Postgraduate certificate in Joseph Ratzinger: Studies and Spirituality

Postgraduate certificate in Joseph Ratzinger: Studies and Spirituality



Rome, February 2020 – January 2021


The Postgraduate Certificate seeks to explore the life, thought, and spirituality of J. Ratzinger/ Benedict XVI by examining a broad array of his writings in eight key areas of theology. Presented by leading experts in the thought of Ratzinger, the program thus serves not only as an overview of the thought one of the leading theologians of the XX century but also provides an example of how theology and faith mutually enrich each other and are at the service of the Church.


The program grants 24 ECTS (European university credits) and is organized into eight thematic modules developed through a series of weekly conferences. Students can choose whether to attend these conferences in either English or Italian: the English conferences will be offered on Monday’s from 15.30-18.20 at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum; the Italian conferences will run on Tuesday afternoons.

Given that the Italian program will begin with Module 5, students who wish to complete the entire diploma in a single semester can do so by frequenting both the Monday and the Tuesday conferences.

There are thus 4 modalities for enrollment, outlined in the table below:

Modality Language Semester Start Date End date Day of class
Annual English 1° sem.
/2° sem
17/02/2020 18/01/2021 Monday
Annual Italian 1° sem.
/2° sem
18/02/2020 19/01/2021 Tuesday
One Semester (intensive) English and Italian 2019-2020

(1st semester)


17/02/2020 26/05/2020 Monday and Tuesday
One Semester (intensive) English and Italian 2020-2021

(2nd semester)

05/10/2020 19/01/2021 Monday and Tuesday


Completion of the diploma also requires four written assignments and the presentation of a final thesis. All written work may be presented in either English, Italian, German, French, or Spanish.


It is possible to enroll from October 2019.


The program is organized into eight distinct modules:

  1. The module “Joseph Ratzinger and Theological Method” presents important themes such as the vocation of the Catholic theologian, the doctrine of the faith, the Magisterium and hermeneutics or the interpretation and transmission of the faith. Specialists such as Cardinal Kurt Koch and Archbishop Georg Gänswein, private secretary to Pope Benedict, will participate as experts.


  1. The module “Joseph Ratzinger and Fundamental Theology”, explores important dimensions of fundamental theology in the context of the challenges of post-modernity. It will also examine deeply themes such as the nature and task of theology as well as truth and the role of conscience. Experts such as Prof. George Woodall and Prof. Pedro Barrajón L.C. will contribute.


  1. The module “Joseph Ratzinger and Christology” emphasizes the centrality of the person of Jesus Christ, his uniqueness, universality, as well as his holiness of life. Experts such as Msgr. Markus Graulich and Prof. Mauro Gagliardi will be present as lecturers.


  1.  The module “Joseph Ratzinger and the History of Theology” inserts his thought within the general development of theology. The module will consider the influence on Ratzinger of St. Augustine’s Confessions, the Church Fathers, as well as that of contemporary theology. Experts such as Fr. Giuseppe Caruso OSA and Prof. Roberto Regoli will present different themes.


  1.  The module “Joseph Ratzinger and the Word of God” considers the importance of Revelation, Tradition and Scripture with a special emphasis on Exegesis. Experts such as Prof. Carlo dell’Osso and Prof. Nicolas Bossu, L.C. will intervene.


  1. The module “Joseph Ratzinger in Dialog” explains the importance of this issue for him. Dialog with the Jewish tradition, with Lutherans, with other religions, with the modern world and with the theology of liberation will be treated. Participating experts include Prof. Eamonn O’Higgins L.C. and Prof. Achim Buckenmaier.


  1.  The module “Joseph Ratzinger and the Church” emphasizes the Church’s sacramentality and explains key concepts such as “the new People of God.” Themes studied include the ecclesiology of the Second Vatican Council, Mariology and the relationship between the Primacy and the Episcopate. Experts like Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller and Ratzinger Prize winner Dr. Christian Schaller will present these issues in depth.


  1. The module “Joseph Ratzinger and the Sacred Liturgy”, a theme especially dear to our author. The sacramental foundation of Christian existence offers a key to understanding worship in Spirit and Truth, symbolism, the Tradition of Catholic liturgy and liturgical reform. Experts such as Card. Robert Sarah and Prof. Juanjo Silvestre will be among the lecturers who participate


The lessons are held at the Pontifical Ateneo Regina Apostolorum, via degli Aldobrandeschi, 190 – 00163 Roma.



Brochure Diploma in Joseph Ratzinger: Studies and Spirituality

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