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   > Some norms concerning the organization of the curriculum

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

2. Isagogic Section (5 semester courses) [ECTS 15]:

3. Exegetico-Theological Section (8 semester courses) [ECTS 40]:

4. Specialized section [ECTS 70]:

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]

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]

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]

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.

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.

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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. A sufficient knowledge of Italian which allows the student to follow the courses. Those who are not native Italian speakers must present an attestation which indicates that they have an adequate preparation (for example, the Pontifical Gregorian University offers a course of approximately 100 hours during the month of September before the beginning of the school year) [There are various languages schools and other institutions in Rome which offer equivalent courses]. Those students who show that they already have a sufficient knowledge of Italian (for example, those who have done previous theology studies in Italy) are dispensed from providing this attestation.

4. 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).

N.B.: In addition to Italian, students must show an adequate knowledge of two out of the following three modern languages: English, French and German. Either an attestation of previous studies of these languages must be presented or an examination must be taken in order to demonstrate this knowledge. The examination of one of these languages must be taken during the first semester of enrollment in the Licentiate program (in November or in March according to the date of enrollment). Those students who are taking the courses of the propaedeutic year may take this examination during that year. The second language examination must be taken no later than during the third semester of enrollment in the Licentiate program. For each of these examinations those who do not pass them on the first attempt must do so before enrolling in the next semester.

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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.

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