Writing the Light

SUMMER SCHOOL | Crete 2024


Please fill out the registration form (from red button above) and we will email you with next steps for completing registration.


AUGUST 8 – 18th, 2024

Now held solely on the peaceful island of Crete for optimal immersion in the learning process, this 10-day immersive summer icon painting study program will allow balanced daily studio learning with additional trips to churches and monasteries as a part of the inspirational curriculum –along with shared meals and curated evenings of food, discussion, music and camaraderie.


Our Summer Iconography School is a unique opportunity to immerse in learning iconography in-person from Dr. George Kordis in his native country of Greece. The instruction will begin with several days drawing in the Byzantine system and will then focus on painting and various techniques in the Byzantine system specifically with the dry egg tempera technique.

The program will now be held exclusively on Crete to enjoy a full 10 days of peaceful and inspirational learning with Dr. Kordis.  Hosted at the renowned Orthodox Academy of Crete (OAC) — a unique sanctuary in the mountainous hills of Northern Crete near the village of Kolymbari overlooking the sea and within walking distance of both village and beach, the Academy hosts two Botanical Museums, an extensive library as well as several ancient churches on-site or adjacent, including the famous Gonia Odigitria Monastery which allows for beautiful and convenient access to the Feast Days for the Dormition of the Holy Mother (Assumption of Mary) of the 15th of August, occurring during the same time as the summer school.

The food is highly rated and is included in the separate lodging cost. Students registered in the program are required to stay at the OAC for the best group experience (spouses and other family members welcomed ~ scroll down for specific information). The stay will be split between daily studio work and optional trips (also included in cost) to monasteries to visit significant ancient icon paintings, monasteries and churches and free time to visit some of the best beaches in Europe (Elafonisi and Falasarna Beach).

For more information on the unique location, please visit the website for Orthodox Academy of Crete.

Each day will comprise an average of 6 hours of studio time paired with relaxed visits in the afternoons to museums, churches and monasteries to see inspiring ancient and contemporary examples of iconography.  NEW in 2024, we will also feature an excursion to Heraklion to visit several museums, including a special museum exhibition of Kordis’s icons.

The program is good for beginner, intermediate or advanced levels, as all instruction is individualized and broken into groups based on student preference and determined skills and comfortability.

The summer school is conducted in English.

First Day ~ AUGUST 8th  

NOTE: Students will need to decide if they will arrive to Crete by Ferry on the early morning of the 8th or by plane a day in advance to be ready to take the private chartered bus to the Orthodox Academy or arrive by their own means.  Students are also welcome to fly into Chania airport independently on the morning of the 8th and secure their own taxi to the Orthodox Academy.  For those arriving by ferry or taking the private charter bus on the early morning of the 8th, breakfast will be provided at the OAC with rest time until lunch and afternoon excursions. 

ALL students are requested to arrive by 12 noon on August 8th.  

The Summer School will end on the 18th of August immediately after breakfast with a 10am private bus taking travelers to the Chania Airport, although participants are also welcome to depart by private taxi earlier if they wish, or to stay on in Crete and enjoy all the beauty it has to offer…

Please scroll down for the Tuition & Fees.  The dates are locked in and will not be subject to any changes.


THURSDAY, August 8th

Arrivals to the Orthodox Academy of Crete — a private charter bus will be available to students from the Chania Port with the bus arriving to the OAC in time for breakfast, or students can travel to the OAC independently.  All students are requested to be present by the noon opening lunch.

07.00 Transfer from Port of Souda to the Orthodox Academy of Crete (OAC)

08.30 – 09.30 Breakfast

Until 12.00 arrivals of all the students and check-ins.

12.00   Lunch

13.30   Welcome Greetings

            Dr Konstantinos B. Zormpas, General Director of OAC

            Dr George Kordis, Master Iconographer – Instructor 

            Keri Wiederspahn, Program Coordinator

            Konstantina Stefanaki, Iconographer and Study leader of OAC

13.50 – 15.00

             Introduction of the work of OAC, tour at the OAC

             Katerina Karkala – Zormpa, M. F.L.E.& ling.,M.Theol.,    

            Study leader of the OAC

15.00   Coffee/Tea

15.30   Visit the Holy Monastery of Gonias and the Museum of Icons

The Church of Archangel Michael, Rotonda Episkopi, the Church of Saint Stephen-Drakona and the Church of Saint John the Herimit- Marathokefala

19.45   Welcome drink

20.00    Dinner


Friday, August 9

08.00   Breakfast

09.00   Workshop

12.00   Lunch

13.00 – 16.00   Workshop 

Free time

19.00 – 19.45 The History and Culture of Crete, Zacharenia Simantiraki, Scientific Member of the General Archive of the State

20.00 Dinner


Saturday, August 10

07.00 Breakfast

07.30 or 08.00 Excursion to Heraklion

10.30 Visit the Museum of St. Catherine of Sinai

Special exhibition of Dr. George Kordis’s Icons

Lunch – Independent

Visit the Archaeological Museum 

Free time and self-organize dinner (small groups)

19.30 Departure

22.00 arrival at the OAC


Sunday, August 11

08.30 – 09.30 Breakfast

07.30 – 10.00 Holy Liturgy at the Holy Monastery of Gonias or free time

13.00 – 14.00   Lunch

14.00 – 17.00   Workshop

Free time

19.30  Dinner


Monday, August 12

08.00   Breakfast

09.00   Workshop

12.00   Lunch

13.00 – 16.00 Workshop

16.15      Visit the Holy Monastery of Chrysopigis 

              Free time at the old harbor of Chania

20.30     Group Dinner at the old harbor of Chania

22.30     Departure to OAC


Tuesday, August 13

08.00   Breakfast

09.00   Workshop

12.00 – 13.00   Lunch

13.00 – 16.00    Workshop

16.20  Bus leaves for Ravdoucha Beach (25 minute trip)

Enjoy the afternoon and amazing sunset at the beach 

Self-organize dinner at the local Taverna

20.30 Bus returns to the OAC


Wednesday, August 14

08.00 Breakfast

09.00 Workshop

12.00 – 13.00 Lunch

13.00 – 16.30 Workshop

18.00   Cold Buffet

Free afternoon and Dinner

Holy Monastery of Gonias

20.00 Vesper and the Feast of the “Dormition of the Theotokos” 

22.00 Paraklesis  (Intercessory Prayer)

23.00  Agrypnia ( Vigil)


Thursday, August 15

Feast of the “ Dormition of Our Most Holy Lady Theotokos”

08.30 – 09.30 Breakfast

07:30 – 10:30 Holy Liturgy at the Holy Monastery of Gonias

FREE DAY / Individually-organize Excursions


Friday, August 16

08.00 Breakfast

09.00     Workshop

12.00      Lunch

13.00 – 16.00 Workshop

Free time

19.30 Dinner


Saturday, August 17

08.00   Breakfast

09.00   Workshop

12.00   Lunch

13.00 – 16.00   Workshop and conclusion of the seminar

Free time

19.30  Closing Night Ceremony Cretan night with traditional music, musicians and dancers


Sunday, August 18th

08.00 – 09.00 Breakfast

10.00 Departure with private bus for airport and port


We will have coffee and tea available throughout the workshop.

Please be informed that possible changes from the organizers may

affect the delivery of the program.  The dates will not change.



Tuition is set at 1,500 euros with a 20% non-refundable deposit of 300 euros to secure a spot (applied to total).

A second tuition installment of 600 euros will be due in January 2023 with remaining amount due in May (all registered students will be billed accordingly).


Crete Orthodox Center Fee: 

After registration, for your stay on Crete, you will need to select your choice of:

  • single room accommodation at the OAC with private bath (1,490 euros)
  • double room accommodation at the OAC with private shared bath (1,240 euros)
  • a special rate for children aged 6 up to age 12 (upon request)


Payment for the OAC is in July, one month prior to the start of the Summer School (and is non-refundable).  We will give instructions on how to secure the payment directly to the OAC at the appropriate time.

ALL STUDENTS ARE WELCOME TO BRING A SPOUSE or TRAVEL FRIEND (or a child 12 and older or under 12 if accompanied with a non-participating parent/care-giver) by paying per person for the Orthodox Center Fee.

The OAC fee includes:

  •   Welcome reception
  •   Accommodation at the OAC’s rooms with daily breakfast
  •   Lunches and Dinners at the OAC (with red/white wine) according to the traditional Cretan cuisine, with two free days
  •   Coffee and Tea, biscuits available throughout the Workshop
  •   Transfers by bus from the Port of Souda, Chania to the OAC as you arrive by ferry from Piraeus, Athens or from the Chania airport (CHQ) to the OAC
  • Special Group Dinner at the old harbor of Chania
  • Traditional live Cretan night with traditional music, musicians and dancers
  1.  To the church of Archangel Michael, Rotonda  Episkopi,the Church of  Saint Stephan – Drakona and Church of Saint John the Herimit- Marathokefala
  2.  Visit at the Holy Monasteries of Chrysopigis and  the Holy Trinity and the Museum of Icons, the Grave of Benizelos, small tour at the  old city of Chania
  3.  Full Day Trip to Heraklion Museums


  1. Please use the red registration button at the top of this page — you will then be contacted for your formal depositing process.

  2. Once notified of your registration, you will be invoiced and need to pay your tuition deposit promptly ($300) in order to hold your space.  You will be billed two further payments for the tuition in both January and April, 2024 to space out the payments.

  3. You will only need to pay the Orthodox Center Lodging deposit one month out from the actual event (it is non-refundable from that point).

NOTE: You will need to independently secure your air or ferry travel to and from Crete.

Your round trip travel to Crete can be made by boat or by plane. The ferry must be booked in advance (link for tickets will be shared closer to the date, with an average of 60 euros per person economy seat, with more for a cabin with a bed).  The Orthodox Academy will be able to provide transport to and from the OAC upon arrival from the port on the morning of August 8th as it is located approximately an hour North from the port.  Bear in mind that most ferry and airlines from Athens to Crete will not post schedules for August until around May 2024.

We will begin to share monthly informational planning emails as of January 2024 for your trip.

* The 300 euros deposit is non-refundable — make sure to secure all travel and Athens lodging with generous policy for any changes/cancellations.
*  Should you need to cancel attendance you will receive a refund for any balance paid minus the deposit if we are notified prior to June 1st, 2024 minus an additional 100 euro administrative fee. If you cancel attendance after June 1st, you will forfeit your deposit, and will only be refunded your remaining amount paid minus 20% of the total, OR you may also choose to apply this year’s unused tuition and deposit in full to summer of 2025 so you will not lose your full investment if you have to withdraw at the last minute.
* We will work as generously as possible with students experiencing unforeseen illness or travel issues that prevent attendance.  Usually this will be handled on a case-by-case basis. We understand there are many factors beyond your control with travel in the world these days, and we ask that you be up-to-date with all travel policy for entering Greece, your time in Greece, as well as requirements for your own country while traveling abroad.

We hope to have you join us for this rare opportunity to learn iconography from master George Kordis in the beautiful and peaceful setting of Greece — for year three!

NOTE: IF YOU REGISTER AND DO NOT RECEIVE AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT LETTER WITHIN 24 HOURS, Please email Keri at info.writingthelight@gmail.com and/or check your spam folder as sometimes our letters and invoices go directly to spam.

Thank you!




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