Opportunity designed for seminarians who completed degree in Philosophy
Since 2010, PUCRS has had an unparalleled agreement with the Pontifícia Università Lateranense (PUL), from the Vatican. This partnership allows for Theology students of the School of Humanities to have a double degree with the Italian institution as they work on their undergraduate degree at PUCRS. All PUCRS students who want to become priests are eligible. The only requirement is to have completed a degree in Philosophy.
The possibility came after the Theology program of PUCRS was embraced by the School of Theology of PUL, through the Congregation for Catholic Education, which came into effect after negotiations between the Archbishop of Porto Alegre, Dom Dadeus Grings, and Br. Joaquim Clotet. The coordinator of the Graduate Program in Theology, Dom Leomar Brustolin, headed the negotiations with the Italian university and holds the position of Prefect of Studies. In his job, he is responsible for bringing the Theology programs of PUCRS and PUL together.
Students who are interested in pursuing a double degree with the Italian institution must enroll in the first year of the program at PUCRS and PUL simultaneously. They must get in touch with the School of Humanities to be enrolled at PUL and must maintain enrollment status every year. As for the degree at PUL, approval in a comprehensive exam on Theology after completion of the program will be required. The said exam must be presented to four professors: three faculty members of the Theology program at PUCRS and a delegate from PUL, who will assess the student’s understanding of the subject area.
Once the student earns approval, their diploma of Bachelor of Theology will be issued in six months. The degree will be recognized in the Holy See and all over Europe. Since the agreement took effect, 86 students of PUCRS have earned degrees at PUL.
Reverend Édilon Rosales de Lima, who is now working on his Master’s in the Graduate Program in Theology, is one of the students who were awarded a double degree. He worked on this program from 2011 to 2014, and completed it in 2015 after he passed the oral exam. For the Presbyter of the Archdiocese of Porto Alegre, the opportunity testifies the quality of the programs offered at both institutions. “On top of that, having a degree from an Italian institution puts the student in a unique position, as his studies are recognized in Europe. It is important to mention that, when it comes to Catholic Theology, PUL follows the guidelines of the Congregation for Catholic Education of the Holy See on theological studies. Again, this earns our program another distinction as our university enjoys an enviable position among other institutions in our country”, he adds.
Internationalization of Theology
In Dom Leomar’s view, having a double degree with the Italian institution advances the internationalization of the program and makes it easier for students to get into Master’s and PhD programs in Theology overseas. “The diploma will award the graduate the title of pontifical and for the church this is a plus, since it is endorsed by the Congregation for Catholic Education of the Vatican. However, once the diploma is recognized in the country, students will be required to take extra courses if they want to go on and work on a graduate degree recognized by the church”, he adds.
Students who are interested in a double degree between the Theology program of PUCRS and the Pontifícia Università Lateranense can contact the School of Humanities at firstname.lastname@example.org.