The Troth

Lore Program

The Troth
Introduction to the Lore Program

For more information about the Lore Program, please contact the Provost, Tom "Fjölnirsvin," at

Stated Purposes:
The Troth’s Lore Program will:

  1. Provide a peer-review based system of continuing scholarship
  2. Provide a series of on-line resources for heathen educational purposes
  3. Serve as a resource for heathen scholarship and education

Lore Program Requirements and Policies:

Full Text of the Lore Program Polices and Procedures

All “Full Member” Status Troth members are qualified to enter the Lore Program (as per the Troth’s By-Laws, this means one year of “New Member” status must be completed prior to entering the Lore Program). To enter the Lore Program, a Full Troth Member must first complete the Introduction to Heathenism Course. Completion is proven by passing the test for the Introduction to Heathenism Course. Note: new Troth members may work through the Introduction to Heathenism Course during their first year of membership and thus be ready to take the test when they become Full Members. After passing the Introduction to Heathenism test, a Full Troth Member may then complete the Lore Program - Application and send it along with a writing sample to the Provost. To request the test for the Introduction to Heathenism Course, contact the Provost at; for the Application, click this link to the Lore Program - Application or click the available link in the site navigation above and/or at the bottom of this page.

All members of the Lore Program are required to maintain their “Full Member” status with The Troth. Members who fail to renew after three months (one quarter) will be considered “Inactive.” Members who fail to renew after six months will be removed from the Lore Program.

Members of the Lore Program can leave the Program at any time. Graduates of the Lore Program must surrender their certification should they decide to leave the Program.

Members of the Lore Program who fail to provide ongoing reports of their progress may be removed at the discretion of the Graduate Council. Additionally, Lore Program members who do not continue to provide ongoing resources for the Lore Program may be removed, at the Graduate Council’s discretion. (NOTE – The language here will have to be changed to suit the Troth’s nonprofit status – the point is that members who do not contribute can and should be removed after a given period of time)

All Lore Program members and Graduates are required to participate in ongoing educational and/or researched based programs at least twice per fiscal year. These programs can be, but are not limited to, the following: writing research-based papers for the Lore Program’s Website, submitting and publishing articles in Idunna, facilitating classes in one’s geographical area (whether at stores, festivals, or in the home, at the discretion of the member), adding to the Lore Program’s annotated bibliography, etc. All Lore Program members are required to report their activities at the end of every three-month period in the fiscal year (roughly March, June, September and December, annually).

Lore Program Structure:
The Lore Program is a peer-supported and peer-review based system designed to support individual study. As such, there are no mentors per se. That said, it is recommended that new members of the Program seek out mentors within the program to assist them in their process.
The Lore Program is designed to be a three-year program. Members who enter the program already highly qualified may submit to a fast-track option, and in that case complete their requirements in one year. Members of the Lore Program may take more than three years to complete the program of study, although no more than six years should be required.

The Lore Program is overseen by the Graduate Council. The Graduate Council is responsible for assisting fellow members to achieve their goals, collecting bi-annual reports and submitting them to the High Rede, correcting the results of exams given to new members, and approving all materials submitted to the Lore Program by its members. The Graduate Council can number as few as three and as many as nine members, all of whom must be Graduates of the Lore Program. The members of the Graduate Council will be selected by the members of the Lore Program, and shall serve three-year terms. Council members may be re-elected.

First Year: The Lore: Primary Source Material
Goal: Familiarity with multiple translations of source material, as available. Thorough understanding of the Norse myths, Anglo-Saxon and continental Germanic materials. Ability to communicate understanding in oral and written communication, including articles and research papers.
Required Reading:
At least two translations of the Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Beowulf.
At least one translation of: Heimskringla, Tacitus's Germania, Saxo's Gesta Danorum
Secondary Source Material as needed to facilitate understanding
Required to Complete:
Lore-Based Exam (take-home)
One 7-10 page research paper on any aspect of the material above. MLA Format required. Minimum of 5 sources, including original source material.

Second Year: History and the Saga Record
Goal: Familiarity with the history of heathenry in continental and Scandinavian Europe. Thorough knowledge of the Icelandic saga record. Focused knowledge of at least one geographic area (ie Iceland, Sweden, Continental Germany, Anglo-Saxon England, etc.) is acceptable provided the member shows broad-based knowledge of other areas.

Required Reading:
Sagas of the Icelanders
Viking Age Iceland (Byock), The Vikings (Roesdahl), etc.
Secondary Source material as needed to facilitate understanding
Required to Complete:
History and Saga-based exam (take-home)
One 7-10 page research paper on any aspect of the material above. MLA format required. Minimum of 5 sources, including original source material.

Third Year: Reconstruction, Phonology, Esotera
Goal: Familiarity with ancient and modern heathen religious practices as they relate to reconstructed material. Familiarity with various futharks, their history, and ancient and current usage. Familiarity with phonology, applied linguistics, and the impact of linguistic studies on scholarship/translation of ancient texts. Familiarity with seid, galdr, folklore, herbcraft, etc. as relates to modern reconstruction.
Required Reading:
To Be Determined
Required to Complete:
Reconstruction/Phonology/Esotera based exam
One 7-10 page research paper on any aspect of material above. MLA format required. Minimum of 5 sources. Including original source material.

Completion of three years (seen above) will suffice for standard completion certification.

Graduate Level:
Specialization in one or more aspect of heathen scholarship, as desired, OR a detailed broad-based knowledge of current and past scholarship as it relates to reconstruction. Reading TBD.
Passing comprehensive exam of topics covered in all three years’ work.
One 15-20 page research paper on any aspect of heathen knowledge and scholarship. MLA format required. Minimum of 10 sources, including original source material.

Papers submitted for peer review, years 1-3 and graduate level, will be assessed, sent back for revision as needed, and approved once agreed upon by the Graduate Council. Approved papers will be posted on the Lore Program Website as a continuing resource. The goal here is to develop a cadre of scholarship, covering a variety of subjects relevant to heathenry, which will be accessible to Troth members and/or the “general public.”

Exams will include multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions as a means to assess candidate’s ability to synthesize as well as memorize information.