International Theological Institute
University description (as per official university website)
Our Mission Statement
The International Theological Institute (ITI) rests on four pillars.
The first pillar is the founding intention of Pope John Paul II. The ITI was founded for the study of Catholic theology as a unified whole within which particular attention is devoted to the theme of marriage and the family. A solid theological formation is needed for Catholic leaders, lay and clergy, to achieve critical judgment in our culture and the capacity to contribute to the new evangelization, which is especially needed in the area of marriage and the family.
The second pillar of the ITI, also part of John Paul II’s founding vision, is its international character, its bridge function between East and West. About 50% of the students come from Central and Eastern Europe (the majority of them are Greek Catholic), others come from Western Europe and the Americas. This international character allows a genuine experience of the universal Church, which must “breathe with both lungs” (John Paul II) East and West.
The third pillar of the ITI is its pedagogy, which consists in studying the original writings of the great Masters of Theology, in addition to Sacred Scripture, esp. the Fathers and the Doctors of the Church. Contact with original texts develops an eye for quality, especially in theology. The great masters lead faculty and students most directly to the realities discussed in theology, above all God himself. This pedagogy also develops the virtues of active reading, attentive discussion and penetrating understanding.
The fourth pillar of the ITI is a rich Catholic community that lives and prays together in the same place and its close vicinity. The example of the Christian family life lived by many among the faculty and students offers the most persuasive and practically helpful evidence of the beauty and practicability of that life. It also encourages the formation of religious and priestly vocations and their blossoming.
It is the simultaneous presence of these four pillars that constitutes the strength of the ITI.
The Seven Principles of the ITI
The Word of God as Center
As the inspired Word of God, Scripture, as the Church receives it, stands at the center of the curriculum. All other courses are ordered to unfolding its meaning.
Ad Fontes, East and West
The Curriculum has its point of departure in the primary sources written by the great masters of the theological tradition, from the Fathers of the Church to the present age. It draws on the theological tradition of the East as well as of the West, seeking in this way to “breathe with both lungs of the Church.” The Greek Fathers and St. Thomas Aquinas are particularly important points of reference.
Teachers and students actively collaborate in pursuing the understanding of the Church’s faith through the reading and guided discussion of the masters. Care is taken that students truly prepare the texts and that sufficient room is given to student participation to develop the virtues of active and responsible reading and thinking.
Theology in its Unity
Foregoing premature specialization, the Curriculum seeks to unfold theology out of its inner unity, in conformity with its essence as a scientific reflection of the faith of the Church. The Curriculum is ordered around the central mysteries of the faith: the Trinity, the Incarnation, grace, justification, the Church, etc. All particular questions are addressed in the light of these central mysteries.
The rationale of studies at ITI is theological throughout. Both the sequence of semesters and the composition of courses in each semester are shaped in accord with the above mentioned unity to allow for a systematic building up of the parts of theology. When questions usually classified with other fields (philosophy, psychology, sociology) are discussed, they are discussed for the sake of theology and in an order required by theology.
Primacy of the Theological Question
Historical-critical investigations are a necessary aspect of the study of sources. Such investigations, however, find their inner completion only in the properly theological question, "What is the truth of the matter?”
Above All, Charity
Theology stands under the rule of the new commandment and exists for the sake of union with the One whose love for us we come more deeply to understand. It is therefore studied and taught at the heart of his Church.
The ITI Grants Four Degrees Recognized by the Holy See
Degrees in Theology
Master of Sacred Theology (Sacrae Theologiae Magister, STM). A ten semester full Theology program (four to six semesters for applicants with a US Bachelor) for the first academic degree in Theology (equivalent to the Canonical Baccalaureate in Theology, STB). It is fully recognized as a masters (Magister Theologiae) by the State of Austria.
Licentiate in Sacred Theology (Sacrae Theologiae Licentiatus, STL). A four semester program for the Canonical Licentiate in Theology.
Doctorate in Sacred Theology (Sacrae Theologiae Doctor, STD). A program of a least four semesters for the Canonical Doctorate in Theology.
Degree in Studies in Marriage and the Family
Master of Studies on Marriage and the Family (Magister in Studiis de Matrimonio et Familia, MMF). A four semester professional graduate program designed to introduce students to theology and the Catholic understanding of marriage and the family in its context.
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