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Beginning from the 2018-19 academic year, the curriculum for the Licentiate in S. Scripture will be comprised of not only  the traditional exegetical focus on the biblical text, but will also offer the student the possibility of an alternative emphasis: 1) either a specialization that focuses on the biblical context, or 2) another that focuses on the in-depth study of hermeneutics and the history of Bible interpretations. [cf. scheme below]


The curriculum consists of four sections and is concluded with the “Licentiate thesis”:

  1. Philological Section [ECTS 100]:

    • Introductory courses [or qualifying examination]
    • Advanced courses
      • New Testament Greek (2 semesters: A-B) [ECTS 2 x 5 = 10]
      • Biblical Hebrew (3 semesters: A-B-C) [ECTS 3 x 5 = 15]
      • Biblical Aramaic (1 semester) [ECTS 5]
      • One Ancient Near Eastern Language (e.g., Akkadian, Targumic Aramaic, Syriac, etc.) (2 semesters) [ECTS 2 x 5 = 10].
  2. Isagogic Section [ECTS 16]:

    • Biblical Archaeology and Geography [ECTS 3]
    • History of the Old Testament [ECTS 3]
    • History of the New Testament [ECTS 3]
    • Textual Criticism [ECTS 3]
    • Hermeneutics [ECTS 3]
    • Methodology [ECTS 1]
  3. Exegetico-Theological Section (8 semester courses) [ECTS 40]:

    • Introduction to the Old Testament (1 course) [ECTS 5]
    • Theology of the Old Testament (1 course) [ECTS 5]
    • Old Testament Exegesis (2 courses) [ECTS 20]
    • Introduction to the New Testament (1 course) [ECTS 5]
    • Theology of the New Testament (1 course) [ECTS 5]
    • New Testament Exegesis (2 courses) [ECTS 20]
  4. Specialized section [ECTS 20]:

    The student chooses one of the following three paths:

    Path I

    [This is the one in force since 1973, which remains the main path and retains its validity. It focuses on the biblical text]
    • 2 OT exegesis courses / seminars [ECTS 10]
    • 2 NT exegesis courses / seminars [ECTS 10]

    Path II

    [Focuses on the study of the biblical context, giving the student a deeper knowledge of the biblical languages, archeology, history and religions of the Ancient Near East and the Greco-Roman world]
    • 4 special courses / seminars in the field of languages, history, archeology and religions of the Ancient Near East and the Greek-Roman world [ECTS 20]

    Path III

    [Focuses on the in-depth study of hermeneutics and the history of Bible interpretations in different religious contexts and in different historical periods and geographical areas (Wirkungsgeschichte), in order to create a potential bridge between exegesis, theology and human experience of God]
    • 4 special courses / seminars in the field of history of exegesis, hermeneutics and biblical theology [ECTS 20]
  5. Seminar [ECTS 20]:

    • A seminar without paper [ECTS 5]
    • A seminar with paper [ECTS 5 + 10 for the paper]
  6. Final Examination

    The studies for the Licentiate are concluded with a Licentiate thesis, a major paper (30 ECTS) in which the student must demonstrate the level of his or her academic ability. This thesis takes the place of the regular examination for one of the courses / seminar of the specialized section. The director of the thesis is normally a permanent professor of the Faculty.

    The content of this thesis is normally based on a significant point in the field (a particular text or a theme) approved by the moderator. In addition to providing the status quaestionis of the topic the candidate should demonstrate his or her ability to develop a method of research and to arrive at a well-argumented and justified conclusion.

    Its length must be at least 160,00 characters and not more than 180,000 characters (including spaces and excluding the bibliography). However, with the consent of the moderator, it can be shorter or longer, in consideration of the specificity of the subject matter.

    The final text of the thesis for the License must be handed in within one year from the end of the last course taken as part of the curriculum. For anyone who does not hand in the thesis within the time indicated the following norms apply:
        a) If not more than two years have elapsed since the last course taken as part of the curriculum, the candidate will be required to enroll for an additional semester and to take a course with the professor under whose direction he intends to write the thesis. If he has not finished even the seminar paper he is required to take another seminar.
        b) If more than two years have elapsed, the candidate will be required to take, in addition to the extra course (and the seminar, as the case may be), a certain number of courses to be decided by the dean in proportion to the time which has elapsed. The results of the examinations for these courses will be averaged in as part of the license grade of the candidate.

  7. Length of the curriculum

    The time needed to complete this curriculum depends to a large extent on the student's knowledge of the biblical languages on arriving at the Institute. The curriculum normally requires three years for the student who passes both examinations on arrival at the Institute, and four years for the student who follows both introductory Greek and Hebrew.

Requisites for enrolling in courses of the Licentiate curriculum

  1. An adequate general knowledge of the Bible. In order to enroll in courses for the curriculum of the Licentiate in Sacred Scripture every student must show this knowledge by means of an examination (see Knowledge of the Bible).

  2. A sufficient knowledge of Latin which allows the student to consult the principal tools of research. The student must show an attestation of having taken a university-level course in Latin of at least two hours per semester for two semesters.

  3. To be admitted to the «A» courses in Greek and Hebrew, to the courses of exegetico-theological section and to the seminars each student must demonstrate a sufficient knowledge of Greek and Hebrew. ALL students must either pass the qualifying examinations in Greek and Hebrew (see Qualifying examinations) or successfully complete both semesters of the introductory courses in those languages (see: Introductory Greek and Hebrew)..

Modern Languages

To enroll in the introductory courses of Greek and Hebrew, students should possess adequate knowledge (level B2) of  Italian or English. To begin the Licentiate courses, after the introductory year (or after the qualifying exams), an adequate knowledge (level B2) of both languages is required.

Those who do not have a document proving that they have already completed level B2 Italian and/or English at a legally recognised school are required to sit an exam that will take place during the autumn session of exams (end of September - beginning of October).

See the exam programme: < ITALIAN > < ENGLISH >.

To take the exam, register with the secretariat by 15 September (simply send an e-mail to: pibsegr@biblico.it).

Some norms concerning the organization of the curriculum

Student may enroll in a number of semester courses amounting to 30 ECTS.

The student who is taking only one introductory course [15 ECTS] and has completed the requisite for the other language, can enroll in other courses among those which are permitted, plus the pro-seminar in Methodology, for a total of 30 ECTS per semester.

It is recommended to follow the courses of the isagogic section and those of introduction in the two semesters after the introductory year.

The Greek and Hebrew A-B courses, the Introduction and the Isagogic courses should be completed in the first year of the Licentiate program (after the introductory year or the qualification exams).

In order to enroll in courses of the Theology of the Old or New Testament it is necessary to have taken at least two exegesis courses in the respective testament.

It is highly recommended that students who choose Path I of the specialized section take at least one course in each of the main sections of the Old and New Testaments:

– OT: Pentateuch, Historical Books, Prophets, Wisdom literature and poetry.

– NT: Synoptic Gospels + Acts of the Apostles, Johannine Literature, Pauline Letters.