The Arts & Humanities degree program is committed to maintaining a Christian perspective in higher education that aligns fruitfully with the teachings of the Orthodox Christian Church and embodies the core values of a liberal Christian education. We strive to develop each student’s ability to acquire and critically interpret knowledge in a range of six disciplines: Art, History, Literature, Interdisciplinary Studies, Music, and Orthodox Christian Theology.

The Arts & Humanities Program also equips each student to relate that knowledge to other subject areas in the liberal arts, and to communicate his or her understanding to others both within and outside the fields of the Arts & Humanities. The Arts & Humanities program will provide students with the knowledge in order to be equipped for graduate studies or careers in relevant fields, including education, law, communication, the arts, design, business, psychology, counseling, and theology.


The Arts & Humanities program at the University of Saint Katherine offers an Arts & Humanities Core of lower- and upper-division courses with five concentrations for specialization. In addition, students may choose an Interdisciplinary Studies track that combines an emphasis in an Arts & Humanities concentration and an emphasis in another field, with a methodology course to supplement the usual capstone project method and capstone project writing courses.


The Arts & Humanities Core commences with an introductory course in historical study (HIS100) that is meant to provide the foundations for approaching the study of human culture, which of necessity derives from the past.  The three other lower-division A&H Core classes (ART100, LIT200, and MUS200) intentionally combine aspects of both historical or theoretical study and practical execution, whether of a painting, a poem, or a musical performance.

The upper-division component in the A&H Core (HUM300-400) begins with a course in Philosophy of Religion (HUM300), which cultivates a sophisticated approach to experience, knowledge, and faith. The final three upper-division courses – HUM305 Literature in History, HUM310 Iconology: Symbolism in Culture, and HUM400 Hermeneutics – explore various media of expression, methods of interpretation, and models of life.

The A&H Core is unique to the University of Saint Katherine. In the Orthodox tradition of integral knowledge, it is designed to endow students with critical acumen, epistemological humility, and a penchant for striving toward holistic understanding. Aligned with the University’s mission of “inquiry seeking wisdom” and the Interdisciplinary Core curriculum, it is an educational approach of seeking to follow the true Teacher, Jesus Christ, who is the “Wisdom of God’ (1 Cor. 1:24).


In addition to the Arts & Humanities Core, students majoring in Arts & Humanities will take 5 upper-division courses in a field of their choice, whether Art, History, Literature, Music, or Orthodox Christian Theology. The course descriptions for these courses can be found in the program description.


In addition to the concentration-based model, the Arts & Humanities program also has an Interdisciplinary Studies track. Students in this track select two concentrations to emphasize, both of which must be from among the Arts & Humanities concentrations. Students majoring in IDS do need to take the Arts & Humanities Core curriculum. In addition, one upper-division Interdisciplinary Theory methodology course provides additional theoretical expertise as the student moves toward the commencement of their interdisciplinary humanities Capstone Project, for which they will enroll in the regular HUM498 and HUM499 sequence during their Senior year.


Robert Fortuin, Assistant Professor of Orthodox Christian Theology*

Robert Fortuin holds an MLitt Degree in Divinity from St Mary’s College, University of St Andrews, Scotland. His work there was on the rhetorical theology of early Christian apologist Clement of Alexandria. Professor Fortuin’s research interests include philosophical theology, patristics, and systematic theology. He is presently doing PhD level research on Gregory of Nyssa’s theology of ‘Division of Being’ at King’s College, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Professor Fortuin has been a Faculty Member at University of Saint Katherine College since 2014, teaching courses in New Testament, Orthodox Theology, and the Ecumenical Councils.

Gaelan Gilbert, Assistant Professor of English Language & Literature, Chair of Arts & Humanities Department

Professor Gaelan Gilbert received his PhD in English from the University of Victoria, his MA in English from San Diego State University, and his BA (double major in English Education and Philosophy/Theology) at Point Loma Nazarene University. His research interests dovetail at the intersections of literature, theology, history, education, and artistic culture in ancient, medieval and modern contexts. He has recently published a chapter on St. Augustine’s rhetorical personification of nature in Confessions, and an article on alternative models of liberal arts higher education. He is the Program Director for the Integrated Core Curriculum at USK, the In-House Editor for the Saint Katherine Review, and the lead coordinator and faculty for the Study Abroad Greece summer program.

Megan Gilbert, Assistant Professor of Fine Arts*

Professor Megan Gilbert received her B.A. in Art Education from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. In addition to USK, she has taught at the Vancouver Island School of Art in Victoria, BC. She has exhibited work in the U.S., France, Germany, Greece, and Canada, in the media of photography, illustration, drawing, painting, installation, and printmaking. She has two children’s books published through Ancient Faith Publications: A Child’s Guide to the Divine Liturgy, and When God Made You. She teaches photography, 2D Design, and classical Greek art history at USK.

Fr. Josiah Trenham, Professor of Orthodox Christian Theology*

A native Southern Californian, Father Josiah attended Westminster Seminary California, receiving his M.Div. in 1992 while studying under some of the most influential teachers in the Reformed tradition. In 1993, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood of the Orthodox Church and in 2004 he was awarded a Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Durham, England.  Father Josiah has served as pastor of St. Andrew Orthodox Church in Riverside, California, since 1998. Father Josiah has published numerous articles and two books and is also the founder of Patristic Nectar Publications, a non-profit ministry.

Breann Williams, Assistant Professor of History*

In addition to being an adjunct faculty member in the Arts & Humanities Department, Professor Bre Williams currently serves as Dean of Students and the Title IX Coordinator at the University of Saint Katherine. With a passion for history and teaching, her main areas of interest are colonial America and the history of the Middle East, specifically in Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  She holds an M.A in Education with an emphasis in teaching.

Dcn. David-John Williams, Assistant Professor of History*

Professor David-John Williams received his MA from Royal Holloway, University of London. His research areas include Byzantine relations with the West from 600-1453; Greek Palaeography and Shared Sacred Space. His MA dissertation investigated the contribution of the canons of the Quinisext Council (629) to anti-heretical literature and the schism between the Byzantine and Latin Churches. Recent publications include: “Did The Crusades Change the Byzantine Perception of Holy War?” in Porphyra, “Mediterranean Religion”, Duke University and  “Christian Saints as allies of non Christians”. His PhD thesis is entitled Shared Sacred Spaces: Saints, Relics and Sacred Objects in the Byzantine Mediterranean.

Nazo Zakkak, Assistant Professor of Music

Professor Nazo Zakkak received his BM in Jazz Studies from San Diego State University and his MFA in Integrated Composition Improvisation and Technology from UC Irvine. As a performing pianist he has notable experience within the fields of Jazz and Experimental Music. In 2012, he turned his attention towards the sacred music of the Orthodox Christian Church and has since composed music for churches and monasteries across the U.S. His works have been recorded by various choirs, and in 2017 he released an album of original new Orthodox hymns, Luxari. His has recently been commissioned to compose 3 Divine Liturgies which will see their completion by the end of 2018. Nazo Zakkak works as Composer-in-Residence for the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America and as Choir Director at St. Anthony the Great Antiochian Orthodox Church in San Diego.


Christos Korgan, Assistant Professor and Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness

Dr. Christos Korgan serves the University of Saint Katherine in both administrative and faculty capacities, teaching survey courses leading to the psychology minor and overseeing the institution’s research, planning, and accreditation functions. With over a decade of higher education experience, Christos taught courses and led programs at several different types of higher education institutions. His undergraduate work culminated in a baccalaureate in psychology from California State University, Northridge (CSUN), where he also completed a Master of Arts degree. After earning a B.A. and M.A. at CSUN, Christos attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to then complete a second M.A. and his doctoral degree (PhD). His dissertation explored the psychological and social-structural forces thought to impact the effectiveness of professors’ classroom teaching, assessment work, and student-faculty interactions.

Mili Metz, Assistant Professor of Psychology

Professor Mili Mez completed her B.A. with a double major in Psychological & Brain Sciences and Public Health with a focus in Social Sciences from Johns Hopkins University. She completed her M.A. in Psychology and Education with a focus in General Psychopathology at Teachers College, Columbia University. She received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Georgia State University. She recently completed an APA-accredited Clinical Psychology internship and was grateful to stay on for a fellowship year at Pennsylvania Hospital. She also provides concierge coaching services with emerging adults (millennials).

*Part-time faculty appointment