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Coptic Society

The St. Shenouda Society has partnered with CGU since 2007 to support the revival of Coptic Studies at this elite academic institution. We provided financial support for a position of the Clinical Professor of Coptic Studies that Professor Gawdat Gabra Abdelsayed has been holding since that time. Under his guidance and the support of the Coptic Council @ CGU, chaired by Dr. S. Michael Saad, many accomplishments were done in a very short time, as follows:

  • Degrees: Several Master Theses and Doctoral Dissertations related to Coptic Studies were awarded.
  • Coptic Studies Track: To insure the continuation of Coptic Studies at CGU, an academic curriculum was established to give the MA/PhD students a comprehensive course of study in the field.
  • 11th International Congress of Coptic Studies: CGU was the home of the most prestigious international congress in Coptic Studies. The most successful organization of this elite academic meeting, held once every four years, was a collaborative effort of CGU and the St. Shenouda Society
  • Grants and Scholarships: The St. Shenouda Society established the  Fr. Antonious Henein Coptic Scholarship Fund and multiple grants and scholarships were awarded to graduate students Majoring or Minoring in Coptic Studies or related fields.
  • The Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia: This project that the Society and the Coptic Council has sponsored has made the monumental editorial work of Prof. Aziz S. Atiya, a Coptic Encyclopedia, accessible for free online to world. In addition, it is being continually updated with new and updated articles. This online reference is the best academic resource for Coptic Studies online and will greatly promote the study of Christian Egypt.
  • Coptic Lectureship Series: The St. Shenouda Society sponsored several Coptic Studies lectures by prominent scholars in the field.

The current progress is summarized in the following document:


The relationship of the Society with UCLA goes back to the early 1980s. Prof. John B. Callender, the late Professor of Egyptology at the Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (NELC), was the first person in academia to promote the Society and encourage us to be a partner of the Southern California Chapter of the American Research Center in Cairo (ARCE), which he established. The relationship continued with the succeeding Egyptology professors and the Department Chairs over the past decades since. Some of the cooperative efforts that we had as as follows:

  • The first Seminar on Coptic Art and Architecture in 1986.
  • Cosponsoring the renowned Annual Conferences of Coptic Studies, beginning in 1999. Click here for more details. 
  • Cosponsoring the two Coptic Language classes taught at NELC in 2008.
  • Cosponsoring the two Coptic Language classes taught at NELC in 2011.
  • Donation of over 500 volumes for the establishment of the John B. Callender Memorial Library in 2012.
  • Extending academic library privileges to the president of the Society to assist in furthering the research work of the Society. 
  • Establishment of the Coptic Studies Lectureship Series in 2005, inaugurated by Prof. Heike Behlmer.

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