Inspired by early career research (Enos and Constantopoulos [a.k.a., Constant], 1976  ), conceptualized through mid-career teaching and service (Christofilopoulou, 1998  ), and grounded upon late-career recognition of its diagnostic approach by a leading medical school (Craver, 2008  ), Intercontinental Open University, a non-profit corporation operating through the priesthood of its founder, canonically ordained by the Orthodox Church  , was established in 2009  and focuses  on micro-credentialing in palliative communication for allied healthcare candidates (cf. World Health Organization, 1946  ) qualifying under KRS 216.935(4)(c) .


Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, portrays Pontius 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: Failure to understand his constituency, and fear of an uprising within it.

Pilate accedes to the demands of the populace, and Jesus is executed.


"Failure to understand" another, coupled with "fear of an uprising" in that other, undermines quality interaction by disabling palliative communication, which is the foundation of palliative care. By example, and not necessarily exclusive of non-hospital instances, it causes palliative communication to become dysfunctional   as opposed to enabling it to be functional  . With its rhetorical groundwork having been laid out over twenty years ago (Constantopoulos, 1999  ), Pilate Syndrome™ (Constantopoulos, 2008  ) now can be identified and understood as a Heartalk™ bifotype – the "bi" from "bias", and the "fo" from "focus" – by using the paired comparison equivalent of a global positioning system, the Heartalk™ protocol  . This protocol has been alpha-tested in primary care facilities, beta-tested in pastoral settings, and was unveiled in 2008 at the 1st Annual Meeting of the Society for Spirituality, Theology and Health  at the Duke University School of Medicine.

Recognized through the Duke Health Profile  , and initially externalized as a communicator style (cf. Norton and Pettegrew, 1977  ), Pilate Syndrome™ is diagnosed using the protocol, allowing for instinctive end-user reactions to forced-choice, biaxial, dependent variable alternatives of varied light intensity, examined in terms of of biological chemistry by Constantopoulos and Bloch (1967  ), with each option signifying a fractional inclination for conveying communication relationality, examined by O'Connor, Davis and Abernethy (2010  ), within an exigence, examined by Bitzer (1968, p. 6  ), he having dovetailed it off of Aristotle (350 BCE  , Part 2, Sentence 1), thereby reconfirming systemic interdependence of vision and hearing to be the key to preparation and readiness, examined by Duke University neuroscientists  .

If, after risk assessment, that style is anticipated to result in disabled communication, then the disorder can be reordered in the appropriate manner  . Thus, with a structure and a metabolism that are, so Palade emphasizes (1963, p. 614  ), two aspects of the same set of phenomenon, Pilate Syndrome™ proves to be not as much a "response" to them as it is a reaction to them, one that can be relieved and reversed, given, as reflected by one of four communicator styles, the variables and messages of the CARE Quad™ (Constantopoulos, 2016  ).



Endorsement in palliative communication is earned following twelve weeks of monitored interaction with children, adolescents, or adults in a university-approved setting, during which time are required a 15-minute, 60-question, true-false test at three weeks, a 30-minute, 120-question, multiple-choice test at seven weeks, a 60-minute, single-question, comprehensive written examination at nine weeks, and a 2-hour, double-blind peer reviewed, face-to-face capstone encounter at eleven weeks. Successful completion of the program authorizes candidate use of the corresponding post-nominal letters "EPC", entitles the candidate to a corresponding digital badge, and assigns the candidate as an "Associate" of the institution.


Certification in palliative communication is earned following submission, within two weeks of commencing the program, of a double-blind peer reviewed 15,000-word reaction paper focusing on interaction with children, adolescents, or adults in a university-approved setting, and thereafter requires, within one month of its submission, its being presented by the candidate at a public venue of the university's choice. Successful completion of the program authorizes candidate use of the corresponding post-nominal letters "CPC", entitles the candidate to a corresponding digital badge, and assigns the candidate as a "Specialist" at the institution.


Accorded at the sole discretion of the university, subsequent to verified and confirmed interaction with children, adolescents, or adults in any university-approved setting, and only if said interaction reflects the distinctive excellence associated with a Doctor of Humane Letters, a Doctor of Letters, or a Doctor of Science degree, traditionally conferred honoris causa for exceptional creative work, exceptional scholarly work, or exceptional scientific work, respectively, accreditation in palliative communication, requiring a 4-hour, open access Q&A held at a public venue of the university's choice, authorizes candidate use of the corresponding post-nominal letters "APC", entitles the candidate to a corresponding digital badge, and assigns the candidate as an "Expert" at the institution, only upon audience consensus of the candidate's knowledge as reflected by answers to the questions posed.


Intercontinental Open University is an "environment", a metaphorical definition of the word "university" in Modern Greek , correspondingly translated into English . Operating exclusively through the aforementioned ordinations of its founding president, it thus is accredited as such by the Orthodox Church. The Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development , one of whose Social and Behavioral Research centers is the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health  , instrumental in establishing the Society for Spirituality, Theology and Health, of which the university is an inaugural member  , is part of the Duke University School of Medicine  , accredited regionally by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges   and professionally by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education  . A member of the U.S.-based Global Palliative Care Quality Alliance  and the U.K.-based Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance   – hence the reason for use of the adjective "intercontinental" in its name – the university is recognized professionally in and by both countries.


Intercontinental Open University is led by prominent palliative communication authority, Constantine A. Constantopoulos, Ph.D., through whose University of Michigan doctoral advisor, Loren LaMont Okey, Ph.D. (1909-1987)    , is an academic grandchild of the creator of America's first-ever university speech department, Thomas Clarkson Trueblood .

George C. Constantopoulos, Ph.D. (1923-2018)  , of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and, while at Harvard University, lead author for 1964 Nobel Laureate, Konrad E. Bloch, co-served as President (honoris causa) from 2011 to 2018, with Heublein corporate executive, Nickas C. Constant (1926-2007), A.D., having served, in light of his over three decades of successful experience within the area  , as Director of Grants and Scholarships throughout the university's planning and development stage.

Congratulations to the newest team members among us, Linda Elaine Vogt Turner   from Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada), awarded the Doctor of Humane Arts degree* on June 27, 2017, and Michael Frangogiannis from Galatas, Peloponnese (Greece), awarded the Doctor of Science degree* on October 1, 2017.

*Beginning January 1, 2019, Intercontinental Open University will be issuing the doctoral degree based solely on individualized double-blind peer review of previous work experience as it bespeaks whatever further essential activity may be needed.


Thank you for visiting us.

Marcus Tullius Cicero reminds us that "the life of the dead consists in the recollection cherished of them by the living." . How, in anticipation of the inevitable, is this to be personified by allied healthcare professionals in palliative settings, with such not being limited to medical treatment contexts, but also including any and all social millieux wherein others could stand to benefit from effective communication that is palliative in nature?

It is in the spirit of answering this question, which I continue to ask myself , that our vocationally focused undergraduate-equivalent endorsement, graduate-equivalent certification, and postgraduate-equivalent accreditation micro-credentials train allied healthcare candidates to engage children, adolescents, and adults purposefully, readying them to communicate palliatively just as appropriately with those having been left behind, irrespective of whichever the situation and whatever the circumstances, as with those prior to having moved on.

If you would like to offer assistance to such aspiring allied healthcare candidates, on the road to meet this calling but without the financial resources to reach it, then please do consider helping them with a donation. On their behalf, I thank you.


Rev. Fr. Constantine A. Constantopoulos, Ph.D. 
President and Distinguished Clinical Professor Emeritus of Palliative Communication


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