Course / Grants up to 6 graduate credits

The Centro Pro Unione conducts scientific research projects at the international and local levels;   organizes educational initiatives at the pre- and por-graduate levels in English and Italian (including symposia, annual cycle of conferences, study days, Summer courses in ecumenism and courses by correspondence).
Our course in Ecumenism is “Recognized and Endorsed” by the Graduate Theological Foundation (USA) [View Website] which can grant up to 6 graduate credits for qualified graduate students.


Application for Summer School Rome 2021


Statement about Summer School 2021

With the Italian governmental guidelines for a gradual re-opening of the country, assemblies, congresses, etc. are now permitted with some restrictions but only beginning in July. We discussed ways we could organize the course reducing it by a week and we came to the conclusion that this would not work because credits given by an academic institution based on the number of hours actually taught would not be met by the reduction of one week. In addition the participants want to come to Rome/Italy!

We, therefore, decided with heavy hearts, that we will have to cancel the course this year, so that in the future we can offer to the participants the full academic dimension as well as the cultural/religious one.

Thank you for your continued interest and we hope that you wil join us in 2022.

The proposed dates for next year are June 27-July15, 2022
Watch a testimonial video / Course Alumni
Learn more about the Course

The schedule for the three weeks

is the same Monday through Friday: morning prayer followed by three 60-minute lecture segments.

The afternoons are for on-site excursions and lectures.

  • Roman catacombs
  • Basilica of St. Peter and excavations
  • St. Clement
  • “Roman ghetto”
  • Synagogue and museum
  • Mosque and Islamic center
  • and others

On June 29, Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, participation in the Papal Mass of the Pallium.

Weekends are free.

This course is designed

to introduce participants to the ecumenical and interreligious movements from a Catholic perspective. It will offer a historical and theological overview of the issues that divide Christians as well as the bonds that unite them. The program will explore relations with other religious traditions.

The course, which is in English, is for men and women who are in preparation for ministry or religious life, who are in the mission field, who are ecumenical officers or members of ecumenical commissions, or who are looking for a sabbatical experience led by qualified professors and ecumenists.

The faculty includes,

but is not limited to, staff members of the Centro Pro Unione (Rome) and the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute (New York). The Course is “Recognized and Endorsed” by the Graduate Theological Foundation (USA) [View Website] which can grant up to 6 graduate credits for qualified graduate students.

The Director of the Centro Pro Unione is the Rev. Fr. James Puglisi, SA, Ph.D. (Universite de Paris IV Sorbonne), S.T.D. (Institut Catholique de Paris), D.D. (GTF). Fr. Puglisi is Professor of Ecumenical Theology, Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum, Rome) and Francis Joseph Cardinal Spellman Professor of Catholic Theology at the Foundation.

The cost of the course is US$300 (non-refundable) which is payable at the time of application.

Deadline for application is March 31st, 2017

Upon acceptance of application, a list of possible lodgings in Rome will be mailed or faxed. Booking of lodging is the responsability of applicant. Housing cannot be guaranteed after application deadline. Transportation (from North America), lodgings and meals will be approximately US$3,500.

| Testimonial Video Summer Course 2013

| Encounter Three: A Papal Mass at St. Peter’s Square


“[…] Immediately following the Master’s program at Bossey, I boarded a train in Geneva for an overnight journey to the Eternal City. It was there in Rome that I enrolled in a three-week summer course, “Introduction to the Ecumenical and Interreligious Movements from a Roman Catholic Perspective.” If you are looking for an exciting continuing education experience, I highly recommend this seminar that is offered each summer at the Centro Pro Unione, a ministry of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement.

In addition to daily lectures and occasional excursions to historic churches and archaeological sites, there was an opportunity to attend a papal mass in St. Peter’s Square on the Festival of St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles, on June 29, 2001. I must confess an inability to resist receiving the Sacrament that day. The official celebrant was Pope John Paul II, but the actual presiding priest at the altar was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Perhaps this was already a clue as to the pope’s choice of a successor.”



| My Trip to Rome


“[…] and then went to our first appointment with Dr. Teresa Francesca Rossi, the associate director of the Centro Pro Unione, located on the famous Piazza Navona.”

“Dr. Rossi is a very able scholar and a profoundly gracious person. She is also deeply involved in dialogs with several Protestant communions, including the International Roman Catholic-Baptist Dialog and the International Roman Catholic-Pentecostal Dialog, both official functions with an official relationship inside the Catholic Church. The Center for Unity is directed by the Franciscans of the Atonement.”

“The Center opened in 1968 in a building that belongs to the famous Doria Pamphilj family. It consists of a library of three large rooms, a meeting room and a large conference hall for annual conferences on ecumenism in the summer. The Franciscan Friars of the Atonement remain deeply committed to pursuing unity in a gracious and effective way and the Center demonstrates this beautifully. The library at the Center was the best ecumenical library I’ve ever seen, clearly the best in Italy.”

“I would return to the Centro Pro Unione on Wednesday, March 9. Here I would have my first meeting with our seven-member team but this advance visit with Dr. Rossi on Monday allowed me to meet her in advance. I was able to get a feel for the kinds of ecumenical events and research that go on in Rome year-round. And now my book will soon be in the vast collection of ecumenical books in the Centro Pro Unione Library.”






| Day Three and Our Missional-Ecumenical Team


“[…] So on Wednesday, March 9 (Day Three), I was back at the Centro Pro Unione, where I had begun on Monday. Here I sat in this most amazing room as we all shared our story and interacted with Teresa Rossi.”

“She was energetic, encouraging and humble. She told us some great stories about the advance of unity among many Christians in Rome and beyond. Since she works with a number of Baptists and Pentecostal Christians she has an unusual perspective on unity and the church. One of the more interesting stories Dr. Rossi told us was about the room in which we were meeting. She said that in the early 1960s, during Vatican Council II, theologians met here every Thursday afternoon for dialog. Included in these times were men like Karl Barth, Oscar Cullman, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jurgen Moltman, Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) and Karol Wojtyla (later to be Pope John Paul II). Here Protestant observers were encouraged to interact and talk with Catholic brothers. Here ideas were discussed and thoughts considered openly.”

“This center really came about because of the dream of Paul Watson, an Anglican who became a Roman Catholic in 1909. Watson gave his life to remarkable efforts for Christian unity in the 20th century.”

“A major contributor to this same movement is the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute in New York. Graymoor fosters study and research in the ecumenical and interreligious movements through writing, workshops and participation in dialogues between and among the churches as well as with different faith communities at the local and national level.”




Study Plan / Topics Covered
Reformation both Protestant & Catholic: A Close Assesment of Their Reality
  • Biblical foundations

  • Factions and divisions within the Church
  • An overview of the Reformation and Catholic Reform movements, the modern ecumenical movement
  • Vatican II and the principles of Catholic ecumenism
  • World Council of Churches
  • Worldwide ecumenical and interreligious organizations
  • Eastern Christianity
  • On June 29, Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, participation in the Papal Mass of the Pallium
From Division to Dialogue
  • Exploration of the various dialogues which exist between the churches, their context and results
  • Ecumenical documents
  • Reading of ecumenical texts
  • Concept of reception in the ecumenical movement
  • Visit to the Pontifical Councils for Promoting Christian Unity and for Interreligious Dialogue
Christians & World Faith Traditions
  • Jewish-Christian relations
  • Christian responses to people of other faiths
  • Fundamentalism as a worldwide phenomenon
  • Catholicism and Islam in dialogue
  • New religious movements
  • Grassroots ecumenism

Application for Summer School Rome 2021



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Watch Now: Documentary 'Ecumenical & Interreligious Movements from a Catholic Perspective' (A Summer School Journey)

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