Pontifical Institute of Liturgy

– General Information

The Institute was canonically erected by the Apostolic See as a Faculty of the Sacred Liturgy at the Pontifical University Sant’Anselmo, to promote liturgical science with research and teaching. Therefore it is authorized to confer, in the name of the Holy Father, the academic degrees of License and Doctorate (Statute No. 127).

The purpose of the Liturgical Institute, therefore, is to:

1. Promote the higher studies of the Liturgy (especially of the Eucharist and other sacraments, of the Liturgy of the Hours and of the Liturgical Year), in its theological, historical, spiritual and pastoral aspects (see Sacrosanctum Concilium [= SC] 16 and 23);
2. To promote the progress of liturgical studies through the scientific research of teachers as well as students (see SC 23);
3. To prepare, through a constant use of scientific methodology, the future teachers of the liturgical disciplines in the Universities, Faculties, Seminaries and religious houses (see SC 15);
4. To prepare those experts who may be part of the regional or diocesan liturgical commissions as animators in the liturgical-pastoral field, so that the people of God may obtain from the liturgical celebrations more abundant spiritual fruits (see SC 44).

– General program of studies

All information is contained in the General Guide,

downloadable from the website: or for the part related to PIL only by clicking here.

You can download the programs related to the cycle of interest: Propaedeutic (Preparatory) year, Bachelor’s in Liturgy, License, Doctorate.

Cycle I:
Bachelor’s in Sacred Liturgy

The Baccalaureate in Sacred Liturgy is aimed at preparing students for the study of the Liturgy, through a liturgical and theological formation of the reading of the sources and the literature of the great authors of liturgical science, so that “the faithful express in their lives and manifest to others the mystery of Christ and the genuine nature of the true Church “(SC. 2). The SL.B. provides the requirements for access to the Sacred Liturgy License.

Requirements for admission

All those who have a high school diploma required for admission to a State University in the student’s country of origin can enroll in the first cycle for the Baccalaureate in Sacred Liturgy (SL.B.).

The Institute requires foreign students to take a placement test to assess their knowledge of the Italian language. For students of classical education it will be necessary to carry out a level test that certifies the degree of knowledge of classical languages (Latin and Greek).

ISSR students who have completed their studies and want to specialize in liturgy as well as students who have completed five-year philosophical-theological studies but are not in possession of ST.B, can access an SL.B. by agreeing to a curriculum with the Dean.

Note: The ST.B. will continue to give the right to access the Liturgical License, subject to the admission test of the Greek and Latin languages and of the Italian language for foreign students.

The SL.B. does not give the right to access the License in Theology. To access the License in Theology the student must be recognized for the courses passed in SL.B. and complete the program provided for the ST.B., including mandatory philosophical studies.

The study plan

The three-year study program includes the following areas which will be distributed in one or more subjects:
• all basic courses (125 ECTS);
• six characteristic courses (30 ECTS) among the following areas:
– Liturgy
– Patristics
– Sacraments
• three supplementary courses (15 ECTS) between the following areas:
– Liturgical spirituality
– Spirituality and human sciences
– Christology
– Ecclesiology
– Anthropology
• final exam (10 ECTS):
• a Baccalaureate term paper of about 40 pages;
• or the comprehensive oral exam with a commission of three professors.
The student’s academic activities must reach at least 180 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System).

First Cycle:
Propaedeutic (Preparatory) Year

In recent years, the fact that many students arrive in Rome for university studies without possessing the appropriate linguistic tools for this work has become increasingly evident. Since many seminars and university systems in every part of the world do not give importance to the study of languages, both ancient and modern, the student who comes from such an experience often feels lost in the multilingual environment of Rome and is not ready to face the study of liturgical texts in the original language. As it is impossible to study the Bible at the university level without knowing Hebrew and ancient Greek, in the same way it is not possible to study the liturgy at this level without knowing Latin (as regards Roman and Western traditions) and ancient Greek (one of the fundamental languages ​​- among others – in the context of the many oriental traditions).

In order to respond to this pressing need, the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy has developed a special program for those who have never studied Greek and Latin, or whose knowledge of these languages ​​is not yet sufficient for the use of biblical-liturgical sources. An admission exam will allow the student to be enrolled either directly in the two-year license program or in the introductory year.

Latin will be taught five days a week, Greek three. The teaching language is Italian. The lessons last 90 minutes. At the same time, the student must also attend the Pro Seminar and two other compulsory courses on the current reading of the liturgical constitution and on the Latin used between the late, ancient and early Middle Ages.

At the end of the preparatory year, the student who has attended the classes and passed the exams can receive a certificate of attendance with profit.

The study of the original languages ​​also has a practical value, since some problems of pastoral practice originate precisely in the misunderstanding of the Latin editio typica.

The Pontifical Institute of Liturgy is proud to present the introductory year of linguistic studies as part of its service to the universal Church.

II Ciclo:
Biennio di Licenza

The Pontifical Institute’s study program is organized into five types of training activities:
1. Basic compulsory courses
2. Descriptive compulsory courses
3. Integrative compulsory courses
4. Teachings chosen by the student (courses and seminars)
5. Preparation and defense of the License Thesis

Cycle III:
The Doctoral Program

1. Students enrolled in the third cycle are those who completed all the exams and took the examination of the License Thesis with a final mark of the courses and of the thesis of no less than 9/10 points. The aim of the third cycle is to provide the Candidate with a personalized program and offers the opportunity to create a solid foundation on which to face the Doctoral Thesis.

2. The program includes a seminary in the first semester and two (2) elective courses in the second semester, among those offered in the current academic year that have not already been reserved and in agreement with the Preside.

3. For this reason, the Candidate, after discussing and choosing with the Moderator the theme of the PhD thesis and the area in which this theme is located, presents the written proposal for the third cycle to the Preside, which must contain three essential elements:

a. the description of the topic of the thesis,
b. the configuration of the area,
c. the bibliography for the study of the area (no less than 15 titles).

Given the written proposal for the third cycle, the Preside with his Council nominates the Commissio ad Lauream, composed of the Moderator, a First Censore and a third Professor who could become the Second Censore once the third cycle of the Candidate is concluded.

4. The Commissio ad Lauream, convened and chaired by the Preside or his delegate, if the cultural characteristics of the written proposal for the third cycle are judged satisfactory, approves it and establishes the courses that the Candidate must attend with final exam (the Comparative Liturgy course is always obligatory for everyone) and the languages ​​that the Candidate will eventually have to learn.

The Candidate, therefore, during the year for Cycle III, must:

a. attend the doctoral seminar (with final exam),
b. attend any other courses of the PIL or in other faculties of other Universities (with final exam),
c. learn any assigned languages ​​(with testimony of learning),
d. read the bibliography of the Proposal,
e. draw up a written report, not less than 50 pp. and not more than 100 pp., with the supervision of the Moderator and the First Censore.

5. At the end of the year for the third cycle, the Candidate must have successfully completed the courses assigned to him, demonstrate knowledge of any foreign languages assigned to him, have read the bibliography and have completed the written work.

Within two months from the delivery of the written paper, the Commissio ad lauream, convened by the Moderator, establishes the point of the paper as the theme for the Lectio coram. The date of the Lectio is established by the Preside who will communicate personally (or through a delegate) the point of the paper 72 hours before the day of the Lectio itself.

The Lectio must be done before the Commissio ad lauream, presided by the Preside or by a possible delegate, and does not last more than 45 minutes. A discussion follows between the members of the Commissio and the candidate for another 45 minutes. The total duration of the exam is 90 minutes.

6. Once the discussion is over, the Commissio withdraws, evaluates the result of the three tests (the paper, the Lectio and the discussion) and expresses the suitability of the Candidate for the Doctoral Thesis. This judgment is immediately communicated to the Candidate by the Preside together with the Commissio ad lauream (which thus closes its task).

From this moment on, the Candidate can deliver the Thesis Proposal (outline of the Thesis, Bibliography, Methodology and Purpose of the research) to the Preside who, with his Council, will give the possible favorable opinion. The Moderator and the First Censore are the same who composed the Commissio ad lauream. Upon delivery of the Doctoral Thesis, the Preside and his council nominate the Second Censore (who may also be the third professor of the Commissio).

7. All students who have started the Licentiate course from the academic year 1999-2000 belong to the new system of Cycle III.

8. Students who, after having attended and passed the exams of all the prescribed courses, wish to submit their doctoral theses after the end of the third cycle, are required to register as “fuori corso” students (see the list of “School fees”).