Pius IX, in a letter from the Congregation for Studies of 16 August 1876, granted that the Gregorian University should establish the Faculty of Canon Law, so that it could teach this discipline and confer the academic degrees, taking into account everything that the same Pontifical University observes both by law and by custom in conferring the degrees of the other Faculties. Leo XIII confirmed and ratified this concession by letter of 29 July 1896.

The Faculty specifically pursues the goal of cultivating canonical science within the mystery of the Church (OT 16) and thus forming qualified canonists, both for the study, teaching and application of ecclesial law according to the living tradition of the Church, so that they may be able to collaborate in its continuous renewal and adaptation to the needs of the times, and to perform particular functions necessary for the life of the universal Church and the particular Churches.

All this bearing in mind that the Law of the Church must always strive for the supernatural good of the individual faithful and for the building up of ecclesial communion.

Finally, the Faculty has renewed its program of studies in execution of the Decree Novo Codice issued by the Congregation for Catholic Education on September 2, 2002 with which, by making changes to the Apostolic Constitution. Sapientia Christiana and the Ordinationes that apply it, the study cycles of the Faculties of Canon Law were reorganized.