Postgraduate Certificate in Shroud Studies 2023-2024 (English edition)

Postgraduate Certificate in Shroud Studies 2023-2024 (English edition)

Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum

Science and Faith Institute




Postgraduate Certificate in Shroud Studies

In collaboration with

The International Center of Studies on the Shroud (Turin)

and the Giulio Ricci Diocesan Center of Sindonology (Rome)



Presentation letter



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The Science and Faith Institute of the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum (APRA), in collaboration with Othonia, the International Centre of Studies on the Shroud of Turin and the Diocesan Centre of Sindonology Giulio Ricci of Rome presents, for the seventh consecutive English edition, the Postgraduate Certificate in Shroud Studies.

This online program offers an interdisciplinary and systematic approach so as to dialogue with the challenges that the Shroud, as an exceptional document, raises to the intelligence, as well as to deepen the message that it suggests to the faith and to the hearts of believers.



Ecclesiastics and Laymen, Professors, Researchers, Journalists, and all those who want to deepen the vast and rich field of Shroud studies, using an interdisciplinary approach.


Requirements for admission

– Hold a bachelor’s degree or at least a three-year degree.

– Alternatively, students may audit the program. To do so, they are only required to complete the courses and conferences, after which they will receive a certificate of attendance.


Title achieved:

Postgraduate Certificate in Shroud Studies

To obtain the Postgraduate students must fulfill the following criteria:

  • complete the online courses and pass examinations;
  • follow conferences by guest speakers;
  • write a 25 to 30-page paper on a topic approved by the Scientific Committee and directed by one of the professors of the program.

Therefore, 22 ECTS credits are required: 13 from the courses, 3 from the conferences, and 6 from the paper.


Duration and Terms

The program is two semesters long, available on the internet.



1st semester: 12 October 2022 – 19 January 2023

Examinations: 23 January – 10 February 2023

2nd semester: 15 February – 25 May 2023

Examinations: 29 May – 24 June 2023



From March 27 to October 30, 2023


Cost (including registration)

  • Postgraduate Certificate. Total cost: € 530.00, payable in two installments: € 265.00 at registration and € 265.00 by February 29, 2024.
  • Auditors: one-time payment of € 320.00 at registration.



First semester

 Introduction to Shroud Studies (2 ECTS)

Bruno Barberis and Joseph Spence FFm

The aim of the course is to study the Holy Shroud in a comprehensive and summarized view of the various perspectives and contributions of Shroud studies.

The first part of the course (8 units), taught by Prof. Bruno Barberis, focuses on the Imprints and Traces visible on the Shroud; the Scientific Research on and the Preservation of the Shroud; the Shroud and the Gospels; Shroud, Science, and Faith; and How to Explain and Teach the Shroud.

The second part of the course (9 units), taught by Fr. Joseph Spence, dedicates a lesson to Shroud basics, mainly regarding various textile aspects of the Shroud linen; an overall view of the History of the Shroud; with particular attention to the various moments of the Way of the Cross, according to Shroud data; and a final glimpse at the topic “Shroud and Evangelization”, as lived by Mons. Giulio Ricci and Mother Maria Elisabetta Patrizi, Founders of the Roman Center of Sindonology.


History of the Shroud (3 ECTS)

Flavia Manservigi (International Center of Sindonology, Turin)

The aim of the course is to study the History of the Shroud of Turin. In the introduction the several problems regarding this complex matter will be analyzed from a religious and historical point of view. The problem regarding the correct method for studying the Shroud will be part of an autonomous lesson, which will be followed by an overview on the historical periods that characterized the history of the Shroud from the 14th century onwards, with particular attention to the moment when the Cloth officially appeared in Europe. The last lessons will focus on more specific historical topics, such as the peculiar forms of devotion that were attributed to the Shroud in specific historical moments, the matter of the position of Jesus’ burial cloths according to the Gospels description, the issue of the Roman flagrum that was used, according to scholars, to scourge the Man of the Shroud, and the relationship between the Shroud and the iconography of Christ.


Pastoral and Biblical Approach to the Shroud (3 ECTS)

Andrew Dalton LC and collaborators

This course focuses on the biblical theology of the Passion of the Christ. The four canonical gospels constitute the primary source material, but the entire biblical canon also provides essential context. Shroud studies cannot be content merely with questions regarding the authenticity of the cloth. Nor is it sufficient to investigate what the man of the Shroud suffered from a forensic perspective. Essential as these and other topics are, the empirical sciences are incapable of discerning the deepest theological reasons for the Passion. Only divine revelation, received from the apostles and passed down by the Church, can attain this end. This course aims to bridge the gap between scientific observation and theological interpretation. Students will learn not only about what Christ suffered during every stage of the Passion, but also why he did so.


Second semester


Scientific Research on the Shroud; STURP, History and Results (3 ECTS)

Barrie Schwortz (STERA, Inc.)

The aim of the first part of this course is to provide with a clear overview of the STURP team and its members, the team’s genesis and history, the in-depth level of their advance preparation, their actual examination of the cloth in October 1978 and the resulting scientific papers that were generated from their work and ultimately published in refereed scientific journals afterwards. Their cumulative work and conclusions form the primary database of credible scientific knowledge that exists today in the scientific literature and points to the Shroud’s authenticity.

The aim of the second part of the course is to provide with a clear overview of the evolution of Shroud research in the post-STURP era. The course covers key events in recent Shroud history, including the 1997 Turin Chapel fire and its repercussions and the 2002 restoration of the Shroud. The course provides access to Shroud research that has been completed in recent years, evaluates its techniques and conclusions and examines the role the internet has played in furthering communication, publication and distribution of data amongst Shroud scholars worldwide.


The Shroud and Archeological Studies (2 ECTS)

Ada Grossi (Associazione Italiana dei Paleografi e Diplomatisti)

The aim of the course is to provide an overview of the tortures inflicted on the Man of the Shroud: the lectures then move on towards a thorough knowledge of the historical context of tortures in the ancient world. The course focuses mainly on Roman flagellation and crucifixion and on Jewish burial traditions.

All the issues are analyzed both scientifically and historically, with a particular emphasis on Jewish culture and Talmudic literature.


The Shroud and Science (3 ECTS)

A series of conferences coordinated by Bruno Barberis

Collaborators: Nello Balossino, Bruno Barberis, Tristan Casabianca, Paolo Di Lazzaro, Roberto Falcinelli, Alfonso Muñoz-Cobo, Marco Riani, Luigi Rodella, Enrico Simonato.


“We do not simply observe; we venerate. Ours is a prayerful gaze. I would say more: it is letting yourself to be gazed upon. This face has closed eyes; it is the face of one who is deceased. Yet, mysteriously, he looks at us, and, in the silence, he speaks to us. How is it possible? Why do people of faith, like you, want to pause before this icon of a man scourged and crucified? Because the Man of the Shroud invites us to contemplate Jesus of Nazareth. This image—impressed on the cloth—speaks to our heart and urges us to climb the Mount of Calvary, to look at the wood of the Cross, to immerse ourselves in the eloquent silence of love.”

Pope Francis, video message for the extraordinary exposition of the Shroud of Turin on March 30, 2013



Rafael Pascual


Scientific Committee

Nello Balossino, Bruno Barberis, Gianfranco Berbenni, Antonio Cassanelli, Andrew Dalton, Rafael Pascual, Joseph Spence, Gian Maria Zaccone


Teachers and Lecturers

Nello Balossino, Bruno Barberis, Tristan Casabianca, Andrew Dalton, Paolo Di Lazzaro, Roberto Falcinelli, Ada Grossi, Kelly Kearse, Flavia Manservigi, Alfonso Muñoz-Cobo, Rafael Pascual, Marco Riani, Luigi Rodella, Alfonso Sánchez Hermosilla, Barrie Schwortz, Enrico Simonato, Joseph Spence


For further information

Fr. Andrew Dalton, LC – [email protected]
Miriam Conoci – [email protected]Tel.: +39 06 91689941   Cel.: +39 327 4127247

Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum
Via degli Aldobrandeschi, 190
00163 Roma


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