Blackfriars Studium – University of Oxford England

Founded by Friars of the English Province of the Order of Preachers in 1221, suppressed during the Reformation and re-founded in 1921, Blackfriars houses three distinct institutions: (i)the Priory of the Holy Spirit, the religious house of the friars; (ii) the Blackfriars Hall, one of the constituent educational institutions of the University of Oxford and; (iii) the Blackfriars Studium, the center of theological studies of the English Province of the Dominican friars.

Blackfriars Studium serves the Church and the world by providing an intellectual formation for Dominican friars, and members of other Catholic religious orders, such as the Franciscans, Oratorians, and Benedictines, preparing them for their challenging work as priests and preachers of the Gospel. There are about twenty-five students currently training for the priesthood. Our teaching draws especially on the Dominican intellectual tradition, especially the teaching of St Thomas Aquinas.

Students study philosophy and theology for six years, and at the end of their course normally receive a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St Thomas (the Angelicum). Lay people can study for the same degree for part of the time at Blackfriars and part of the time in Rome.

Lectures and classes, some of which are open to members of the public, take place in the priory, located in Oxford city center. Much of the teaching of Studium students takes place in tutorials, which are one-to-one meetings with a tutor for which the student writes an essay. This way of teaching allows the teachers to adapt their teaching to suit individual students and it allows the students to have the opportunity of engage in conversation with experts in their fields.

The students also have access to the excellent specialist library at Blackfriars in philosophy and theology. They can benefit too from the events organized by The Aquinas Institute (https://www.bfriars.ox.ac.uk/study/research/the-aquinas-institute/) and The Las Casas Institute for Social Justice (https://www.bfriars.ox.ac.uk/study/research/las-casas-institute-for-social-justice/), both of which are deeply informed by the Dominican intellectual tradition. And students also have the experience of living in one of the great academic cities of the world with a Dominican priory at its center.

Studio Filosofico Domenicano and Facoltà di Teologia di Emilia Romagna – Bologna, Italy

The Dominican Province of San Domenico (Italy) has separate faculties for philosophical and theological studies: the Studio Filosofico Domenicano and the Facoltà di Teologia di Emilia Romagna.

The Studio Filosofico Domenicano began from the Studium Generale that the Dominicans established in Bologna in 1248. This privileged place of philosophical and theological studies receives international fame over the centuries for its rigorous programs, the numerous students of various nationalities, and the roster of illustrious masters who taught there. It offers a three-year course in Philosophy (six semesters) of a theoretical and historical nature, which aims not only to communicate philosophical concepts but also to help reflect on reality. It is affiliated to the Faculty of Philosophy of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome. It confers the academic degree of Baccalaureate in Philosophy, corresponding to the degree awarded by the Italian Institutions of Higher Education, based on the bilateral agreement signed on 13 February 2019, between the Holy See and Italy.

The Facoltà di Teologia di Emilia Romagna was established on 29 March 2004, at the request of the Bishops of Emilia-Romagna and the Dominican Province of San Domenico to the Congregation for Catholic Education. It confers academic degrees in Sacred Theology (Baccalaureate, Licentiate, Doctorate) at the Patriarchal Convent of St. Dominic and the Pontifical Regional Seminary of Benedict XV. Both its Baccalaureate and Licentiate degrees are aggregated to the Faculty of Theology of the Angelicum. It offers two distinct courses of study: the Theology program articulated in three cycles and the Religious Sciences program in two cycles.

Dominican Institute for Oriental Studies (IDEO) – Cairo, Egypt

The Dominican priory in Cairo was established in 1928 as an extension in Egypt of the École biblique de Jérusalem, and devoted to the study of Egyptian archaeology in connection with Biblical studies. The project was blocked by international events and, in 1937, another project was launched by the Province of France: to send friars in Cairo to study Islam in an Islamic country, along with Muslim scholars. The intuition of the three founding friars, Georges Anawati, Jacques Jomier and Serge de Beaurecueil, was met by the Vatican’s call for religious to take Islam seriously; not to convert Muslims but to make Islam better known and appreciated in its religious and spiritual dimensions. These three friars started their work after World War II, and formally founded the Dominican Institute of Oriental Studies (IDEO) on March 7ᵗʰ, 1953, on the day of the feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Today, the IDEO is a well-known research institute mainly dedicated to the sources of Arab and Islamic civilization. See full text here…

Faithful to our project of studying Arab Islam from its sources and cultivating a fertile academic and interreligious dialogue, the members of IDEO are engaged, in Egypt and the rest of the world, in different research projects. We publish the results of our research and those of our collaborators in our periodical MIDEO (Miscellanies of the Dominican Institute for Oriental Studies, both online and in print), as well as in other journals and publications. We regularly organize lectures in Cairo as part of our research seminars, as well as international conferences.

Our library, specializing in classical Arab-Muslim heritage, is open to all students from the Masters level on up. With its 150,000 volumes and 1,800 journals, it is one the major Islamic libraries in the world. Its catalogue is accessible online. It is the first (and so far, the only) library catalogue that natively implements the latest cataloguing standards (IFLA’s LRM). It is available in three languages, French, English and Arabic.

In 2016, with the financial help of the International Dominican Foundation and Spem Miram Internationalis, we launched a five-year training program for Dominican friars. Two friars graduated in 2020 (from India and Pakistan). Three more friars are currently in the programme (from Nigeria, France and Toulouse).

Our current projects include:

Portal of the Libraries of the East (2017‒2020, renewed until 2022): funded by the French National Library (€20,000 renewed for €10,000), it aims at scanning 600 rare books from our collection.

Adawāt (2018‒2022): funded by the European Union (€500,000) it aims at providing tools for critical thinking in Islamic studies, in partnership with three French-speaking male and female departments at the Islamic al-Azhar University and with the Arabic Manuscript Institute of the Arab League in Cairo.

• Diamond (2020‒2023): funded by the Mellon Foundation (€100,000) and the Total Foundation (€12,000) under the supervision of the French National Library, it aims at implementing our cataloguing software Diamond in four partner libraries of the French National Library, in Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon and Palestine.

Istituto di Teologia ecumenico-patristica “San Nicola” – Bari, Italy

The history of relations between East and West seems to indicate Puglia as a concrete model of unity between the two parts of the Christian world, East and West Europe.  The Istituto di Teologia ecumenico-patristica “San Nicola” was desired by the Episcopal Conference of Puglia, in particular by the Archbishop of Bari Mons. Enrico Nicodemo, after the celebration of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. The Order of the Friars Preachers, represented by the Province of St. Thomas Aquinas in Italy, to whom the pastoral care of the Basilica of “San Nicola” had been entrusted in 1951 by the will of Pope Pius XII, pledged to collaborate with the new academic institution, in the historic center of the city, through which to promote mutual understanding between the churches and encourage ecumenical dialogue. The Institutebegan its activities in November 1969. The Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education approved its statutes ad tempus on May 10, 1971, and definitively on July 9, 1991, as the Greek-Byzantine Ecumenical-Patristic Section of the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical University St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome. Since June 20, 2005, the Istituto di Teologia ecumenico-patristica “San Nicola” is an integral part of the Faculty of Theology of Puglia.

In fidelity to the guidelines stated in the Decree of the Foundation, the Institute has proposed in these fifty years of existence the scientific research of the sources of the doctrine of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, and the results of the ecumenical dialogue. It has promoted studies, researches, meetings and conversations between two Churches, and it has been a center of reference for the scholars on theological-ecumenical animation in the local churches.

Since its foundation, Istitutodi Teologia ecumenico-patristica “San Nicola” has conferred the academic degrees of Licentiate and Doctorate in Theology. The proposal of the Licentiate and Doctorate is intense and rigorous, in the field of Ecumenical-Patristic Theology, with the intention of investigating the sources of Christianity in a style of dialogue, open and creative between East and West. The aim of the Institute is the formation of teachers and figures who, at different ecclesial levels, promote unity among Christians. For this reason, the Institute is committed to creating, along with study, the conditions for an authentic ecumenical experience, both in the two-year Licentiate program and in the Doctorate program, as attested by the presence of professors and students of different Christian denominations, animated by a common passion for Christian unity.

In these last years, Istituto di Teologia ecumenico-patristica “San Nicola” has developed and promoted a new style of formative-cultural proposal through the organization and the realization of refresher courses in Ecumenism. These courses were born from the necessity felt by the Institute to contribute to the diffusion of an ecumenical conscience among believers, in order to correspond to its own vocation. The fifty-year experience of the Istituto di Teologia ecumenico-patristica “San Nicola” has increased the conviction that a theology of ecumenism risks remaining a laboratory phenomenon, certainly capable of achieving results that, however, are not always perceived and felt in daily life. The first step to be taken, in order to build unity, is to move from the confrontation of different positions in the common search for shared positions, without forgetting that Christian unity is not a fact to be imposed but an achievement to be reached together. Therefore, in view of an ecumenical perspective of theology, the Istituto di Teologia ecumenico-patristica “San Nicola” has proposed refresher courses, conceived as an initiation to the ecumenism of theology, with the intention of contributing to the growth of a widespread sensitivity to a dimension of which it is difficult to do without as Christians.

Institute St. Thomas Aquinas – Kiev, Ukraine

St. Thomas Aquinas Institute of Religious Sciences (STAIRS) is a Dominican institution established in 1992 in Kiev, Ukraine, which provides higher education in theology. It was previously known as the St. Thomas Aquinas Theological College. It was affiliated to the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Rome) in 2000.

The Institute is primarily aimed at communicating the heritage of Christian theological tradition, while raising them in the spirit of commitment of the Truth. It prepares them for evangelization and increases the level of consciousness of their mission, pro-active stand, and involvement in the life of the Church and the society of Ukraine. Hence, educational activities at the Institute focus on providing a theoretical, methodological, and practical support to prepare the students for their future active ministry and assistance for the Church. It also creates a favorable environment for interreligious, interconfessional, and intercultural dialogue, cherishing mutual understanding between representatives of different religious, social, and cultural groups, as well as between the Church and contemporary world.

The Institute provides full-time education, part-time studies, and non-matriculated courses. All these create real meeting places and discussion platforms. Moreover, the Institute’s activity is not restricted to academic and training guidelines. The Institute also holds guests’ meetings, workshops, round tables, discussions, and presentations with the participation of leading specialists in the field of theology, philosophy, psychology, cultural and social studies. It also supports the students’ self-government and initiatives, and organizes meetings and cultural events for a wide range of participants, dedicated to the contemporary challenges present in the Church and the world.

  • Some Centers of Institutional Studies have already been mentioned above among the Faculties and University Centers of Studies (see 2.3).
  • In some Provinces, where there is not a Center of Institutional Studies that offers the whole academic curriculum, the CIS or a Council of professors provides courses complementing Dominican intellectual formation (cf. LCO 91 § II, 92, 233; RSG, 54, 59, 66-69).