immediately.  So, take the 40 days they have to do in the monastery, plus maybe another 40 days of university level course work in psychology, plus another 40 days if maybe they want to do more than one course, or if they feel like they want to get a full bachelor's degree in Psychology, and now your talking about 3 months worth of time used up for preparation while that priest is badly needed for immediate service. 

    Your idea is not bad, or theologically wrong in any way.  I personally think it be good if you add an English course to the psychology.  The only problem is that it conflicts with the Coptic Orthodox method of choosing and ordaining and training priests.  And this should lead us to the ultimate question concerning this topic: "Should we change the method used to ordain priests and deacons in the Coptic Orthodox Church in order to benefit more and to adapt to the changing societies around us?"
  • Keep in mind that the Holy Spirit works in our priests too!
  • [quote author=Hizz_chiilld link=topic=5841.msg78449#msg78449 date=1192696394]
    Keep in mind that the Holy Spirit works in our priests too!

    Actually that is basically everything. Every word of advise, is the word of The Holy Spirit. The priest is just what He is using to get the advice out.
  • Let us be practical guys we are not in Egypt. I don’t think priests from around the Australia or overseas are not necessarily 40 yrs they are younger.
    also we need this so priests understand how to handle things. also know when to cll for help not being unlresitc and relying on God when some one might be in need of some help or something likethat plus the biggest one for mairred priests will be learning tools of organisatoin

    that waht i think
  • as i posted accdientally in another thread
    i dont think psyc is the answer...personally i dont value it much to a point hta i dont bleive in some of it
    the one course that i'd think would really help the priests would not be that but it would be
    sociology - the study of society and how people are ....

    but this can all be avoided if a simple effort is put to choose the right person for hte priest hood
    i mean....not every religous person is cut for the cloth.....b/c a priest is a FATHER whose job is to
    tend to his children and i belive tha the best priest would be the one who is a well orunded individual not just a religous person who serves alot (this is not to say that he shouldnt be holy or religous) it just means that their should be other factors
  • psychology and sociology classes aren't the answer. It won't change anything. It depends on the character of the priest.
    Maybe they should not ordain priests until a certain age to gain experience. Or choose carefully the priests.
    But who are we to judge priests in the first place ? ???
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