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.
A many-faceted discipline, Theology is taught across five departments. The objective of the first three years is to gain the bachelor (180 ECTS credits) degree and to familiarise the students with theology by introducing them to its different fields
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 very cosmopolitan in spirit. It is integrated into a state university and is subject to state law, as are the other Faculties of the University, but at the same time is recognised by the Church authorities and supported by the Dominican Order and the Swiss Conference of Bishops.
The Faculty is unique in Europe in being completely bilingual. The courses can be attended in German or French, or in both languages (distinction «Bilingual curriculum, French/German»). 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 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.
In view of the many theological fields, it makes sense to continue studies with a master study programme at the Faculty of Theology.
The study of theology opens up career prospects in public social and cultural facilities, mediation, the publishing industry, human resources, social work and psychological counselling, counselling centres for religion and worldview issues (interreligious dialogue) and ethics counselling, as well as in adult education and journalism. This study programme trains future priests, pastoral assistants, and teachers (see «Teacher Education for Secondary Level»).
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.
Structure of studies
180 ECTS credits, 6 semesters
The following Swiss school-leaving certificates grant admission to bachelor programmes at the University of Fribourg:
- Swiss academic Maturity Certificate
- Federal vocational or specialised Baccalaureate + supplementary examination of the Swiss Maturity Commission (passerelle)
- Bachelor Degree from a Swiss university, from an accredited Swiss university of applied sciences (HES/FH) or from a Swiss university of teacher education (HEP/PH)
A complete list of all further recognised Swiss school-leaving certificates is to be found on the webpages of swissuniversities (in French and German only): https://studies.unifr.ch/go/fr-admission-swisscertificates; https://studies.unifr.ch/go/de-admission-swisscertificates
Foreign upper secondary school-leaving certificates are recognised only if they correspond substantially to the Swiss Maturity Certificate. They must qualify as general education. Foreign school-leaving certificates are considered to be general education if, among other things, the last three years of schooling include at least six general education subjects, independent from each other, in accordance with the following list:
- First language
- Second language
- Natural sciences (biology or chemistry or physics)
- Humanities and social sciences (geography or history or economics/law)
- Elective (computer sciences or philosophy or an additional language or an additional subject from category 4 or 5)
The general admission requirements to the bachelor programmes at the University of Fribourg for holders of foreign school-leaving certificates as well as the admission requirements for individual countries are to be found on the webpages of swissuniversities: http://studies.unifr.ch/go/en-admission-countrylist
In addition, foreign candidates must present proof of sufficient language skills in French or German.
All guidelines are available at (only in French and German): https://studies.unifr.ch/go/adm-guidelines
The assessment of foreign school-leaving certificates is based on the «Recommendations for the Assessment of Foreign Upper Secondary School-Leaving Certificates» adopted by the Chamber of universities of swissuniversities on 11.11.2021 (https://studies.unifr.ch/go/swissuniversities21fr; https://studies.unifr.ch/go/swissuniversities21de). The admission requirements are valid for the respective academic year. The Rectorat of the University of Fribourg reserves the right to change these requirements at any time.
Also offered as a minor study programme (60/30 ECTS credits).