Faculté de Théologie - Université de Fribourg

The University of Fribourg was founded in 1889.

Its creation is the culmination of long efforts that have continued since the 16th century. Indeed, the College of St. Michael, founded in 1580 by the Jesuit order, has known periods when it enjoyed a European influence. As such, it was an intellectual breeding ground for a high school. The establishment of a law school (1763) was another important step towards the creation of the university; some one hundred years later this school was integrated into the newly created autonomous law faculty. Eminent personalities from the Catholic intellectual world finally gave the decisive impulse for the creation of a university with four faculties, according to the custom of the time. The commitment of the Dominican Order was to give the university an international reputation right from the start.

Profile of the Faculty of Theology

The Faculty of Theology of the University of Fribourg is the largest theological faculty in Switzerland and offers the widest range of courses. As a state university, it is subject to federal law, like the other faculties of the university, but as a Catholic theological faculty it is also recognised by the church authorities. The Dominican Order and the Swiss Bishops' Conference have special responsibility for the faculty. The Master of the Dominican Order is the Grand Chancellor. Today it has 21 professors, about one third of whom are Dominicans.

The Faculty's complete bilingualism, which offers a full course of study in German and French for the field of "Theology", is unique in Europe. Students also have the possibility to follow courses in both languages and, under certain conditions, to obtain a bilingual degree. The new field of study "Interreligious Studies" provides an opening by linking the perspectives of religions and theology. This programme is offered in German and in bilingual French and German.

It should be added - and this is a strong point of the Freiburg Faculty - that theological studies can be combined, depending on interests, between the two proposed fields of study but also with branches of other faculties, i.e. the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences as well as the Faculty of Science and Medicine.

More than half of the teachers and almost half of the students (400, of whom one third are girls) in the Faculty of Theology come from abroad. The spirit of an open-minded Catholicism characterises the life of the Faculty as well as of the whole University and this gives Freiburg, as a place of study, an international reputation and recognition. The growing number of Reformed, Orthodox and Evangelical students shows the ecumenical spirit of the education. Finally, with about 180 doctoral students, the Faculty of Theology in Fribourg has gained international recognition for its research.

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