The word “Orthodox” means “right belief.” In the history of the Church, Truth mattered, because Truth is a person: Jesus Christ. So disregarding Truth, or dismissing its details as trivial, is to disregard and dismiss Christ Himself. At St. John of the Ladder, we aspire to form the mind and encourage deeper understanding of Christ through our educational programs.
Metanoia Classes are primarily for inquirers and catechumens looking to enter the Orthodox Church. A year-long commitment, the “semester” follow the major liturgical cycles of the Church: Nativity, Pascha, and Pentecost. The Nativity Cycle aims to introduce inquirers to the major theological vision of Orthodoxy and attune them to the sacramental character of nature and community. The Paschal Cycle is more “dogmatic” in character, and unpacks the major tenets found in the Nicene Creed. The Pentecost Cycle, occurs after reception into the Orthodox Church, and aims to equip the newly received into the depths of the spiritual life through reading parts of the Philokalia. Metanoia alternates with Philosophia Classes, and meet every other week on Saturday, 4:30 pm before Vespers.
Philosophia Classes cover topics from Patristic readings to ethics to politics in order to deepen the familiarity of the faithful with the rich intellectual tradition of Orthodoxy. They alternate with Metanoia Classes, and meet every other week on Saturday, 4:30 pm before Vespers.
The church school meets on Sundays before Divine Liturgy, from 8:45am – 9:30am. There are two classes. Group 1 is for ages 4-6 and Group 2 is for ages 7 through 11.
Youth group meets Wednesday’s after Vespers for ages 12-18 (Middle & High School).
OCF: College Ministry
Fr. Alexander Earl is currently the OCF affiliate for their Campus Ministries at both Furman University and Clemson University. They meet bi-weekly for Compline service, discussion, and fellowship.
The Climacus Club is a virtual book club (with occasional in-person meet-ups) that meets every other Tuesday from 7:30-8:45 pm via Zoom. The Club is for anyone interested in understanding their Orthodox Christian faith better, but who may not have the flexibility to meet in person every week. The books we read are carefully chosen to empower deeper understanding of the Orthodox faith for those at different stages of their journey. In the past we have read through books such as Colliander’s The Way of the Ascetics, Patitsa’s The Ethics of Beauty and The Spiritual Life and How to be Attuned to It by St. Theophan the Recluse. We hope through our meetings to be able to grow in our ability to give an account of our faith and to be encouraged to better live it out.
Additional Learning Opportunities
In addition to the regularly scheduled classes and clubs described above, a Poetry Group meets at fairly regular intervals on Saturday evenings to read and discuss poetry around a selected topic and socialize. There is also an Upstate Homeschool Orthodox Co-Op and a bookstore. For information about any of the above programs or groups, please use the form at this link: