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The Pontifical Benedictine Athenaeum of Saint Anselmo on the Aventine in Rome is one of the few Benedictine universities in the world to have (among other faculties) a Faculty of Theology, which has full ecclesiastical and civil rights and can award the doctorate in theology. It offers a course of study with a sapiential orientation for beginners up to the baccalaureate. For more advanced students, there are special courses in ‘monastic theology of spirituality’, ‘sacramental theology’ and ‘history of theology’.

The International Monastic Institute of the Faculty of Theology was founded on 21 March 1952 to provide a forum for research into Christian monasticism. It was also intended to give students the opportunity, through courses and seminars, to acquire a fundamental knowledge of monastic theology and history. In 1977, the right to award licentiate and doctorate degrees was conferred on the Institute.

The Institute is at the service of Benedictines, other orders and the universal Church. Many spiritual writers, researchers, teachers, monks and nuns, novice masters, priors and abbots have graduated from the Institute.

Several times in its history, the study programme of the Monastic Institute has been adapted to the needs of the times. At the beginning of 2012, the entire curriculum was subjected to a fundamental revision. This revision should take into account the interests of the universal Church and the Benedictine family in a monastic theology of spirituality.

The result of this revision is a unique academic cycle of studies in ‘the theology of spirituality’ with a monastic and Benedictine profile.

The sapiential orientation of theology

The foundation of Benedictine theology is Sacred Scripture. In the light of the symbolic thought of the Fathers of the Church, this theology is based on a reciprocal interpretation of the Tradition of faith, liturgical and private prayer, forms of community life and daily experience.

The study cycle

It is aimed at all those interested in in-depth studies in the theology of spirituality with a specific Benedictine and monastic profile:

- students who wish to specialise in ‘theology of spirituality’ / ‘spiritual theology’.

- novice masters and juniorate directors, who need comprehensive training for their important duties.

- professors of ‘theology of spirituality’ / ‘spiritual theology’ in universities, theological academies and major seminaries of dioceses and religious orders.

- spiritual directors in retreat centres, theological training centres for adults, etc.

- those responsible for spiritual matters in dioceses, deaneries, parishes and religious communities.

- all those who, for personal reasons, are interested in the themes of ‘spirituality’ and ‘monasticism’.

All our formations

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