The Mater Ecclesiae Higher 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.
For Religious and Laity who desire to qualify with academic degrees for the teaching religious studies or wish to learn about philosophical-religious subjects, the Superior Institute of Religious Sciences Mater Ecclesiae continues to provide the following five-year course 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 orienting focus of all studies is the salvific mystery of Christ and of the Church. Dedicated to Mary Mother of the Church, the Institute answers the needs of our multiethnic society and offers various subjects with particular concern for ecumenical, intercultural and interfaith dialogue. Besides the Italian section, the Institute has an English section which contributes to the formation of people from different countries.
Today the ISSR Mater Ecclesiae has more than 150 students who come from nearly 40 countries with the largest cohort coming from: Italy and India.