Registration Open for St. John of Damascus Orthodox Educational Initiative

Registration is now open for the 2022-2023 academic year!



Fall Semester Dates: September 12th-December 30th (New Style)


Spring Semester Dates: January 16th-June 9th (New Style)




There are two payment options:

  1. Two payments of $400 at the start of each semester, or
  2. One payment of $725 at the beginning of the first semester (a $75 value!).


 Financial aid is available. Reach out to us!




For more information, call 215-987-2655 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Register here or by calling 215-987-2655!



Elementary School Classes (ages 8-12)




Instructor: Vicky Hamos


Description: In this course, elementary-level students will begin to explore Aesop’s classic fables. Each week, a new tale will be introduced. Students will discuss its different plot components, practice retelling the story in their own words, and work on understanding the moral. Students will also be introduced to new vocabulary words with each fable.

Times: T, TH, F 1:30-2 PM ET

Required Text: None. Handouts will be uploaded weekly.



Modern Greek I


Instructor: Vicky Hamos


Description: This is a very introductory level course of modern Greek geared towards elementary students. Students will learn the Greek alphabet, basic greetings, colors, numbers, and common vocabulary words. They will practice reading and speaking. Much of the learning will take place through song, repetition, and games. Students will also be introduced to puppet characters that will help them hear the Greek dialogue.

Times: T, TH, F 10-10:30AM ET

Required Text: None. Handouts will be uploaded weekly.


Modern Greek II


Instructor: Vicky Hamos


Description: This course is a continuation of Modern Greek. Students will review and continue learning basic vocabulary and minimal conversational skills. They will work on reading, writing, and speaking sentences. Some simple grammar will also be introduced.

Times: T, TH, F 2-2:30 PM ET

Required Text: None.

Classical Composition: Fable


Instructor: Vasilios Asimakos


Description: In this first section of the progymnasmata (stages leading up to the study of rhetoric), following the belief that students learn good writing by imitating good writing, students will learn to paraphrase (tell or write in their own words) fables. Along the way, they will learn to determine the three plot components in each fable (recognition, reversal, and suffering), practice variation (using different words and phrases that mean the same thing), learn the figures of description (devices that make their writing come jump to life with vividness), and the basics of grammar (capitalization, punctuation, and parts of speech).

Times: W, F 8-8:50 AM ET.

Required Text: Memoria Press’ Classical Composition: Fable and English Grammar Recitation I


Classical Composition: Narrative


Instructor: Vasilios Asimakos


Description: The second section of the progymnasmata (stages leading up to the study of rhetoric) is Narrative. In Narrative, students move on to paraphrasing myths, folk tales, and Bible stories. They build on what they’ve learned in Fable by learning to determine the six narrative components (agent, action, time, place, manner, and cause), learning literary devices to add style, and learning more grammatical concepts, such as principal parts, participles, and verb tenses.

Times: W 1-1:50 PM ET, F 9-9:50 AM ET

Required Texts: Memoria Press’ Classical Composition: Narrative and English Grammar Recitation II



Middle School Classes (ages 12-15)


Logic I


Instructor: Father John Somers


Description: To write or speak well, we must think well. This is precisely why we should study logic; logic is the science of right thinking. If we look to history, to ancient Greece and Rome, on the one hand, and to medieval Christendom, on the other hand, we see that the study of logic played an integral role in a student’s education. In this course, the student will be introduced to formal logic, as developed by Aristotle and used extensively by the Fathers of the Church. We will also be using a variety of methods to analyze the use of logic. One of these methods will be humor. We will analyze the use of logic in Alice in Wonderland to demonstrate the use of logic through humor.

Times: W 12:30-1:00 PM ET, TH 11:30AM-12PM ET

Required Text: Traditional Logic: Introduction to Formal Logic, Martin Cothran, published by Memoria Press


Logic II


Instructor: Father John Somers


Description: In this course, students will continue their study of logic. This will be a multi-faceted course. We will concern ourselves with the Orthodox view of logic. We will consider examples from the Fathers of the Church, looking at their use of logic.

Times: W 12-12:30PM ET and TH 12-12:30PM ET

Required Text: Traditional Logic II, Martin Cothran, published by Memoria Press. Students will need to purchase both text and workbook.


Integrated Science


Instructor: Nicole Finnie


Description: Integrated Middle School Science is a sampler of many scientific disciplines. The course aims to discover connections between living and nonliving elements in various ecosystems. Students will study essential topics extracted from life, physical, and earth science throughout the year. Students will focus on using the scientific method to test a hypothesis, gather data, draw conclusions and present their findings to peers in written and verbal formats. At-home laboratory experiments, using easy-to-find materials, are incorporated into the course.


Times: T, TH 1- 2PM ET


Classical Composition: Chreia/Maxim


Instructor:; Vasilios Asimakos


Description: In the third stage of the progymnasmata (stages leading up to the study of rhetoric), the rhetorical element of the students’ composition training becomes more obvious. In Chreia/Maxim, they learn to write a persuasive essay about a saying from a famous figure (chreia) or proverb (maxim). They do this by using the six heads of development (encomium, paraphrase, cause, converse, analogy, example, testimony, and epilogue), which are different ways of explaining something. They also continue to use the paraphrasing skills they’ve built up from the Fable and Narrative stages. They also learn more grammatical concepts, such as sentence complements and using the active and passive voice.

Times: T,W 9-9:50AM ET, F 11-11:50AM ET

Required Text: English Grammar Recitation III, published by Memoria Press. All other materials will be provided.


Classical Composition: Refutation/Confirmation


Instructor: Vasilios Asimakos

Description: The fourth stage of the progymnasmata (stages leading up to the study of rhetoric) is Refutation/Confirmation. In this stage, students will learn to both praise and criticize a short story using the six heads of purpose (clarity, plausibility, possibility, consistency, propriety, and expediency), which are different ways to make an argument for or against something. This course specifically hones the student’s ability to generate and make arguments, a lost art in our current age. They continue to implement skills gained from the previous progymnasmata stages. Additionally, they will continue to study grammar, learning concepts such as prepositional phrases, appositives, and verbals.

Times: W, F 10-10:50AM ET

Required Text: English Grammar Recitation IV, published by Memoria Press. All other materials will be provided.


Middle School Literature


Instructor: Nektaria Papanicola



Semester 1: Love, Marriage, and Family
This course will explore the themes of love, marriage, and family life through various extracts from literary classics. Students will be studying theme, character as well as the writing techniques used by the author to engage the reader. Students will explore how the cultural context and the Christian belief of the writers influence the telling of these stories. Students will be assessed via analytical essays and creative writing tasks.

Texts: “Maria Morevna “(Russian folk tale), Romeo and Juliet, Children of the New Forest, Little Women

All texts will be provided.

Semester 2: Heroes, Legends and Adventure
This course will be exploring the themes of heroism, legends and adventures through various extracts from literary classics. Students will be studying theme, character as well as the writing techniques used by the author to engage the reader. Students will explore how the cultural context and the Christian belief of the writers influence the telling of these stories. Students will be assessed via analytical essays, creative writing tasks and an oral presentation on ‘My Hero’.

Texts: King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Robin Hood, Huckleberry Finn, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Time: T, F 2:10-3:10 PM ET

All texts will be provided.

High School Classes


History for the Orthodox Christian I: Moses to Abraham


Instructor:Father John Somers


Description: It almost goes without saying that it is important to study history. Yet, for the Orthodox Christian, the study of history has become an ideological minefield. One can read book after book on world history or western civilization. These textbooks leave the young reader with the impression that Christianity is a tool of oppression, that the sacred history in the Old and New Testaments is more myth than fact. In this class, we will approach the study of history from an Orthodox point of view. Indeed, Orthodoxy will be the foundation for all of our studies.

Times: TBD

Required Text: The Law of God, Fr. Seraphim Slobodskoy; Bible (KJV); The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome, Susan Wise Bauer


High School Literature


Instructor: Nektaria Papanicola



Semester 1: Exploring Viewpoints
This course will be exploring how authorial viewpoint is established and expressed in a range of non-fiction and fiction texts. Students will explore the author’s toolkit in building up a persuasive and cohesive viewpoint, including structure, linguistic devices, and the interplay of pathos, ethos, and logos. Students will be assessed on their own ability to produce a persuasive piece of writing and will write an essay comparing points of view in two texts.

Non-Fiction study topics: mobile phone usage, television and screens, food and diet, fairs and festivals, imprisonment, and patriotic speeches (Lincoln and Churchill).

Fiction study topics: World War 1 pro and anti-war poetry (Kipling, Pope, Owen, Sassoon) and extracts from the novel All Quiet On The Western Front.


Semester 2: The Lord of the Rings- This is a course focusing on the Christian elements and messages in The Lord of the Rings. More details to come!


Times: T, F 1-2PM ET

Required Text: All materials will be provided.




Instructor: Nicole Finnie


Description: High School Biology is an extensive survey course covering many areas of life science. From the microscopic chemistry of life to the macroscopic study of living systems, biological study offers students the opportunity to study the intricacies of creation. When partaking in a detailed scientific examination, students will experience the wonder of intelligent design surrounding them. Key areas of study include cellular biology, introductory genetics, microbiology, taxonomy, botany, zoology, and ecology. Laboratory experiments included in the course reinforce challenging concepts and offer hands-on experience. Art skills are used to examine organisms and closely create visually exciting charts and graphs. Students can delve into advanced scientific inquiry upon completing this full-year course and its laboratory component.

Times: T, TH 9-9:50 AM ET

Required Text: Apologia, Exploring Creation with Biology, 3rd Edition (Textbook & Student Workbook). Families should also expect to incur expenses for lab materials and equipment.


More classes, including electives and discussion groups, will be listed soon!


See you in class!


In Christ,


OEI Staff


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