Institute of Theology

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Brief Bio

The Very Rev. Dr. Michel Elias Najim is the President of AHOS, tenure Professor of Patristics & Church History at AHOS, Professor of Christian Ethics at PTS/AHOS, and Director of Saint Maximus the Confessor, former Dean of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Los Angeles, CA. Fr. Michel was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, and joined Balamand Ecclesiastical School in 1962 under the tutelage of Patriarch Ignatius IV and graduated from St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology in 1974. He obtained his M.Th. (1976), and his doctoral degree in theology (1985) from the University of Thessalonica, where he studied under Fr. John Romanides and Prof. Nikos Matsoukas, while serving as Dean of the School of Theology in Balamand. After moving to the USA with his family, he worked with the newly converted Evangelical Orthodox at St. Athanasius Academy, from 1987 to 1996. Under his tutelage, AHOS became an accredited school in USA and Canada. Unassuming in his demeanor, Fr. Michel is a bearer of authentic Antiochian heritage, a deeply dedicated churchman and scholar. He is personally acquainted with many spiritual and ecclesiastical figures. Throughout his ministry, Fr. Michel has taught thousands of clergy including hierarchs, lay theologians and professors.

Academic Profile


  • University of Thessalonica, Th.D.
    • University of Thessalonica, M.Th.
    • University of Balamand, B.A.

Previous & Present Positions

  • President of AHOS
  • Professor of History & Patristics, AHOS (since 1992)
  • Professor of Christian Ethics, PTS/AHOS (since 1992)
    • Dean and Professor, St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology, Balamand (1979–1987)
    • St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology Visiting Professor (since 1999)
    • Claremont Graduate University (2000–2005)
    • Professor of Church History, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA (1994–1998)
  • Professor of Church History, Azusa Pacific University CA (1995)

Fields of Expertise

  • PatristicTheology,AntiochianPatristics (Greek/Syriac/Arabic)
    • Church History (specializing in Antioch)

•Christian Ethics

•Biblical Studies (Patristic perspective)

Theological  Dialogue

  • Orthodox–RomanCatholic Dialogue(2000– 2012)
  • WCC/MissionandEvangelism,Faithand Order (1983–2009)
  • Antiochian Chalcedonian and Non- Chalcedonian   Dialogue(1985–1987)

Doctoral  Thesis

  • “TheTheotokosaccordingto Saint John of Damascus” (1985)


Liturgical Books, Vol. 1, with Fr. Patrick B. O’Grady (2015)

  • Services of Initiation, with Fr. Patrick B. O’Grady (2017)

Antioch and Syriac Christianity (2002)

  • Understanding the Orthodox Liturgy, with T.L. Frazier (1995)
  • TheHistoryand LegacyofArabChristianityinthe Pre-Islamic Period (1989)
  • The Orthodox Study Bible 2008, general editor, and translator.


Services  of  Initiation, with Fr. Patrick  B.  O’Grady (2017)

Ancient Christian Commentary on Scriptures, 11 volumes (Arabic)


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Saint John of Damascus Institute of Theology
The University of Balamand

Address: Monastery of Balamand, PO Box 100, Tripoli, Lebanon
Tel: 00961 (0) 6 930 305 - Fax: 00961 (0) 6 930 304
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