"Look Towards the East" - A Patristic Symposium Engaging with the Early Church Fathers in the Contemporary World

With the blessing of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church of Washington, DC in partnership with St. Cyril of Alexandria Orthodox Christian Society is pleased to announce its first Patristic Symposium entitled "Look Towards the East". The Symposium will focus on the Orthodox frame of mind in addressing contemporary challenges through the eyes of the Early Church Fathers. Lectures will be delivered by a diverse group of theologians followed by an open panel discussion. It will take place from Sept. 5-7 at St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church.


The cost to participate in the Symposium is $195.00 for the entire weekend. The cost includes a meal on Friday night, breakfast and lunch on Saturday and brunch on Sunday.

In order to register, click on the link below. Be sure to pay for the seminar by clicking the PayPal link in your confirmation email once you register at this link:

Please note that registration is not complete until you have registered at the link above AND paid via the PayPal link.

You must be at least 19 years old to register. For inquiries to exceptions about the age requirement you may send an email to


Official schedule and program 

Friday, September 5: 7:00pm-10:00pm, St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church

Saturday, September 6: 8:00am-4:00pm, Fair Oaks Marriott

Sunday, September 7: 8:30am-3:00pm, Fair Oaks Marriott

See below for more information on the speakers and topics.

Session # Title Lecturer Duration
Session 1 The Grammar of Theology: Basics of the Divine-Human Interaction Emmanuel Gergis, M.A., M.Litt., Ph.D. Student 60 Minutes
Session 2 Scripture vs. The Bible Michael Wingert, M.A., M.A.T., Ph.D. Student 60 Minutes
Session 3 The Incarnation: God with Us Joseph Faltas, B.Th., M.A., Ph.D. 45 Minutes
Session 4 The Holy Tradition and the Church: The Full Experience of God Rev. Fr. Mark Aziz, M.Th. 60 Minutes
Session 5 Liturgy in Life Donna Rizk, M.T.S., M.Phil., Ph.D. (Cand.) 60 Minutes
Session 6 Mystical Journey: Sacraments and Sacramental Rev. Fr. Michael Sorial, M.Litt. (Cand.) 60 Minutes
Session 7 Open Forum/Panel Discussion

60 Minutes
Session 8

Eschatology: Recapitulation

Rev. Fr. Mark Aziz, M.Th.

45 Minutes
Session 9 Orthodox Spirituality and Worship
Joseph Faltas, B.Th., M.A., Ph.D. 45 Minutes


All participants are responsible for making their own room arrangements but St. Mark's has negotiated a special rate with the Fair Oaks Marriott where the conference will be held on September 6 & 7. You may click on the link above or call 1-800-228-9290. Use the code PTSPTSA to get the special rate or ask for the "Patristics Symposium Room Block." You will need to book by August 15 to get the special rate. The hotel is less than 10 minutes from St. Mark's.


Cancellations before August 1 will receive a full refund. Any cancellations after August 1 will be charged a 50% cancellation fee. There will be no refunds on or after September 3. For refunds please contact

Other Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are accommodations included in the cost? No, accommodations are not included in the cost. Each participant is responsible for their own accommodations. Please see above for more details on accommodations. 
  2. Can I walk in and attend or do I need to register? As of now, there will be no walk-in attendees allowed; everyone must register for the Symposium. 
  3. Can I receive academic credit with St. Cyril Society? Yes, academic credit can be earned with more details on how to receive credit being provided at the Symposium.
  4. Can I pay for or attend only part of the Symposium? No, there are no partial registrations. You must pay the full registration fee of $150.00.
  5. Can my children attend with me? No children will be allowed at the Symposium and you must be at least 19 years old to register and participate in the Symposium. 
  6. Can I register and pay for the Symposium when I arrive? No, there will be no walk-in signups or registrants as of now. You should sign up and pay for the Symposium beforehand in order to guarantee a spot. Space is limited.
  7. Are there any suggested reading materials to help prepare me before I come?

    1. River of Fire by Alexandre Kalomiros
    2. God & You: Person to Person by Anthony Coniaris:

For any other questions, please email