In the context of a state university, theology makes a specific contribution to research: an intellectual, scientific and rational exploration of the Christian approach to the question of God, in particular from the perspective of the Catholic tradition. The other fields of study extend the theological line of thought by juxtaposing it with other ways of perceiving reality.
The richness of theology as a field of study encourages students to continue for another two years after their bachelor's degree to complete a master's degree (complete study programme, 120 ECTS credits). The master's thesis gives students the opportunity to test their ability to produce a piece of personal academic research. Students are admitted to the degree of Master of Theology with Specialisation with a score of 60 of the total 120 ECTS credits in the chosen specialisation: 30 ECTS credits for the respective lectures and 30 ECTS credits for the thesis. Possible topics are, for example, the Christian Orient, interreligious dialogue, practical theology or the New Testament in its cultural and historical setting.
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. It 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.
A specialisation can be chosen from 17 different areas (see http://studies.unifr.ch/go/jHR9L/http://studies.unifr.ch/go/K5qaJ, 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.
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.
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»).
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
120 ECTS credits, 4 semesters
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 by a Swiss university are admitted to a master's degree programme without any preconditions if they have earned 60 or 90 ECTS credits depending on the chosen master's degree programme within the corresponding discipline. However, additional requirements can be required. 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 by a Swiss or a foreign university, provided that the bachelor's degree is recognised and considered equivalent by the University of Fribourg, who do not fulfil this condition can be admitted to a master's degree programme with preconditions (which must be successfully completed before starting the master's degree programme) and/or additional requirements (which can be completed during the master's degree programme). The preconditions and/or additional requirements may not exceed 60 ECTS credits in total. The same applies to holders of a bachelor's degree awarded by a Swiss university of applied sciences, according to existing agreements.
The respective conditions of admission for each master's degree programme are reserved.
Also offered as a minor study programme (30 ECTS credits).