“Indeed, it has been a great, fruitful experience to have studied at St. Stephen Harding Theological College and Seminary. I had finally attained one of my dreams, to have a theology doctorate, and I had done it thanks to the guidance and encouragement of the Abbot.”
The Cistercian Order of the Holy Cross is a Religious Order operating within and for the Church Catholic. Our desire is to be an aid towards the development of personal piety for the members of the Order and to assist all others to be devout followers of Our Lord Jesus Christ through The Rule of St. Benedict. In so doing, the mission of the Church will be enhanced and we will become a Light of Christ in the world.

We are a Religious Order within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of God whose Head and Chief Priest is Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior.

We welcome and embrace all our brothers and sisters in Christ, especially those from other Catholic bodies, whether they are Roman, Anglican, Orthodox or Old Catholic.

We hold as sacred the ancient Creeds of the Church, The Apostles, Nicene and Athanasian Creeds.

Our Rule of life is The Rule of St. Benedict.

We believe that the Holy Spirit is ever working within the Church to accomplish the prayer of Our Blessed Lord, “that all may be one”. We yearn for that day and dedicate ourselves to do all that lies within us to speed its’ arrival. Whenever possible, we will work with other Christian bodies and, if feasible, establish either a “communio in sacris” or a “Union of Prayer”

The Cistercian Order of the Holy Cross consists of laymen and women, and Diocesan clergy, single or married from Anglican, Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Old Catholic traditions. They follow the Rule of St. Benedict and the Constitution of the Order. Monks live in the world as well as in monasteries or hermitages, and desire to lead a contemplative life of prayer and study.


a) To seek perfection through Contemplation, Work, Prayer, Stability and Obedience.
b) To praise and worship God daily.
c) To produce educational materials.
d) To host retreats.
e) To found autonomous religious communities.
f) To prayerfully intercede for those in need and for peace in the world.
g) To perform works of charity, pastoral ministry and mission work.

We humbly throw ourselves at the feet of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, beseeching the intercession of His Blessed Mother, Mary, and Our Holy Father Benedict, to give us the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding; Counsel and Knowledge, Joy and Reverence, to bless us with the gifts of the Holy Ghost that in all we say or do, we may be faithful to the Word of God and seek only His Glory.

Saint Stephen Harding Theological College and Seminary and its subsidiary schools are our humble efforts to satisfy the purposes of our beloved Order.

For detailed and in depth information regarding The Cistercian Order of the Holy Cross, visit our sister website at www.cistercianmonks.org.

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Saint Stephen Harding was born in Dorsetshire, England between 1060 – 1070. He was educated at the Monastery of Sherborne and later in Paris and Rome.

Saint Stephen joined the Benedictine Monastery of Molesme and later he, Robert and Albert, and twenty other monks began a reformed community at Citeaux (Cistercians). Stephen became the third Abbot and attracted to the monastic life such persons as St. Bernard. Saint Stephen died March 18, 1134.

The purpose of Saint Stephen Harding Theological College and Seminary is to continue the scholarly, classically catholic, and deeply spiritual formation, which was encouraged by Saint Stephen. And also like Saint Stephen, to be both contemporary and forward thinking.


  • Our courses are comparable, and often superior, to the best Theological Schools.
  • Course texts and authors are of the highest academic standing.
  • Our faculty members are academically trained and experts in their fields.

Classically Catholic:

  • Our courses are solidly catholic in content.
  • Our faculty members are trained in Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox traditions.
  • We have a strong focus on Sacramental Theology.

Spiritual Formation:

  • We believe that theological education should be spiritually transforming.
  • Many courses are on Spiritual Formation, Direction, Mysticism, Asceticism.
  • Many courses on devotions to and the lives of the saints.
  • Courses focus on Scripture studies.
  • Many of our faculty belong to religious communities.


  • We meet the need for off campus studies.
  • We use the World Wide Web for research.
  • Courses are practicable/applicable, readable and deal with current issues.
  • We offer more courses than most seminaries.
  • Our faculty members are currently active leaders in ministry.
  • We provide a unique opportunity to receive both training and licensing for Christian Counselors.

Forward Thinking:

  • We work with other bishops and abbots and their jurisdictions to educate their clergy and laity.
  • We allow students to create their own courses and programs.
  • We offer a wide variety of alternative studies/programs.
  • We are reasonably priced with many scholarships for those either in sacramental ministry or studying for Holy Orders.
  • Special options are available for third world countries.
  • We have a School of Orthodox Theology.
  • We have the flexibility to meet many unique situations.

Saint Stephen Harding would be proud of our efforts to confess the faith and equip the Church.

We encourage you to study with us.

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Saint Seraphim School is an Orthodox School/Seminary within The Saint Stephen Harding Theological College and Seminary.

Both colleges share courses, policies, tuition arrangements, faculty, etc.

Saint Seraphim School of Orthodox Theology was created to give our Orthodox brothers and sisters an opportunity to share in a quality distance learning experience while enjoying studies from their own Orthodox perspective.

All students may select courses from the Catalog or create their own.

Candidates for Holy Orders will find the Licentiate of Sacred Theology, STL, the most flexible and economic of all the programs.

The Continuing Education, CE, or Certificate of Studies programs are great opportunities for continued professional development.

Upon completion of studies, graduates will receive a certificate or degree with the name Saint Seraphim School of Orthodox Theology displayed.

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Saint Stephen Harding Theological College and Seminary is a Church/Religious Order affiliated educational institution under the authority of The Cistercian Order of the Holy Cross, its Board of Trustees, and Constitution, a 501©3 non-profit corporation. Our degrees are classified as ecclesiastically accredited.


We are an approved Degree Granting Certified Academic Institute of the National Christian Counselors Association, NCCA.


Degree programs of study offered by St. Stephen Harding Theological College & Seminary have been declared by the appropriate state authority exempt from the requirements for licensure, under provisions of North Carolina General Statues Section (G.S.) 116-15 (d) for exemption from licensure with respect to religious education. Exemption from licensure is not based upon assessment of program quality under established licensing standards.

Accreditation is often necessary for students who seek transfer credit to other institutions. Therefore, prospective students seeking to earn transfer credit only, are advised to review the transfer standards of their perspective institution prior to enrolling at the College/Seminary.

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The Most Rev. Oscar Joseph, OCCO
Lance Key
Rev. Br. Columcille, OCCO
Rev. Br. Brendan, OCCO

Saint Stephen Harding Theological College and Seminary
Saint Seraphim School of Orthodox Theology

President, Academic Dean

The Most Rev. Oscar Joseph, OCCO

Vice President

Kathleen Powell Rivest

Assistant to the President

Rev. Br. Columcille, OCCO

Associate Deans of Certified Degree Granting Academic Institutes

The Most Rev. Timothy Buss, Th.D.
The Most. Rev. Daniel, D.D.
The Most Rev. Mark, M.P.A., Th.D., OCMA
Rev. Father Joachim Seeger, Dr., Dr., D.D., LL.D.


The Most Rev. Timothy Buss, Th.D.
The Most. Rev. Daniel, D.D.
The Most Rev. Oscar Joseph, Ph.D., D.S.T., OCCO
Rev. Father V.M. Joseph, Th.M.
The Most Rev. Mark, M.P.A., Th.D., OCMA.
Kathleen Powell Rivest, Ph.D., D.D.
Rev. Father Joachim Seeger, Dr., Dr., D.D., LL.D.

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Meet the President, Vice President, Trustees, Deans and Faculty

• Trustee
• Vicar General, Cistercian Order of the Holy Cross
• Ph.D. Clinical Pastoral Counseling
• Doctor of Divinity
• Colorado Theological Seminary

• Trustee
• Associate Dean/Faculty
• Bishop Prelate, Church of the Ancient Christian Faith
• Certified Degree Granting Academic Institute
• Assistant to the Dean
• Dean of Western USA
• Novice Master
• Associate Dean/Faculty
• B.A. Universidad de las Américas-Puebla
• Dip. Psy. Universidad Cristiana Internacional
• M.A. Centro de Estudios e Investigación Guestálticos
• D.D. The Apostolic Collage of the Pacific

Archbishop. Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church – Canonical.
Dean. Academia Teológica de San Andrés.
Gestalt Psychotherapist.
Professor. Universidad de Xalapa.

• President/Academic Dean/Trustee/Faculty
• B.S. – LeMoyne College
• M.S. – Canisius College
• Ph.D.
• D.S.T. – Both earned doctorates are from Bethany Divinity College and Seminary (formerly known as Bethany Bible College and Theological Seminary).
• D.D. – Saint Francis Seminary (Honorary)
• LL.D. – Saint Anthony School of Theology (Honorary)
• D.D. – Saint Andrew’s Theological College and Seminary (Honorary)

++ Oscar Joseph attended St. Thomas Seminary, Wadhams Hall Seminary and, St. Bernard’s Seminary. He is a licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor, NCCA; Board Certified Temperament Instructor, SACC; a Clinical Supervisor, NBCCT; and Diplomate, NBCCT.
++Oscar Joseph has been an adjunct instructor at Forsyth Technical Community College, Guilford Technical Community College and Davidson County Community College. He is an author, lecturer, seminar presenter, and TV and radio personality.

He has received “The Outstanding Intellectual of the 21st Century 2006 Award, “The Leading Educators of the World 2006 Award”, and “The Plato Award for Outstanding Teaching.”

• Faculty
• B.A. – Saint Anthony’s College
• B.Ed. – Maduari Kamraj
• Th.M. – Kristu Jyoti College

Father Joseph is an Educator, Administrator and Missionary to India. He has been the Director of Social Services for VORSAD.

• Associate Dean/Faculty
• B.S. HCA – George Washington University
• M.P.A. – Roosevelt University
• Th.D – St. Stephen Harding Theological College and Seminary

Archbishop, Order Celtic Missionary Apostolate (OCMA), The Celtic Episcopal Church.
+Mark graduated from Berean Bible School and attended Nashotah House Episcopal Seminary. He has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Wisconsin and Roosevelt University.

+Mark retired from the US Navy as a LCDR, Medical Service Corp.

• Vice President/Faculty
• B.M.C.C. – Bethany Divinity College and Seminary (formerly known as Bethany Bible College and Theological Seminary)
• M.M.C.C. – Bethany Divinity College and Seminary (formerly known as Bethany Bible College and Theological Seminary)
• Ph.D. – Cornerstone University
• D.D. – Saint Elias School of Orthodox Theology

Kathleen is a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor, Certified: Integrated Marriage and Family Therapy, and Crisis and Abuse Therapy.

She is a Supervisor for the Dept. of Social Services, Child Protective, and is a TV and radio personality, seminar speaker and author.

• Associate Dean/Faculty
• Dipl.-Theol.- Universität Münster/D
• Dipl.-Päd.- Universität Duisburg/D
• Dr.- Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen/NL
• Dr.-Frije Universiteit Amsterdam/NL
• D.D.- St. Stephen Harding Theological College and Seminary (Honorary)
• LL.D. St. Stephen Harding Theological College and Seminary (Honorary)

Priest, Secondary School Teacher, he is teaching Philosophy, Ethics, Theology, German, History, Politics, Economy, Pedagogics and Psychology.

He has published several books in the areas of Theology, History, Politics and Pedagogics.