In contrast to other university fields of study, theology has a guiding perspective of its own: it is fundamentally concerned with God and doctrine and thereby reflects its own position and that of the church in society. The critical work of theology is aimed at contributing to keeping the issues of value and truth alive in public discourse. At Master's level the students choose a specialisation. Possible topics are, for example, the Christian Orient, interreligious dialogue, practical theology or the New Testament in its cultural and historical setting.
The core of the theological education consists of courses of study for training future priests and pastoral assistants, as well as teachers at secondary level.
Profile of the study programme
Theology also differs from other areas of science because it has a guiding perspective of its own: it is fundamentally concerned with God and creatures, to the extent that it refers to God as their origin and goal. It reflects its own position and that of the church in society. Theologians share responsibility for sustainable development with a human face on our planet. In view of the deregulation in the religious and ethical area (fundamentalist and esoteric movements) and in search of a peaceful co-existence of religions and cultures, the critical work of theology has a valuable contribution to make in keeping the public discourse about values and truth alive.
In this broad context, the Faculty of Theology works in the service of the church as a community as well as its individual parts, and in the service of society. The questioning and research, which characterise theology and which operate using different scientific methods, have a critical constructive function.
The Faculty of Theology of the University of Fribourg is the largest theological faculty in Switzerland and one of two Catholic theological faculties that are integrated into a state university. It is subject to state law, as are the other faculties of the university, but at the same time it has the recognition of church authorities and is supported by the Dominican Order and the Swiss Conference of Bishops.
The complete bilingualism of the Faculty is unique in Europe. More than half of the professors and almost half of the students are from abroad. The faculty and university life are characterised by the spirit of a cosmopolitan Catholicism, giving prominence and recognition to Fribourg as a place of study.
In principle, students have the possibility of completing a part of their studies at a partner university or continuing them at a university that is a part of a network to which the University of Fribourg belongs.
A specialisation can be chosen from approximately 15 different areas (see http://studies.unifr.ch/go/lz5OT, pdf – French/German only). The professor who is responsible for specialisation develops a programme together with the student. The choice of specialisation is especially meaningful for students who already know the direction of their career and can thus better take it into consideration.
For those students who are preparing for service within the church, the Swiss dioceses offer a mandatory academic advice programme. It encompasses spiritual orientation, practice of living in community and specific elements of preparation for pastoral service. The regents of the seminaries of the dioceses act as contacts.
The core of the theological education consists of the courses of study for training future priests and pastoral assistants as well as teachers (see «Teacher Education for Secondary Level»). However, the study of theology also opens up career perspectives within public social and cultural facilities, the publishing industry, human resources, social work and psychological counselling, counselling centres for religion and worldview issues, adult education and journalism.
Structure of studies
120 ECTS credits, 4 semesters
http://studies.unifr.ch/go/XnRaz (French/German only)
Master's degree programmes are built on the knowledge and abilities that were acquired when obtaining a Bachelor's degree.
Holders of a Bachelor's degree awarded from a Swiss university can be admitted to a Master's degree programme within the corresponding discipline (requires the acquisition of minimum 60 ECTS credits at Bachelor level in the corresponding discipline) without any additional requirements. The same applies to holders of a Bachelor's degree awarded by a foreign university, provided that the Bachelor's degree is recognised and considered equivalent by the University of Fribourg.
Holders of a Bachelor's degree awarded from a Swiss university or holders of a Bachelor's degree awarded by a foreign university, provided that the Bachelor's degree is recognised and considered equivalent by the University of Fribourg, can be admitted to a Master's degree programme within another discipline with prerequisites (must be successfully completed before starting the Master's degree programme) or additional requirements (can be completed during the Master's degree programme). According to existing agreements, holders of a Bachelor's degree awarded from a Swiss university of applied sciences can also be admitted with prerequisites or additional requirements.
The respective conditions of admission for each Master's degree programme are reserved.
Also offered as a minor study programme (30 ECTS credits).