Postgraduate certificate in Joseph Ratzinger: Studies and Spirituality

Postgraduate certificate in Joseph Ratzinger: Studies and Spirituality



Rome, February 2018 – December 2018


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 30 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 2nd semester 2017-2018


1st semester 2018-2019

19/02/2018 18/12/2018 Monday
Annual Italian 2nd semester 2017-2018


1st semester 2018-2019

20/02/2018 19/12/2018 Tuesday
Intensive 2017-2018 English and Italian 2nd semester 2017-2018


19/02/2018 29/05/2018 Monday and Tuesday
Intensive 2018-2019 English and Italian 1st semester 2018-2019 01/10/2018 18/12/2018 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.



The program is organized into eight distinct modules:

  1. The module “Joseph Ratzinger and Theological Method” will delve into themes like the vocation of the Catholic theologian, the relationship between the faith, the Magisterium, and hermeneutics, and the transmission of the faith. Cardinal Kurt Koch and Fr Federico Lombardi, SJ will be among those presenting conferences in this module.


  1. In the module “Joseph Ratzinger and Fundamental Theology” our focus will be on important aspects of fundamental theology within the context of the challenges of post-modernity. Themes like the nature and task of theology, and the role of conscience and its relation to the truth will also be explored in depth. Conferencists include Prof. George Woodal and Prof. Paul Haffner.


  1. The module “Joseph Ratzinger and Christology” emphasizes the centrality of the person of Jesus Christ in the theology of J. Ratzinger. The uniqueness and universality of Christ, as well as the importance of Christ for personal spirituality and holiness of life will also be explored. Msgr. Markus Graulich and Prof. Thomas Söding are the chief exponents of this module.


  1. The module “Joseph Ratzinger and the History of Theology” examines how the Fathers of the Church and contemporary theologians have shaped Ratzinger’s theology. Fr. Robert Dodaro, OSA and Prof. Mauro Gagliardi will present conferences in this module.


  1. The module “Joseph Ratzinger and the Word of God” considers the relation between Revelation, Tradition, and Scripture in the writings of J. Ratzinger. Experts like the Ratzinger Award Winner Dr. Christian Schaller and Prof. Nicolas Bossu, LC are among those invited to speak during this module.


  1. The module “Joseph Ratzinger in Dialogue” explains the central importance that this theme holds in the theology of J. Ratzinger. Ratzinger’s approach to dialogue with the Jewish tradition, with the Lutherans, with other religions, with the modern world, and with liberation theology will be explored by experts like Prof. Achim Buckenmaier and Msgr. Markus Graulich.


  1. The module “Joseph Ratzinger and the Church” emphasizes key concepts like the sacramentality of the Church “the new People of God” in Ratzinger’s theology. Themes such as the ecclesiology of the Second Vatican Council, Mariology, and the relation between Petrine Primacy and the Episcopate will also be discussed. Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller and Prof. Pedro Barrajón, LC are some of the presenters included in this module.


  1. The module “Joseph Ratzinger and the Sacred Liturgy” explores a theme particularly important in the life of J. Ratzinger. We will explore how the sacramental foundation of Christian life offers a key to understanding worship in Spirit and Truth and the symbolism and tradition of the Catholic liturgy in Ratzinger with the help of experts such as Prof. Uwe Michael Lang and Rev. Dr. Sven Conrad.


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


The program costs Euro 1700.

Enrollment requires that the following paperwork be handed into the Secretariat of the Faculty of Theology before February 19, 2018 either through personal delivery (to Dr. Raffaele Stirpe, 1st floor, Corridor B, tel. +39 06 91689817), ordinary mail (Segreteria della Facoltà di Teologia – Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum, Via degli Aldobrandeschi, 190 – 00165 Roma), or via email (email: [email protected]):


  • A completed online admission form, available through the “Area Riservata” section of on the website.
  • A photocopy of your passport or identity card.
  • Two recent color passport photographs.
  • University or pre-University degree certificates (A copy of this document may be provisionally submitted via email; an original or authenticated copy is also required and must be handed in to the Faculty Secretariat at the beginning of the course.)



Brochure Diploma in Joseph Ratzinger: Studies and Spirituality

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