CGU’s Council for Coptic Studies works to create and nourish vibrant, enduring relationships between the Religion Department, the surrounding community, and the Coptic world and to promote through research, teaching, and publication a deeper understanding of the Coptic religious experience.



At the core of the Council’s vision is the establishment of a Center for Coptic studies to promote through research, teaching, and publication a deeper understanding of the Coptic religious experience. In all of its efforts the Council strives to foster opportunities for exploration of the great scope and promise of Coptic studies as a realm of academic endeavor. The Council believes the benefits of these efforts will extend well beyond their Coptic roots, invigorating scholarship in such diverse areas of inquiry as New Testament studies, iconography, liturgy, ministry, patristics, monasticism, and sacred music.

The Council is committed to outreach through conferences, lectureships, and cultural events and supports its goals with an active capital development campaign. By drawing on the formidable intellectual resources of the Religion Department, its history of excellence in Coptic studies, and the rich cultural assets of the Coptic community, the Council hopes to cultivate a unique environment that will serve as a focal point for Coptic scholarship within the University and around the world. With the generous support of funding provided through a Challenge Grant via the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Council will be able to continue their invaluable research and scholarship endeavors.

To contribute to these goals, please contact S. Michael Saad, Chair, Council for Coptic Studies.


Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia

The web-based Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia (CCE) is a project of global reach and significance, providing a vital resource and a wealth of information to scholars, students, Coptophiles, and the general public. Whether you are a PhD student writing a dissertation on Coptic monasticism, a college student taking a course in Art History, or a casual browser seeking intellectual nourishment, you will find the CCE to be an excellent resource.

The CCE will initially include approximately 2,800 articles published in The Coptic Encyclopedia (Aziz S. Atiya, ed. NY: Macmillan, 1991). The CCE will continuously add updates and new topics from the growing body of scholarship in Coptic studies at institutions worldwide. The scope of articles includes Coptic language and literature; Copto-Arabic literature; Coptic art, architecture, archaeology, history, music, liturgy, theology, spirituality, monasticism; and biblical, apocryphal, social, and legal texts.

The progress of the CCE project depends on the strength and continuity of Coptic Studies at CGU, the participation of scholars worldwide, and the availability of financial resources.

Taught by Professor Gawdat Gabra (Abdel-Sayed), the School of Religion has rich offering of courses in Coptic Studies. Below is a sampling of courses that may be taken by students interested in an MA or a PhD with a concentration in Coptic Studies.

Browse our complete listing of Coptic Studies courses.