Who are we?

The Mater Ecclesiae is a Higher Institute of Religious Studies, within the Faculty of Theology at the Angelicum. It is primarily a school of theological formation for ministry for lay and religious in the catholic church. From its foundation the Institute is seeking to provide a university level education for those wishing to know and deepen their understanding in faith. For this reason, the Institute offers courses in Theology at a university level. Presently the institute is an ISSR within the Pontifical system of education. Our degrees are in Religious Science.

What is our Mission?

The Institute has the special mission of educating lay and religious faithful to become qualified teachers of religious education for Italy and wherever a pontifical degree is recognized. A five-year cycle of studies (Baccalaureate & Licentiate) prepares the student to teach up to high school level religious education. Besides a sophisticated level of philosophical and theological education, the Institute offers an array of courses suited for educators, formators & other forms of ministry in the church.  (Please see our “Programs” above)

The Institute also offers different specializations at the Licentiate level, where a student may prepare for different forms of ministry in the catholic church, this includes a licentiate in formation. Along with the Baccalaureate and Licentiate degrees, we also offer a diploma (certificate) program for formators that may be followed for one or two years.

The Mater Ecclesiae Institute is always concerned with keeping a universal vision as part of its formation activity. It is already guaranteed by the international character of both its faculty and students of the institute. The Mater Ecclesiae is attentive to current and leading-edge religious questions, so as to foster reciprocal knowledge: ecumenically, interreligiously, and with all those searching for truth. Therefore, besides theological and pastoral questions, our courses include subjects that interest ecumenical, interreligious and intercultural demands for preparing our students to serve the universal church.

Who are our Students

Our students are Religious and Laity who seek to be qualified by academic degrees to become teachers of religious education.  Also, those wishing to prepare to serve in the church in different forms of apostolic work as both lay and religious persibs.  Our students are also those who wish to learn about philosophical-religious subjects to further enrich and deepen their own faith.

At the Institute you will be studying with lay and religious men and women who prepare take on different roles in service in the church around the world.  You will be immers within a multicultural and international student body.

The Higher Institute of Religious Sciences Mater Ecclesiae offers the following degrees in a five-year course of studies:

The first three-yearly cycle (Baccalaureate in Religious Sciences) and it may be followed by a two-yearly cycle (Licentiate in Religious Sciences).  The five years are a requirement for a career as a teacher of religious education.

The guiding focus for 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 multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society.  The Institute offers studies both in Italian and in English, and both of our sections contribute to the formation of people from around the world.


Today the ISSR Mater Ecclesiae has international student body counting up to nearly 40 countries with the largest cohort coming from: Italy and India.  The institute is authorized to prepare for teaching catholic religious education in schools in Italy.