If You Could Study Religion Or Theology Anywhere, Where Would It Be?

If you could study religion or theology anywhere as a residential student on an actual physical academic campus, where would you like to study? This is a hypothetical fantasy question, so let’s assume that you already have all of the necessary prerequisites and qualifications including unlimited money of course, lol, and also unlimited foreign language abilities so that you are able to study anywhere.

The only requirement is that you must be at least a half-time student (at least two courses per semester) during this time at an actual school (college, university, seminary, divinity school, or some place like that) somewhere on Planet Earth. If you have family members, they are entitled to accompany you with all expenses paid by the school of course, lol.

So, where would it be? Maybe at the Angelicum or the Gregorian or one of the other Pontifical Universities in Rome? Maybe at Oxford or Cambridge? Maybe somewhere in France or Germany or Canada or the USA or somewhere else? The possibilities are almost endless for Christianity (Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox) and also for other religions (or programs in the history of religion or comparative religion).

Padua because it’s a nice place, great for days out to Venice and has very good rail connections to a lot of Italy. Much the same could be said for Bologna, of course, or Florence (not so easy for days out in Venice, obviously) . . . . :slight_smile:

This is my own view, which you can take for whats it worth.
I would consider one of the major theological schools on Rome or perhaps the Biblical Institute in Jerusalem. As a Catholic, I would not consider going to a secular university like Cambridge, though as a learning environment as a general thing as such I would think it very desirable. While I am interested in other religions, and have in fact published a serious article on Hinduism, I would prefer not to have a years-long academic program in theology that was not steeped in Catholicism. If I went to do theology in an historic Catholic university in North America, I would go to any school I was interested in to examine its offerings in person to see if it actually provides a program in theology that is globally based on Catholicism. For me, not to study genuinely Catholic theology in a years-long program would be a waste of time. Since I worked for 35 years at a Catholic university, I would know exactly what to look at at any school I visited.
I would think that any Christian would ordinarily find studies in their own religious tradition of first interest.

I couldn’t care less about the “prestigious” academic institutions.

If I had the money and the time (I don’t have the time because I don’t have the money), I’d just enrol in our local Australian Catholic University.

Frankly though, unless it was going to serve some particular purpose, it would just be an ego trip.

I was going to say in C.S. Lewis’ study, but then I read the rest of your post. :stuck_out_tongue:

Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland

Kaninchen (post 2) – Thank you for the idea of a combination of Padua and Venice, maybe also including Bologna and Florence. I’m almost inclined to post some Wikipedia links and pictures for those places, but I’m too lazy at the moment, lol. By the way, I’m enjoying the funny link in your signature lines for flame warriors which reminds me of this page.

mdgspencer (post 3) – Yes indeed, thank you very much, I can really follow your thinking in those statements.

Bob Crowley (post 4) – Thank you for the reference to the Australian Catholic University which led me to their theology and philosophy faculty pages.

Randy Carson (post 5) – Thank you for the reference to C. S. Lewis which reminds me of several other good British Christian thinkers of the 20th century, as for example Eric Mascall and Austin Farrer.

SteveVH (post 6) – Thank you for the reference to the Jagiellonian University in Krakow which led me to the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow.

If I were involved in this fanciful hypothetical program, I would probably try Oxford first of all, not just for the University but also for nearby places including Blackfriars Hall and Ripon College Cuddesdon. I’ve never been there, in fact I’ve never been anywhere outside the USA, but I have often utilized Oxford publications in theology and religious studies.

As far as places here in the USA, I used to be quite happy with the Boston / Cambridge area because of the Boston Theological Institute, and also the Washington, D.C. area because of the Dominican House of Studies and Catholic University and the Basilica. Nowadays, though, I’m mainly just a small town person, so I might not be comfortable with returning to an overly large metropolitan area.

Institut Catholique de Paris I love Life, I love France.

fransiscan university of stubinville ohio

One of the FSSP seminaries.

I’d like to work on a history PhD at Cambridge, since I hear that’s the top-ranked history place, but I’d never get in lol. I’d make it Church history though to fit the thread.

I would study Shariah [Islamic Law] at the University of Medina. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. I would probably have to learn arabic, though. and I doubt I could ever do that. Hypothetically, though, if I knew arabic, that’s where I’d love to go.

St. Joseph’s Seminary; Dunwoodie, New York. I have taken courses there & would do so again.

Additional Posters (posts 8 to 12) – Thank you for these additional thoughts and comments. :yup: :dancing: :clapping: :curtsey:

The Graduate Theological Union. There is no other place on earth like it:

*The Graduate Theological Union (GTU) is a consortium of eight independent American theological schools and eleven centers and affiliates. Seven of the theological schools are located in Berkeley, California. The GTU was founded in 1962 and is affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley. Most of the GTU member schools are located in the Berkeley hills one block north of the university. GTU’s enrollment is currently around 1,300. The local nickname for the neighborhood is “holy hill”.

Religious traditions represented include Protestant, Catholic, Unitarian Universalist, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist. Curricula amongst the schools includes the arts, biblical studies, cultural and historical studies, ethics, social theory, spirituality, interreligious and interdisciplinary studies, in addition to subjects in systematic and philosophical theology. GTU offers M.A. and Doctor of Theology degrees as well as the Ph.D program in cooperation with the University of California at Berkeley. GTU seminaries variously offer M.Th., M.Div, Doctor of Ministry, S.T.B., S.T.L., and S.T.D. degrees. All degree seeking students at GTU may take any classes offered at the University of California, Berkeley, and have access and borrowing privileges at the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University libraries.

Constituting schools
American Baptist Seminary of the West (American Baptist and Progressive National Baptist)
Church Divinity School of the Pacific (Episcopal)
Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology
Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley
Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (ELCA)
Pacific School of Religion (United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, and United Methodist Church), including the Swedenborgian House of Studies
San Francisco Theological Seminary (Presbyterian Church (USA))
Starr King School for the Ministry (Unitarian Universalist)

Research centers
The Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies
Institute of Buddhist Studies (Buddhist Churches of America)
Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute (Eastern Orthodox Church)
Center for the Arts, Religion, and Education
Center for the Study of Religion and Culture
Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences
New College Berkeley
School of Applied Theology*

Source: Wikipedia

Also: gtu.edu/home

Interesting coincidence: I actually DO study at the GTU–it’s awesome when your dreams come true :slight_smile:

Maryknoll, Ossining, NY +++

Halki seminary, Constantinople.
(of course the Turks would have to permit it to reopen first)

Any school of reputable learning preferably Catholic. Yet, spending more time in contemplation with God is the most perfect place (whether in nature of Adoration for example) before embarking on study. Knowledge is awesome, but Wisdom is Heavenly. :slight_smile:


Under a tree on the Mount of Olives.

Just think, you could come here and talk to all of us. :thumbsup:

Any of the Pontifical Universities in Rome.

Only problem is that admission may be conditional on the knowledge of Latin, Greek or other foreign language. But seeing as it is in Italy, English would be considered a foreign language, amiright :smiley:

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