Intercontinental Open University

A Nonprofit of the Society for Spirituality, Theology and Health
Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development
Duke University School of Medicine

Thought Leadership at the Cutting Edge

It is on behalf of this five-fold uniqueness that we welcome you, with deep gratitude and arms outstretched, to the most exceptional learning opportunity available for professional development and personal growth.


George Constantopoulos, Ph.D. (Ret.)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health
President (honoris causa) and Founding Director

Rev. Fr. Constantine A. Constantopoulos, Ph.D.
Holy Metropolis of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki, Church of Greece
Provost and Chief Academic Officer

Pilate Syndrome™

Problem:  We Look But Do Not See

Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, portrays Pilate, Roman military governor, or procurator, of the imperial province of Judea from 26 to 36, as a harsh administrator who fails to understand the religious convictions and national pride of the Jews. Though he had complete judicial authority over all non-Roman citizens, many cases, particularly those relating to religious matters, were decided by the Sanhedrin, the Jewish supreme council and tribunal. Gospel accounts relate that after the Sanhedrin, lacking authority to impose the death penalty, finds Jesus guilty of blasphemy, it commits Him to the Roman court. Pilate refuses to approve the judgment without an investigation. The Jewish priests further accuse Jesus, and Pilate questions Him privately. Impressed with the dignity and frankness of Jesus' answers, Pilate tries to save Him but succumbs to two blind spots, those being (1) failure to understand his constituency, and (2) fear of an uprising within it. He accedes to the demands of the populace, and Jesus is executed. Failure to understand, and fear. In Pilate's case, blind spots hastening death. In ours?

Solution:  To See We Must Understand

"Regular" or "Lite", the User-friendly Research Yield™ or URY™ is a pairwise comparative equivalent of a global positioning system or a cellular triangulation technique. It surveys and then measures the BiFo™ (i.e., "Bi" from "bias", and "Fo" from "focus"), the necessary precondition for Pilate Syndrome™, thereafter both Identifying and positioning it through Bifolocation™ by means of SCATEMP™ analysis, identifying it in easily comprehensible terms, all standardized through a candidate's responses to questions of varied "light intensity", that is, of clarifying force. This is done so as to assess one's rhetorical predisposition toward introducing discourse into an exigent situation, whereby if such predisposition be unfavorable and risky, it can get neutralized, or, if it be favorable and safe, enhanced. Rooted in a seminal 1967 study in biological chemistry, developed in a 1999 doctoral dissertation in communication, and made beta version accessible in 2008 during the 1st Annual Meeting of the Society for Spirituality, Theology and Health, the URY™ Lite is available online, free of charge, by clicking here.

Qualifications in Palliative Communication

Level 1 (Licensing)

Level 2 (Certification)

Level 3 (Accreditation)

Level 4 (Endorsement)

From the highest (Level 1) to the lowest (Level 4) qualification, Licensing, Certification, Accreditation or Endorsement in palliative communication is granted following a minimum of twelve, nine, six or three months, respectively, of supervised, monitored, restorative conversation with patients or residents at an approved medical facility or in a home environment, be that interactive involvement salaried or voluntary, with Licensing culminating in a required face-to-face, peer reviewed, capstone encounter by an assessment panel specially convened for that purpose, and Certification culminating in a required three-hour, comprehensive, written examination.

Examples of palliative communication before and after credentialing are available here and here, respectively.

Higher Doctorates in Communication

Doctor of Humane Arts (D.H.A.)

Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.)

Doctor of Science (D.Sc.)

Awarded for exceptional achievement in any creative (D.H.A.), scholarly (Litt.D.) or applied scientific (Sc.D.) aspect, respectively, of all areas of specialization in the discipline of communication.

Candidates or recipients for 2017 include the following individuals:

Michael Frangogiannis - Galatas, Peloponnese (Greece), Sc.D. (Cand.)
Linda Elaine Vogt Turner - Vancouver, BC (Canada), D.H.A. conferred on June 27, 2017

Institute for Open Understanding™

Heartalk® Open Access Defense™ (3 Hours)

Part 1 (85 minutes)
Opening, Welcome (5 minutes)
Keynote Address (20 minutes)
Demonstration Project (50 minutes)
Questions and Answers (10 minutes)

Part 2 (85 minutes)
Introduction of Peer Critics (5 minutes)
Peer Critiques (30 minutes - 3 critiques, 10 minutes each)
Keynoter Response (10 minutes)
Peer Replies (15 minutes - 3 replies, 5 minutes each)
Audience Poll (5 minutes)
"URY™ Regular" Completed by the Candidate (15 minutes)
Poll Results, Final Comments, Closing (5 minutes)

Expert Specialists

When the Student is Ready, the Teacher Will Appear

Aimed at selecting distinguished individuals from the widest possible range of human endeavor to serve as peer critics at each defense, the university chooses the most appropriate, the most accessible, and the most available professionals, from among a loosely knit group of expert specialists scattered throughout the world, earnestly willing to exercise their knowledge by providing insightful feedback to the benefit of the candidate.

Chosen invitees, each a thought leader within his respective area of interest, are honorary members of the faculty. They are not remunerated by the university. Their travel expenses, their lodging costs, and their meal expenditures are covered completely by an honorarium advanced from the candidate through the university prior to the scheduled defense.

What You Need To Know

  • Self-introductions or recommendations are to be emailed to
  • Oral petitions are to be Skype voice messaged to
  • Written petitions are to be emailed to
  • Applications are reviewed from the perspective of Orthodox Christian psychotherapy by a licensed practitioner
  • As guaranteed under applicable federal, state and local law, applications are reviewed without any discrimination of any kind whatsoever
  • Program fees, negotiable, mutually accepted in writing prior to application review, and non-refundable, are payable in advance and in full

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Is Intercontinental Open University accredited?
A:  Yes. It operates in the person of an inaugural member of an accredited medical school's professional society.

Q:  Do candidates have a say in the selection of peer critics?
A:  No.

Q:  How are program fees paid?
A:  Through TransferWise only, in Euro only, to IBAN GR17 0260 0400 0006 3010 1980 981.

Q:  What if the applicant has no money to pay the program fees?
A:  In such a case, the university resorts to bartering; however, the honorarium covering the peer critics' expenses must be paid as indicated above.

Q:  The CV indicates that you are a chaplain at the Grand Resort Lagonissi. What is that?
A:  You may visit its website by clicking here.

Q:  Besides being an academic, you're a Greek Orthodox priest. I'm Greek, and I prefer sermons in Greek. Any samples?
A:  IOU's purpose isn't to give homilies (it's homilies, not "sermons"). But since you've asked, yes. Here's one delivered on April 14, 2017.

Q:  Who is your bishop?
A:  His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas (Hatzinikolaou) of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki.

Q:  At one hundred four pages, isn't your doctoral dissertation a bit short?
A:  Like David Lee Rector's (MIT, 1966) at nine pages, mine is biostatistics-focused. They usually run less than a hundred.

Q:  The "URY™ Lite" has 4 items. How many does the "URY™ Regular" have?
A:  210

Q:  I would like to be invited as a peer critic. What do I need to do?
A:  Email an updated CV and cover letter to

Q:  How long does licensing in palliative communication stay in effect?
A:  Three years from the date of licensing, at which time a reassessment takes place.

Q:  How is the URY™ "rooted" in the referenced "seminal 1967 study", Effect of Light Intensity on the Lipid Composition of Euglena gracilis?
A:  George Constantopoulos and 1964 Nobel laureate, Konrad Bloch, found that diverse organisms respond to light intensity in the same way.

Q:  Off the "Focus" link, under "Higher Doctorates in Communication", the "areas of specialization" are not detailed. What are they?
A:  After clicking here, expand the third dropdown.

Q:  I see Richard Leo Enos was one of your doctoral advisers. After researching, I found this. Are you that co-author but with a different name?
A:  Yes. It was my first published article, co-authored, over forty years ago. At that time, I was using the anglicized form of my name.

Q:  Having tried the URY™ Lite at four items, isn't fifteen minutes too short a time to complete the URY™ Regular at two hundred ten?
A:  In our view, no. One has over four seconds per item, and thus must work quickly. We want gut reaction, instinctive responses.

Q:  Do you have an office in the U.S.
A:  No. We have a registered agent in the U.S.

Q:  What is "Orthodox Christian psychotherapy"?
A:  Please refer to this article.

Q:  If someone fails the required three-hour comprehensive written examination for Level 2 (Certification), can it be retaken?
A:  Yes, but only after another monitored six-month period.

Q:  Does the university have 501(c)(3) status?
A:  No. We are non-profit but not tax-exempt.

Q:  What is an "exigent situation"?
A:  As the late Lloyd Bitzer persuasively had asserted, an "exigent situation" is one that is rhetorical. Learn more.

Q:  Included on your CV under "Books & Documents" is a DVD, "My Joy: The Message of St. Seraphim of Sarov". How can I purchase a copy?
A:  At present it is unavailable, but you can see it online by clicking here.

Q:  Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.)? You must be kidding. This is a fake degree, which is why it doesn't exist in the U.S.
A:  So the University of Oxford has been awarding "a fake degree" since 1900? As for the U.S., isn't Madison, New Jersey located there?

Q:  I presume that Level 4 (Endorsement) is meant to be basic training. Still, how can this be accomplished in just three months?
A:  Three months is twelve weeks. The average length of time for basic training among the five branches of the U.S. military is nine weeks.

Q:  In the archived profile, the writer quotes you as having said, "until further notice." Did they ever give you that notice?
A:  No. Instead of asking me to return, I asked them for a release, as recorded here, on page 240, under "Releases".

Q:  Regarding qualification in palliative communication, who approves the medical facility?
A:  The appropriate competent authority.

Q:  What is SCATEMP™ analysis?
A:  Pairwise comparative analysis of Source (S), Content (C), Audience (A), Timing (T), Environment (E), Manner (M), and Purpose (P).

Q:  Can Level 1 (Licensing) be attained directly, without first earning the lower three levels?
A:  No, each level must be earned consecutively, unless, of course, the candidate can present evidence of equivalencies, in which case, yes.

Q:  The examples of palliative communication "before" and "after" credentialing are dramatic performances. Can you provide any real examples?
A:  In a recent homily, I detail (1:53 to 3:35) a very personal experience that nearly victimized me on account of bad palliative communication.

Q:  I have read the basic texts of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Are there any supplemental texts that you would suggest?
A:  I suggest the 1,370-page "Eastern Orthodox Christianity: Supplemental Texts" (Geffert & Stavrou, 2016), readable online / downloadable here.

Q:  Who has authorized the university's non-profit status?
A:  The State of Kentucky.

Q:  When will you oldsters turn to diversity and inclusion, like we Gen Z'ers have, instead of "communication" that never seems to work?
A:  Never? No, often doesn't, because "communication", as speech, can create other problems as well [pp. 424-427] when neglected or ignored.

Q:  Could I please have some more information about the "capstone encounter" required for Level 1 (Licensing).
A:  As I do not know what type and how much more information you want, please refer to this.