This three-year baccalaureate cycle offers a general and organic exposition of Catholic theology in the form of courses and seminars.
The requirements for admission to the First Cycle Baccalaureate are as follows:
- A secondary-school (“high school”) diploma which would qualify the applicant for admission to a college or university in his or her own country;
- Successful completion of two years of university-level study in philosophy, including Introduction to Philosophy and courses in Logic, Epistemology, Philosophical Psychology (Philosophy of the Human Person, Philosophical Anthropology), Philosophy of Nature, Ethics (Moral Philosophy), Metaphysics, and the History of Philosophy (Ancient, Medieval, Modern, Contemporary);
- A knowledge of the elements of form and syntax of Latin.
- A sufficient knowledge of English or Italian; students whose mother tongue is neither English nor Italian will have to undergo a language proficiency test.
The principal subjects of the courses are as follows:
A. Scripture: a general Introduction course, and eight additional courses concentrating on different parts of the Old Testament (historical books, prophets, wisdom literature) and the New Testament (Synoptic Gospels, Pauline letters, Johannine writings, Acts of the Apostles, and Catholic Epistles).
B. Dogmatic Theology: two initial courses in fundamental theology (Introduction to Theology and Theological Method, and Theology of Revelation) followed by specialized courses offering a systematic exploration of the mystery of salvation in phases, according to the theological vision of St. Thomas’ Summa Theologiae:
- its origin: the mystery of God, the beginning and end of the whole order of salvation;
- its historic center: the mystery of Christ and of the Church (Christology, Mariology, Ecclesiology);
- its eschatological intentionality: the full revelation of Christ’s glory at the Parousia;
- and its anticipation in the sacramental life of the Church whereby Christ remains a vivifying presence to his members.
C. Moral Theology and Spirituality: initial courses in fundamental moral theology and spiritual theology, followed by specialized courses on grace, the theological and moral virtues, and contemporary issues, especially in the realm of social justice.
D. Positive Theology: this category includes subjects which constitute additional “sources” of theology (patrology, Christian archaeology, Church history) and applications of theology to the Christian life (liturgy, pastoral theology, canon law).
Auxiliary Subjects: Introduction to World Religions, New Testament Greek [biblical Hebrew – optional].
Seminars: In addition, students are required to take two seminars during their second year and one yearl-long integrative seminar during their third year. These acquaint them with a variety of special contemporary problems in theology and also serve as a practical initiation into scientific theological work.
Attainment of the Degree:
A. The student is required to write a final paper of approximately 30 pages under the guidance of the Professor of the year-long seminar.
B. Students who cannot frequent the year-long seminar must take the Comprehensive Examination covering a list of 30 themes.