Situated physically in South Africa, our Academy bears the name of St Mark and honours him as founder of the Church of Alexandria and Apostle to Africa.
Mark served as a missionary companion to Paul (Acts 12:25). He also served with the Apostle Peter, probably at Rome (1 Peter 5:13). Mark learned the information he wrote in his gospel mainly from Peter. In around AD 44, Mark travelled to Alexandria and founded the Church there. From Alexandria, Christianity spread to the rest of Africa. The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa is successor to Mark’s original Community.
St Mark’s Academy offers a quality, contemporary and challenging theological education to people throughout the world. They might otherwise be unable to attend because of time and monetary constraints, work or family commitments and geographical distance. Although located in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Academy makes use of Distance Learning and affordable tuition to overcome such obstacles.
It is hosted and administered by the South African Hellenic Educational and Technical Institute (SAHETI) that is presently embarking on exciting new ventures in fields of tertiary education and training. The Academy bears the stamp of approval and blessing of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa.
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South African Hellenic Educational
and Technical Institute
The Institute (SAHETI) was set up in 1950 on the initiative of the Hellenic Community of Johannesburg and the Witwatersrand. Its primary objective is the establishment of schools whose main purpose is to provide an excellent education, primarily to children of Hellenic origin, within an environment that is characterised by, and nurtures a Hellenic ethos.
A special emphasis is given to the teaching of the Greek language and culture, and to the promotion of Hellenism and the Orthodox Christian Faith.
The Institute also aims to advance the cause of this education to the community at large. In order to accomplish this, it is presently embarking on exciting prospects in the area of tertiary education. The Academy of St Mark, providing quality, relevant and affordable theological education through distance learning, is one such project.
The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate
of Alexandria and all Africa
The Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa is the second in rank of the fourteen Autocephalous Orthodox Churches, which constitute the Orthodox Church worldwide. Located in Alexandria of Egypt, its spiritual jurisdiction extends over the entire African continent.
It has a history of two thousand years in Egypt and in Africa. The Apostle and Evangelist Mark arrived in Alexandria in 42 AD, the foundation year of the Alexandrian Church. During the first centuries of the Christian era, the Patriarchate played a decisive role in the definition and articulation of Christian dogma and the spread of the Christian faith through missionary activity. The famous Catechetical School of Alexandria produced men of great spiritual and intellectual standing. It was within the territory of the Patriarchate of Alexandria that we also have the emergence and development of monasticism.
The schism that followed the Council of Chalcedon in 451 weakened it substantially. A large part of the population supported the establishment of a rival, ‘Coptic’ Patriarchate that upheld the miaphysite teaching. Under Arab rule (641-1250) and the Mameluke administration (1250-1517) the Patriarchate experienced great difficulties due to the Orthodox flock’s shrinkage and the loss of resources. It gradually began to recover after the Ottoman conquest (1517), and began once again, to show special concern for the pastoral care and the material support of the scattered Orthodox flock within Africa.
The favorable conditions created in Egypt by Muhammad Ali and his successors (1805-1952) attracted numerous Orthodox Christians. The formation of dynamic Orthodox communities in Egypt specifically, and North and East Africa generally, heralded the Patriarchate’s regeneration. Subsequently, the Patriarchate began to extend its presence over the whole African Continent, embracing every African, beyond borders, race, and colour, while always respecting the customs and traditions of Africa.
On October 9, 2004, the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate elected Theodoros II to the Patriarchal Throne. His significant missionary activities, his concern for his fellowman and his gentle character have earned him the title ‘patriarch of love’.