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Diploma in Gnosticism

Total recommended period of study: approx. 3 months or less.

Continuous enrolment. Time limit for course completion 12 months.

Cost:  £145.00

One FREE textbook will be included for students from the UK.

Method of study 

Textbook study - distance learning. Written assignments are based on the set textbook. Assignment questions are provided in our PDF course manual and students return their written work by email. Results and feedback are issued by email.

Course overview

This course is a study of the philosophy of Gnosticism as expressed in many different forms from its remotest origins in ancient Egypt, Greece, India, Persia and the Middle East to modern cultural forms.  This  complex field covers both personal approaches to divine realisation and different spiritual systems and sects throughout the ages. It is not only a form of alternative or early Christianity – it has taken various religious, spiritual and cultural forms and in recent times has been part of Western Esotericism, Anthroposophy, the works of Carl Jung, and has been an influence on twentieth-century occultism, arts and popular music. 

The basic message of Gnosticism is that human beings are gods in potential, and that rigid theological/ideological systems and also materialism both stand in the way of the perception of our free and divine nature. Gnosticism also acknowledges that the world we live in is neither wholly good nor wholly evil but that there is an ongoing and ancient conflict between two opposing forces, an idea that has been expressed more dramatically in some forms of Gnosticism than in others.

Topics included:

• Ancient origins of Gnostic ideas

• Jewish themes in Gnostic thought

• Christian origins

• Early Gnosticism

• Expressions of Gnosticism in medieval magic and metaphysics

• Sufi Philosophy and Gnosticism

• The Cathars

• The Troubadours and the allegory of love

• The Templars

• European Theosophy, Masonry and Rosicrucianism

• French Freemasonry and Occultism

• The works and life of Aleister Crowley

• Gnostic themes in Jung and in the New Physics

• Expressions of Gnosticism in the Twentieth Century: esotericism, popular culture and the arts

A university-level textbook is required as the main book for the course. Further reading is optional and a list of selected Internet sites is provided for further research.

Entry criteria and suitability 

No particular qualifications are required for entry but the ability to study from textbooks at an intellectual level is expected.

As well as personal study, this course may be useful if you lead or are intending to set up an esoteric study group.


Successful graduates will receive the Diploma in Gnosticism awarded by UK College of Holistic Training which is a private UK qualification.

We reserve the right to change the syllabus and other details of any course at any time.

Course textbook:

Churton, Tobias. Gnostic Philosophy: From Ancient Persia to Modern Times. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions, 2005.

A FREE copy will be sent to UK students.


You may start at any time of year
Click this link to go to our Application page
UK College of Holistic Training, 3 Bedfield House, WINCHESTER, Hampshire, SO23 7JH, U.K. 
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