Lateran University introduces distance learning programme

The Pontifical Lateran University chair for the Theology of the People of God will soon be offering a distance learning programme to English speakers.

Jun 08, 2018

By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
The Pontifical Lateran University chair for the Theology of the People of God will soon be offering a distance learning programme to English speakers. Its content and structure make it perfect for ongoing education, for the common Christians who want to deepen their faith, permanent deacons or those thinking about pursuing that vocation, religious educators.

In an interview, Rev Dr Rudolf Kutschera, Tutor of the Distance Learning Programme, summarises the distance programme as “a small Summa of theology.” Anyone wanting to get to the “roots of the theological questions” may find the programme interesting.

The programme has an ecumenical focus motivated by the reality that Christianity is rooted in “the olive tree, Israel,” Fr Kutschera explains. In the programme, this common root is explored through the “biblical history of both the Old and the New Testament,” he said. A lesson on ecumenism itself is also included in the syllabus through the paradigm of getting “back to the root.”

The interdisciplinary nature of the programme seeks to create unity among the various theological disciplines which may otherwise remain fragmentary, said Fr Kutschera. “We are working on a defragmentation. So there’s not one topic in Dogmatics, and another topic in Church History and a third topic of Biblical Theology, but they all work together. Thus the biblical root remains the golden thread weaving through the other theological disciples included in the programme directing it toward pastoral care. “Pastoral care has to be rooted in theology,” Fr Kutschera affirms.

This conscious link between theology and pastoral care inserts the programme into the paradigm of the New Evangelisation. Through the programme, the faculty hopes to “enliven faith, enliven Church practice.” With this in mind,

Fr Kutschera said that the courses have been developed for those directly involved in pastoral care, such as “people who prepare homilies.”

Lastly, Fr Kutschera describes how the programme is rooted in Vatican II. “It has been inspired by the many documents of the Second Vatican Council…. We read fascinating things in those texts, beginning with Nostrae Aetate.” --Vatican News

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