The Joint Diploma in Women and Church

The Joint Diploma in Women and Church

Joint Diploma in WOMEN AND CHURCH:

Men and women in a synodal community

IV Edition



The Joint Diploma in “Women and the Church: Women and Men in a Synodal Community” is an initiative shared between the Institute for Higher Studies on Women of the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, the Pontifical Urbaniana University, the Pontifical Salesian University, the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences Auxilium and the Institute of Theology of Consecrated Life Claretianum.

The course deepens the specific contribution of women in the life and mission of the Church, to activate processes of mutual collaboration between women and men in ecclesial spaces. This reflection is linked to the question of the lay faithful, posed above all by the Second Vatican Council and not yet fully lived. Alongside the many examples of fruitful collaboration between men and women in the life and mission of the Church, there are also cultural and other barriers which obscure their reciprocity and effective cooperation. Moreover, the Church is convinced of the need to count on the contribution of women where decisions are made. The journey must begin with a renewed understanding of the dignity of the baptismal priesthood, avoiding the clericalization of the laity in general and of women in particular. Moreover, the Church needs to discover her feminine and maternal face, in order to live her vocation to the full.  The horizon in which this reflection is placed is that of a Church that must make a journey of conversion to synodality. What is the role of women in this context?



The course is aimed at priests, men and women religious and lay people (men and women) involved in the ecclesial sphere at the curial, diocesan, academic level, or in formative roles in the various forms of consecrated or associative life, who want to increase awareness and activate processes in these areas, to promote greater and better collaboration between men and women within the Church.

Prior admission requirement is to be in possession of a university degree.



The setting of the general program follows the dynamic of listening, discerning and acting.

Listening as a missionary disciple: understanding the current challenges in different contexts: lights and shadows of the situation of women within the Church and of the collaboration between  clerics and laity, enlightened by the gaze of faith and taking into account the fruitful examples of collaboration between men and women and the difficult recognition of women in different geographical contexts.

Discern: understand the causes of these challenges (cultural, historical and anthropological factors), the foundations and criteria to refer to to guide thought and action.

Act: outline paths to follow, necessary tools to walk towards the conversion and renewal of the Church, starting from the perspectives opened by the Second Vatican Council.



Scientific committee:

  • Anita Cadavid, Institute for Higher Studies on Women (APRA)
  • Lorella Congiunti, Pontifical Urbaniana University
  • Catherine Droste, Pontifical University Thomas Aquinas
  • Mario Llanos, Pontifical Salesian University (UPS)
  • Grazia Loparco, Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences Auxilium
  • Marta Rodriguez, Institute of Higher Studies on Women (APRA)
  • Gianrico Ruzza, bishop of Civitavecchia and Porto-Santa Rufina
  • Nicla Spezzati, Pontifical Lateran University, Institute of Theology of Consecrated Life Claretianum


Course schedule: 12 October 2023 – 29 February 2024. Synchronous lesson times: every Thursday, from 18:00 to 19:30 (Rome timetable). All materials will be recorded, so that they can be retrieved asynchronously.

Credits: 12 ECTS

Cost: 500 euros.

Available resources:

  • 15 blocks of reading material
  • More than 40 videos of teachers
  • 15 synchronous lessons
  • 3 experiential workshops
  • Teacher forum for each topic, and complementary bibliography
  • 2 international round tables
  • 1 Open Class


Socio-historical: presents the active processes since the nineteenth century and still taking place according to a varied context. It focuses on strengths and weaknesses, acquired convictions and problematic nodes of the inculturation of the Catholic faith in its social dialogue. It aims to suggest new developments that allow us to proceed with a proactive spirit.

Anthropological (philosophical and theological): deepens the meaning of sexual difference in the human person taking into account the complexity of elements that come into play in the formation of sexual identity. It aims to illuminate how collaboration and reciprocity between men and women can be expressed in ecclesial contexts.

Ecclesiological: It starts from the ecclesiology of communion matured in the Second Vatican Council. Takes up the salient points of the conciliar and post-conciliar Magisterium with regard to the laity and women, to open paths of creative, faithful and prophetic application.

Workshops: a space to explore and enhance aspects of oneself to favor the perception of one’s masculinity or femininity (listening). Interpreting the studied contents (Discerning) personalizing a new way of relating and collaborating as a woman or man for-with-Christ in the Church (acting).



Educational goals

At the end of the course the course participant will be able to:


  1. To deepen the alliance between men and women in the ecclesial sphere, starting from the recognition of the newness of the Gospel in the understanding of the reciprocal relationship.
  2. Assimilate the foundations and guiding criteria of the promotion of women’s contribution within the Church.
  3. Identify the fundamental reasons behind the difficulties of women in carrying out their mission to the full.
  4. To understand some expressions of female subjectivity in the life and mission of the Church in different contexts and to grasp historical dynamism, as a prerequisite for overcoming anachronistic schemes.
  5. To develop the understanding of the Catholic tradition in a hermeneutic of continuity in different eras and cultures.
  6. To grasp new and attractive perspectives of the mission of women within the Church from a renewed understanding of the baptismal vocation.


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For further information:

Carlo Fattori

E-mail: [email protected]

Tel.: +39 06 91689918

Mobile: +39 349 8168476

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