The American Apostolic Old Catholic Church welcomes you to St. Hildegard's Online Independent Catholic Seminary!
The AAOCC is an Independent Catholic Church which grow out of the Old Catholic Movement. We are theologically and liturgically conservative, yet fully inclusive: we offer all 7 sacraments to ALL people, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, physical impairment, or age.
As both clergy and individuals, every single person in the AAOCC has a passion for education and evangelization. We consider these twin charisms to be the two lungs of the Body of Christ, bringing fresh air and new vitality to the entire "priesthood of all believers".
Conversion must always be followed by solid educational formation. Without proper formation, the newly converted (or newly revitalized) believer doesn't understand the nature or purpose of transformation. They have had a real encounter with the risen Christ, who has touched their hearts and called them to follow Him. Formation is the part of the conversion process in which the transformed believer learns who this Christ is who has called him/her out of darkness into His own wonderful light. They need to know how to be a disciple of their Lord. This educational process is called "formation." If done incorrectly, the believe may become confused about whether their conversion was a true event; or worse, they may be lead astray into all manner of "strange teachings."
The believers in the pews also need to understand that academic knowledge is not enough for discipleship. We must constantly seek out opportunities to ascend the mountaintop and encounter our Lord in an intimate and person way. Whether this is service or prayer, work or contemplation, conversion is an ongoing process. The first call of Christ and the initial encounter with God is the first tranformational event in the life of a disciple--but it cannot be the last.
Just as faith without works is dead, formation without conversion results in a dry, lifeless faith centered on tradition and a tepid, grudging obedience.
This seminary, therefore, fills two necessary roles in the educational process for both clergy and laypeople. First, we offer Masters-level classes for clergy to obtain the education and formation they need to serve with distinction within the parishes, ministries, and chaplaincies of their own jurisdictions. Clergy can also avail themselves of one or two courses or seminars as needed in order to sharpen their skills, continue their education, or fill gaps in knowledge.
Second, all of our courses, retreats, and certificate programs are open to lay people who either wish to obtain their own degree or who are interested in the subject material of the courses.
This way, both the cleric and the faithful study to become effective evangelists in the world, each according to his or her station in life.
All of our professors hold accredited Masters and Doctorate degrees and have experience teaching at the university level. Your educational experience will be exactly like any other accredited online school with one exception: our courses offer flexibility for second-career students with jobs, families, and ministries.
Our professor's are also PAID for their work and time in creating a self-study course. The school keeps very little of the cost of each class. The remainder is paid to our professors.
Our courses are always recorded so that students who might suffer a high absenteeism due to life circumstances can finish their degrees at their own pace or at the traditional pace of weekly class meetings. We offer a high-quality theological education in exchange for an unprecedentedly-low price: all with the eventual goal of a fully accredited degree.
A NOTE ABOUT ACCREDITATION
The AAOCC Seminary is not currently regionally accredited. However, we intend to eventually apply for regional ATS accreditation once we graduate a class through each degree program. The process of regional accreditation is slow and cannot even begin until an institution has moved a class through the entire degree program.
Courses are added throughout the year according to a typical Masters in Theology curriculum. We post each class once it is completed. This enables students to study at their own pace and in their own time. Eventually, the entire curriculum will be available.
All of our procedures and processes are being implemented with the goal of accreditation in mind. That means that you are receiving an education of a quality and caliber equal to any accredited graduate school of theology. However, you are not paying accredited prices.
If you have any questions about our progress towards this goal, feel free to email Archbishop Rake at: firstname.lastname@example.org.