The applicant should have a reading knowledge of Latin and a modern language other than English. Formation in biblical Greek and Hebrew is strongly recommended. Special consideration may be given to well-qualified students who have some deficiency, especially in Latin.
The applicant must have adequate background in the study of philosophy (at least 9-12 semester credits), especially in such basic areas as logic, epistemology, rational psychology, and metaphysics.
The applicant should have the equivalent of a Baccalaureate of Sacred Theology (STB). Ordinarily this would compare favorably with the first three years of study in a seminary. For those with an M.A. in Theology/Religious Studies, it would probably mean at least an additional year of study, e.g., 18 more semester credits.
Each applicant is evaluated as to past achievements. Applicants will be asked to make up deficiencies before being formally admitted into the program. In evaluating past work, the IMRI considers the strength and breadth of previously acquired degrees, courses taken, other academic work, and work experience.
Below is an outline of the basic course work that some pontifical universities require for the STB. Credits are listed in terms of quarter credits; three quarter credits equal two semester credits:
Foundations in Theology (21 credits)
Systematic Theology (15 credits)
Revelation, God, Christian Anthropology, Christology (Soteriology), Church, Eschatology
Sacramental Theology (6 credits)
General introduction, specific sacraments
Moral Theology (9 credits)
Individual and Social Ethics
Scripture (15 credits)
Old and New Testament
Church History (3 credits)
Canon Law (3 credits)
Applicants who have an STL corresponding to the second cycle of pontifical-theological formation can be admitted into the STD program, but they will be asked to obtain the specialized formation in Marian Studies. This usually involves at least 36 quarter credits: 30 credits in core courses and 6 credits in introductory and special courses. Additional courses may be required to complete the specialized formation of the candidate in Marian studies. The courses may be chosen in consultation with the thesis moderator. Comprehensive exams are part of the course work.
Applicants are asked to submit transcripts of previous academic work, a curriculum vitae, and two letters of recommendation. One from their bishop, for diocesan priests or seminarians; their provincial superior for members of the consecrated life; or from an ecclesiastical authority, e.g., parish priest, for lay persons. A second letter is requested from an academic authority acknowledging the student's intellectual preparation and ability.
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