A short introduction

Chiara Lubich had founded in 1980 the Popular Marian University to offer to the members of the Focolare Movement a curriculum of studies with yearly lessons which are concluded with regular conversations-exams. The lessons, which take place at the International Center of the Focolare Movement, are then sent over to the Secretariats of each Zone. We also take care of their translation into other languages. Some of our courses are not active any longer. Those offering the fundamentals of Christian formation, though, are still active. These courses are compulsory for every member of our Movement.

Since 2010, the program of study is relevant to the spiritual program followed by the whole Movement: this is aimed at facilitating a complete (spiritual, intellectual and practical) deepening of an aspect of Christian life as illuminated by the Charism of Unity.

Every year, one or more exams of the active courses may be taken.

A list of our Courses:

  1. 1981-1989 – Theology (eight years) – non active
  2. 1989-1991Sacred Scripture (due years) – non active
  3. 1991-1994 – God as Love (three years) – non active
  4. 1994-2000 – Catechism of the Catholic Church (six years) – active
  5. 2001-2005 – History of the Church (five years) – non active
  6. 2005-2006Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (one year) – active
  7. 2006-2009 – Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (three years) – active
  8. 2009-2010God is Love (one year) - active
  9. 2010-2011The Will of God (one year) - active

2009-2010 – God is love

God is love

For 2009-2010, we have in program 4 lessons on God who is Love already entrusted to specific scholars. They will go back to the 1991-1994 course and will delve deeper into the theology of the first topic of the spirituality of Chiara Lubich that the whole Work of Mary is committed to meditate and live throughout the current year.

2006-2009 – Compendium of the SDC

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

(in session)

It is composed of 17 lessons over three years and covers the main content of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, published by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in 2005. The great openness and richness of the document has reinforced the need for new ethics in economics and politics. Together with the course on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it is considered fundamental for anyone participating in Università Popolare Mariana.

2005-2006 – Compendium of the CCC

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

(not in session)

This course is composed of four lectures on the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church addressed mostly to those who had already completed the fundamental course on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is a rich synthesis and highlights the main themes of the faith.

2001-2005 – History of the Church

History of the Church

(not in session)

This five year course was given from 2000 to 2005. It was prepared with the contribution of professors coming from various geographical and cultural environments, yet “united in the name of Jesus” and experts in their discipline. The goal was to create a course that would be relevant to all in spite of the various cultural environments. With the help of textbooks already published in the various languages, the course offered lectures to members of various churches and cultures orientated towards universal brotherhood.

1994-2000 – CCC

Catechism of the Catholic Church

(in session)

The publication of the official Catechism of the Catholic Church was the opportunity to focus on the need for a personal Christian formation on a secure and deep foundation. 53 lectures were prepared in Italian that are currently being translated in various languages. They compose a fundamental course of formation at the end of which one receives a certificate of completion.

1991-1994 – God as Love

God as love

(not in session)

This course lasted three years (1991-1993) and used as textbook the study on “God who is Love in the experience and the thought of Chiara Lubich”, by Marisa Cerini (theologian focolarina) and a following study on “God who is Love in the Christian tradition and contemporary culture” under the care of experts in Old and New Testament, in the Fathers, the great medieval theologians and in contemporary culture. It attempted to approach the first “aspect” of the spirituality of unity, God who is Love, from a theological and cultural viewpoint.

1989-1991 – Sacred Scripture

Course in Sacred Scriptures

(not in session)

The core of this course is based on the spiritual commentary by the well known biblical scholar Giorgio Zevini on the Gospel of John from which the spirituality of unity has drawn many of the precious pearls that compose it.

1981-1989 – Theology

Theology Course

(not in session)

It was put in place right after the foundation of the Università Popolare Mariana by Chiara Lubich on October 15, 1980. It is composed of several courses that were held from 1981 to 1989. As its source, there is a significant remark by Chiara herself: “… If a spirituality gives birth to a life, that life contains within itself a doctrine …”.

The theological outline of such a doctrine has been enunciated by a group of professors, authors of the course, who —in their commitment to live “Where two or more are united in my name, there am I in their midst” (Mt 18,20)— have formulated anew the fundamental themes of Christian life: Jesus Christ; the God of Jesus Christ; the Church and her mystery; the Church, salvation of man; Christian hope. The first recipients of this study program were groups of students, both young and adults, from all over the world, that were animated by that same spirituality of unity.

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