The idea of an ecumenical council is that it is a gathering of leaders of the whole church (oikoumene - inhabited world or household in Greek) to determine doctrine and/or practical matters. The Oriental Orthodox churches hold to three ecumenical councils. Council of Nicea (325 CE) - against Arianism, homoousios (same substance as the Father), adopted Nicene Creed, and established date for Easter. Council of Constantinople (381 CE) - against Arianism, against Macidonianism, Apollinarism, and the divinity of the Holy Spirit, which required the rewording of the Nicene Creed into the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed. Council of Ephesus (431 CE) - against Nestorianism, against Pelagianism, and affirmed Mary as the Theotokos. In the Council of Chalcedon (451 CE) - convened to decide against monophysitism - that Christ has only one nature which His human nature is dissolved into the divine, adopted Chalcedonian Creed which describes the union of Christ as in two natures, and elevated Constantinople and Jerusalem to patriarchates. The Oriental Orthodox Churches never recognized the Council of Chalcedon and split with the Eastern Orthodox & Western Churches over the understanding of Christ as "out of two natures" vs "in two natures." Oriental Orthodox Churches upheld the understanding of miaphysis - Jesus Christ, the union of the "Incarnate Word, is fully divine and fully human in one composite physis without change, confusion, mixture, or dissolution, vs the Eastern Orthodox and Western notion that Jesus is one "person" (prosopon) in two natures (dyophysis). Eastern Orthodox hold to seven councils, and the Roman Catholic church holds to many more.

Teacher Training and Resources

Reference Materials

A reference is a referral to another's text or information and can refer to written sources (books, reports, articles), videos, Internet sites, images, etc. It can also refer to personal communication in the form of letters, e-mails or interviews. A reference is synonymous with a literary citation or citing a source.

The following materials are offered as sources for information and ideas but please remember to properly give credit if material is used in your writing! If you forget to use references, or your references are incomplete, your work can seem like an empty postulation or create suspicions of plagiarism.


  1. Severus of Antioch’s Objection To The Council Of Chalcedon: A Re-Assessment, Fr. Tenny Thomas
  2. The Oriental Orthodox Rejection of Chalcedon, Fr. Peter Farrington




In order to help our children grow in the Orthodox Faith in North America, a decision was made to standardize all materials to the Orthodox Study Bible (DSWA Kalpana DSWA/C/016/2010, October 28, 2010). Please continue to pray and support the development of a fully approved translation based on the Peshitta, and our textbooks will educate on the various translations and historic development of Scripture.

  • [Acts 15 - The Council of Jerusalem]

    "And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question ... "

Liturgical Resources

The Ministry of Liturgical Resource Development (LRD) was created in July of 2015 (DSWA Kalpana DSWA/C/10/2015, July 24,2015) to promote the translation, versification, and publication of vital English liturgical resources. Today most of our Sacramental offices are available and the "Service Book of the Holy Qurbono" and "Shehimo: Book of Common Prayer" are available in print. Wherever possible references will be made using LRD resources given the easy access to these materials to the faithful in North America.

Holy Qurbono

Other Hymns

Other Prayers

Promion and Sedro


Patristic Quotes

Other Quotes

Syriac and Greek Words


These icons are either approved for publication or the Curriculum Committee is in the process of gaining approval. If you do not see the icon you'd like to use for your writing, please submit the image to the Committee so that we can do the necessary follow-up.