Structure and online activity

The new John Paul II Institute is preparing for the next academic year in a context that imposes unusual procedures for the carrying out of academic activity. It is difficult to predict the duration and terms of the process of returning to normality: it seems reasonable, however, not to envisage a short period of recourse to alternative ways of working. In any case, our Institute is determined to identify the most appropriate responses to the new situation, in order to guarantee a teaching method that is consistent with the formative objectives of the Institute, even whilst at a distance from the normal work spaces and timetables. Within this framework, we would like to provide indications for the new regime of the program of studies, which will be implemented with the aid of the appropriate online tools.

The organisational chart of the educational offer, which in itself will be suitably renewed and expanded according to current needs, will be enhanced by the setting up of a “Virtual Campus”, able to support and integrate the planning of Institute’s curriculum.

  1. Integrated formation: principle pillars

The John Paul II Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences, in keeping with its original inspiration, currently presents a largely renewed and expanded educational offer, to carry out the mission assigned to it by Pope Francis in the Motu proprio Summa familiae cura.

– Essentially, the new structure is inspired by a project of twofold adaptation of the theological and pastoral culture: (a) a more systematic connection of the Institute’s specialist area with the great themes of the science of revelation and the practice of faith, in order to enter into a unified vision of the Christian-ecclesial form; (b) a cognitive integration and critical verification of the many points of intersection of the intelligence of faith and pastoral practice with the resources and social practices developed by the anthropological sciences.

The new educational offer, while guaranteeing a solid basis of integrated competencies under both theological and scientific profiles for all the plans of study, allows for twofold specialist-professional outcome: on the one hand, the degree titles that correspond to the completion of the theological-pastoral specialisation (Licentiate –STL- and Doctorate –STB- that require a Bachelor’s degree in Theology); on the other hand, degrees that correspond to a specialised course characterised by anthropological-cultural competencies (Licentiate and Doctorate that do not require a Bachelor’s degree in Theology).

– Such a structure makes it possible to adjust the educational curriculum with a wider sense of  investment: be it responsibilities and/or teaching positions held in universities (ecclesiastical and civil), or be it previously-acquired skills and qualifications, both ecclesiastical and lay, all of which will add significant value. In this context, the Institute has prepared itself to offer personalised study plans to allow for a flexibility and optimisation of studies, with equal scientific and educational rigor. Diploma courses for more specific pastoral and social applications (in the areas of spiritual accompaniment, pastoral counselling, family mediation and the like) will also remain available.

  1. Virtual campus: online teaching

From the 2020-21 academic year a Virtual Campus – an online teaching platform with access to teaching materials in different languages – will become operational, alongside regular face-to-face formation. This is possible thanks to the collaboration between the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences and the Catholic University of Murcia (Spain). This new proposal has been realised in accordance with the recent Apostolic Constitution Veritatis Gaudium (December 8, 2017), specifically Articles 37-52 and the following Applicative Norms (Article 33 §2),

– The agreement signed between the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute and the Catholic University of Murcia responds to the invitation of Pope Francis “to give new impulse to the scientific research conducted in our ecclesiastical universities and faculties” (Veritatis Gaudium, n.5). An online Campus dedicated to Theology and the Sciences of Marriage and the Family has thus been created. The Campus is structured and organised in a simple way; the high quality of its contents remains unchanged.

– Teachers and students will be able to take advantage of a new, more up-to-date know-how, with the aim of facilitating their learning experience by exploiting the resources that technology makes available. Students will be able to access the Campus contents at all times and in the various languages (Italian, English, Spanish and French), whilst also benefiting from a dedicated channel for communication with teachers via email or private chat. By these means, it will be possible to attend the courses of the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences from all over the world.

– The quality of teaching will remain unaltered, allowing for the participation of students who, for a variety of reasons, maybe unable to physically reach the Institute. This constitutes a new service to the universal Church, which builds on the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute’s tradition of years of excellence in interdisciplinary research and the high-level experience of UCAM in teaching with new technologies.

For course enrolments for the next academic year 2020-21, please consult the website