The Joint Diploma in Women and Church

The Joint Diploma in Women and Church

Women and Church: how to activate processes and promote effective collaboration between men and women in the Church

II edition – 2020-2021


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Watch the VIDEO with the Voices of the protagonists of the Joint Diploma. A testimony about the importance of the contribution of women in the Church, the effective cooperation between men and women in different ecclesial environments globally.



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

The diploma is a laboratory of ideas for promoting the contribution of women in the Church and effective cooperation between men and women in different ecclesial environments, and between different vocations and charisms, taking into account the theological, anthropological, historical, canonical and pastoral principles that underlie it and taking into account the necessary diversity of cultures and geographical areas.

This consideration is not disconnected from the issue on the lay faithful, posed above all by the Second Vatican Council and still not fully lived. Along with many examples of a fruitful collaboration between men and women in the life and mission of the Church, there are also cultural and other barriers that make it difficult for women to fully integrate into the life of society and the Church itself. Besides, although the question of the woman is not reducible to decision making, the Church is also convinced of the need to count on her contribution in this field. The journey must begin with a renewed understanding of the dignity of the baptismal priesthood, avoiding clericalization of the laity and of women in particular.

At the same time, the Church needs to discover its feminine and maternal face to fully live its vocation. The horizon in which this reflection is placed is that of an “outgoing” Church, called to a missionary conversion of structures. What is the role of women in this context?

Structure: The setting of the general program follows the dynamics of listening, discerning and acting.

Listening as a missionary disciple: it starts from the current challenges in different contexts, from the lights and shadows of the situation and the role of women within the Church; enlightened by the gaze of faith and taking into account the fruitful examples of collaboration between men and women and the lack of recognition of women in different geographical contexts.

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

Acting: paths to take, necessary tools to advance towards the conversion and renewal of the Church, from the perspectives opened by the Second Vatican Council.

Scientific Committee:

  • Anita Cadavid, Directress of Institute of Higher Studies on Women
  • Lorella Congiunti, Pontifical Urbaniana University
  • Catherine Droste, Pontifical University Saint Thomas Aquinas
  • Mario Óscar Llanos, Pontifical Salesian University
  • Grazia Loparco, Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences “Auxilium”
  • Mauro Mantovani, President of CRUIPRO
  • Marta Rodriguez Diaz, of Institute of Higher Studies on Women
  • Ecc. Rev. Mons. Gianrico Ruzza, bishop of Civitavecchia
  • Nicla Spezzati, Institute of Theology for Consecrated Life “Claretianum”


At the end of the course, the student will be able to

  1. Understand the richness that the Gospel has brought to society through a new vision of the mutual relationship between man and woman, and how the relationship of their covenant is expressed within spaces that are not only “conjugal” in the strict sense: in ecclesial, cultural and social spheres.
  2. Understand the foundations and criteria that must guide the promotion of women’s contribution within the Church and identify the issues underlying the difficulties that women find in fully carrying out their mission.
  3. Develop an adequate sense of Catholic tradition, which allows us to understand, according to a hermeneutic of continuity, the ever-deeper way in which the Church grows in the understanding of revelation in different eras and cultures.
  4. Offer perspectives: a broad and attractive horizon of the mission of women within the Church.



The course is designed for priests, religious and laity (men and women) engaged in the ecclesiastical sphere at the curial, diocesan, academic level, or in training roles in the various forms of consecrated or associative life, who want to activate processes in these areas to promote greater collaboration between men and women. A prerequisite for admission is to be in possession of a bachelor’s degree.


Admission and Inscription:

Register here: Admission form


Modes and structure:

Dates: June 19 – July 3 2021


  • from 15:00 to 20:00 CEST (Central European Summer Time)
  • from 9:00 to 14:00 EDT (Eastern Daily Time)

Total: 36 hours of frontal lessons and 15 hours of group workshops or round tables.

Depending on the developments in the epidemiological situation, the possibility of offering the Diploma also in presence will be evaluated.

Formative Credits: 4 ECTS. To obtain the educational credits, the student must submit a written work. The theme will be approved by the course coordinator and will have to address one of the topics covered in the course.


Socio-historical: it offers the fundamental coordinates of the historical evolution in which the various cultural issues are placed, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses, the acquired convictions and the problematic issues of the inculturation of the Catholic faith in its social dialogue, to look forward with proactive spirit.

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Anthropological (philosophical and theological): it explores the meaning of sexual difference in the human person and the complexity of elements that come into play in the formation of sexual identity so that this understanding can illuminate the possible collaboration and reciprocity between men and women in ecclesial contexts.

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Ecclesiological: starting from the ecclesiology of communion matured in the Second Vatican Council, it takes up the salient points of the conciliar and post-conciliar Magisterium as regards the laity and women, to open paths of a creative, faithful and prophetic application.

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Mariological: It develops what the figure of Mary says about the identity and mission of women in the Church, it presents the status questionis, some critical points and ways forward.

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Workshops: exercises that guarantee the application of concepts and learning.

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Registration deadline: June 5th 2021.

The Joint Diploma will be launched with a minimum of 30 students.

Translation: Translation into Spanish and English is expected for those who request it by June 16, 2021.

Participation fee: 200,00 € (Euro)

  • 150€ (for students enrolled in universities that have joined the Joint Diploma)

For information please contact:  [email protected] – Tel: 06 916 89 903

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