The Mater Ecclesiae Advanced Institute of Religious Studies, linked to the Faculty of Theology of PUST, is a school of theological formation where one trains oneself to think through the faith, to exercise a believing reason. Since the task of thinking, loving and hoping is necessarily exercised in the context of the specific times and places where believers live out their religious and human experience, the Mater Ecclesiae Institute is always concerned with a need for a universal vision to be incorporated into its formation activity, which is guaranteed by the international character of both the teaching and the student bodies. The Mater Ecclesiae Institute is interested in current and leading-edge religious questions, so as to foster reciprocal knowledge between various Christian communities, between Christians and those of other faiths, and between believers and all those searching for truth. Therefore, over and above the courses offered to religious men and women, to catechists and to pastoral workers, there are also theological and pastoral courses, and others on interreligious or intercultural questions, for on-going formation and aggiornamento.
For the Religious and Lay people aiming at getting academic titles for the teaching of religion or wishing to search into philosophical-religious subjects, the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences Mater Ecclesiae continues its academic activity based on the new five-yearly system of studies: the first three-yearly cycle (Baccalaureate in Religious Sciences = Bachelor’s Degree) and second two-yearly cycle (Licentiate in Religious Sciences = Master’s Degree).
The academic activity of the ISSR draws its strength from the salvific mystery of Christ and of the Church. Dedicated to Mary Mother of the Church, the Institute responds to the problems raised by a multiethnic society and offers formation in various subjects, with a particular interest in ecumenical, intercultural and interfaith dialogue.
Today there are more than 150 students registered in the ISSR Mater Ecclesiae. They come from nearly 40 countries, and, in particular, from Italy and India.