The Mater Ecclesiae Advanced Institute of Religious Studies, linked to the Faculty of Theology of PUST, is a school of theological formation where one trains oneself to think through the faith, to exercise a believing reason. Since the task of thinking, loving and hoping is necessarily exercised in the context of the specific times and places where believers live out their religious and human experience, the Mater Ecclesiae Institute is always concerned with a need for a universal vision to be incorporated into its formation activity, which is guaranteed by the international character of both the teaching and the student bodies. The Mater Ecclesiae Institute is interested in current and leading-edge religious questions, so as to foster reciprocal knowledge between various Christian communities, between Christians and those of other faiths, and between believers and all those searching for truth. Therefore, over and above the courses offered to religious men and women, to catechists and to pastoral workers, there are also theological and pastoral courses, and others on interreligious or intercultural questions, for on-going formation and aggiornamento.


For the Religious and Lay people aiming at getting academic titles for the teaching of religion or wishing to search into philosophical-religious subjects, the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences Mater Ecclesiae continues its academic activity based on the new five-yearly system of studies: the first three-yearly cycle (Baccalaureate in Religious Sciences = Bachelor’s Degree) and second two-yearly cycle (Licentiate in Religious Sciences = Master’s Degree).


The academic activity of the ISSR draws its strength from the salvific mystery of Christ and of the Church. Dedicated to Mary Mother of the Church, the Institute responds to the problems raised by a multiethnic society and offers formation in various subjects, with a particular interest in ecumenical, intercultural and interfaith dialogue.


Today there are more than 150 students registered in the ISSR Mater Ecclesiae. They come from nearly 40 countries, and, in particular, from Italy and India.

Director’s Office

ISSR Mater Ecclesiae
Dean: Prof. Giuseppe Marco Salvati, OP
Vice President: Prof. Maria Grazia Bianco
Administrative Assistant: Alessandra Valentini
Tel.: +39 06 6702.444
E-mail: [email protected]


The academic degrees awarded by the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas (PUST), in which the ISSR Mater Ecclesiae is inserted, are:


– Baccalaureate in Religious Sciences (Bachelor’s Degree) after a three-year course.
– Licentiate in Religious Sciences (Master’s Degree) after a two-year course with three possible specializations:


  • Pedagogical-Didactical
  • Liturgical-Pastoral-Catechetical
  • Ecumenical Theology and Interreligious Dialogue


The Institute also offers a Course for Formators. Please see the Handbook of Studies and/or the dedicated leaflet.



  • Introduction to the Study of Theology
  • Philosophy of Knowledge and Logic
  • Moral Philosophy
  • History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
  • Introduction to the World’s Great Religions
  • Introduction to Sacred Scripture
  • Pentateuch and Historical Books
  • Introduction to the Fathers of the Church and History of the Church I
  • Introduction to Theology and Theological Method
  • Fundamental Theology
  • Fundamental Moral Theology
  • Spiritual Theology
  • Introduction to Canon Law
  • General Didactics


Optional Courses:

  • Biblical Hebrew
  • Italian Language
  • Computer Ability





  • Metaphysics
  • History of Modern and Contemporary Philosophy
  • The Synoptic Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles
  • The Epistles of St Paul and the Catholic Epistles
  • The Mystery of the Living God
  • Theological Anthropology
  • Theological and Cardinal Virtues
  • Ecclesiology
  • Mariology
  • Church History II
  • General Sociology
  • General Didactics
  • Theology of the Laity
  • Interdisciplinary Seminar



  • Philosophical Anthropology
  • The Prophetic Books and the Psalms and Wisdom Books
  • The Johannine Writings
  • Christology
  • Eschatology
  • Sacraments I/II
  • Church History III
  • Bioethics
  • General Psychology
  • Social Doctrine of the Church
  • Ecumenism
  • Pastoral Theology
  • Introduction to Christian Worship
  • Church and Media
  • Interdisciplinary Seminar


Comprehensive Final Exam/Final Paper


The students of the two-year course of the Licentiate will have customized plans of study that will be defined at the time of registration.


The Course for Formators prepares future Formators. The Course includes three areas of study: Spirituality, Human Sciences, Psychology. Seminars, workshops and practical exercises will complete the preparation of those registered. The Course may last one year (two semesters) or two years (four semesters).


Enrolment requires possession of the necessary prerequisite for university admission, or the approval of a special commission of the Institute. In each academic year, students are expected to participate in 11 courses and a seminar.

Iscrizione / Registrazione

Le iscrizioni iniziano la prima settimana di giugno per l’anno accademico successivo e terminano la terza settimana di settembre. Ci si può iscrivere anche all’inizio del secondo semestre nelle ultime due settimane di gennaio. Si noti che durante il mese di agosto gli uffici sono chiusi a Roma.