Programs and Courses

The Gregorian Centre for Interreligious Studies

A brief history:

The Gregorian Centre for Interreligious Studies is the most recent academic expression of the centuries-old interest of the Society of Jesus in the study of religions and intercultural aspects.
In fact, the roots of this institution go back to the very foundation of the Pontifical Gregorian University with its inherited missionary spirit of the Jesuits constantly engaged in the study of the religious traditions of the various peoples, contributing to the understanding of religions, cultures and languages of the various civilizations and in the never ending process of dialogue and interculturality.

In particular, that interest grew significantly since the founding of the Faculty of Missiology of the Gregorian University (1932) and, above all, thanks to the new theological impetus given to the theological thinking by the Second Vatican Council, especially through the thrust and vision of the Declaration Nostra Aetate on the Relations of the Church with non-Christian Religions.
From that moment on, various stages traced the interreligious studies at the Gregorian: the Center of Cultures and Religions (1979-2002), the Institute of Studies on Religions and Cultures launched in 2002 to which the Cardinal Bea Center for Judaic Studies was entrusted, the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies on Religions and Cultures in 2008 and finally the present new academic unit in 2015.

Those stages show the dynamism and the complexity of the approach to the study of religions in the perspective of interreligious dialogue.
The Gregorian Center for Interreligious Studies today is a dynamic and interdisciplinary institution that offers areas of research, study and deepening of interreligious relations in various geographical and cultural contexts, drawing on the expertise and skills of teachers also in the field of interreligious dialogue. More details on the history of the Center are available online:



The aim of the Gregorian Center for Interreligious Studies is the formation and the study on issues related to the relationship between Christianity and other religious traditions (Islam and the Religions and Cultures of Asia) in an increasingly globalized world.

Through the comparative approach, the students will gain a theological, philosophical, anthropological, historical and political knowledge for interreligious relations, in view of dialogue and the encounter among people of different faiths.


The recipients and the academic degree

At the end of two intensive academic semesters and achieving the total of 60 ECTS, the students of the Center - lay people, priests, religious - can obtain a Diploma in Interreligious Studies in one of the two areas (Christianity and Islam or Christianity and Religions of Asia)


Conditions of admission

Students may be enrolled in the Centre as:

  • Ordinary: those who aspire to the Diploma in Interreligious Studies;
  • Extraordinary: those who, for any reason, do not have the requisites to obtain the Diploma but are eligible to follow the curriculum of studies of the Centre;
  • Guests: those who may attend a maximum of 3 courses / workshops per semester.

The admission to the Centre as an ordinary student will be granted after the assessment of the curriculum vitae et studiorum followed by an introductory interview with the Director or his delegate.
Candidates must have obtained a first level academic degree or equivalent. An adequate theological-philosophical formation in one's own religious tradition is also required. An integration of a few courses in order to complete the initial religious formation of the student may be requested.
All the other students (extraordinary and guest) are invited to contact the Secretary of the Centre before the enrolment.


Language requirements

Students must be familiar with the Italian language (at least B1 level). This competence will be evaluated through a required language test at the beginning of each semester, according to regulations of the Ordo Anni Academici of the Pontifical Gregorian University.
All the students who have already obtained a degree from other academic institutions in Italy can be exempted from the test.
A basic knowledge of the English language is also required.


Relations with other Universities / Institutes

In recent years, the Center signed a memorandum of understanding with the following academic institutions:

  • Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI) in Rome, with the possibility of following PISAI courses and using the services of their specialist library.
  • The Institut d'Études Islamo-Chrétiennes de l'Université Saint-Joseph in Beirut (Lebanon): the students who have obtained the Diploma in Interreligious Studies of the Gregorian may continue in a second year programme of "Master en relations Islamo Chrétiennes” in Beirut.


The Programme

The Gregorian Center for Interreligious Studies offers an articulated programme through various formative moments and activities where the student will be appropriately guided.

  • a) The Diploma program includes courses and workshops over two semesters. The workshops, although of a shorter duration than the courses, require a more active and intense participation by the student.
  • b) There will also be two reading seminars on significant texts of the various religious traditions through an interreligious approach.
  • c) At the end of each semester, the student will write a semester essay of 7-8 pages on a topic of his/her interest under the guidance of a tutor appointed by the Director. The purpose of the paper is to investigate a specific interreligious issue.
  • d) An integral part of the Program is the active participation in the Interreligious Forums, i.e. a cycle of conferences (12 meetings spread over two semesters), of which 2 are dedicated only to the students and 10 are also open to a public audience. The Forums allow the student to learn the value of the debate and to deepen issues on the relationship between Christianity and Islam and Christianity and the Religions of Asia.
  • e) A final Dossier will be presented by the student at the end of the last semester. It represents an account of the intellectual journey including the personal bibliography (books and articles read), the fruit of the reading seminars, participation in relevant events or meetings (internal and external), future perspectives of commitment in the field of interreligious studies and dialogue. The Dossier will also contain the two semester essays as an appendix.
  • f) The final exam (about 30 minutes) will be a discussion in front of a commission of professors. The final Dossier will also be part of the exam.

    All the written works should be presented by the student following the anti-plagiarism rules of the University (cf.

  •  g) During the academic year the Centre may organize some short sessions of research and study in relation to Islam and the Religions and Cultures of Asia. The sessions will have the participation of scholars also at an international level and represent a further element of formation.


ECTS and final Diploma


Number of credits (ECTS)

Types of Pedagogy

Percentage for the required final grade of Diploma



Corsi propri
(fundamental courses and workshops)

55 %



Courses from other faculties and institutes




Two reading seminars + Forums




Semester essays




Final dossier




Final oral exam





100 %