Seven Principles of the ITI

  • The Word of God as Center: As the inspired Word of God, Scripture as the Church receives it stands at the center of the curriculum. All other courses are ordered to unfolding its meaning.
  • Ad Fontes, East and West: The Curriculum has its point of departure in the primary sources written by the great masters of the theological tradition, from the Fathers of the Church to the present age. It draws on the theological tradition of the East as well as of the West, seeking in this way to “breathe with both lungs of the Church.” The Greek Fathers and St. Thomas Aquinas are particularly important points of reference.
  • Pedagogy: Teachers and students actively collaborate in pursuing the understanding of the Church’s faith through the reading and guided discussion of the masters. Care is taken that students truly prepare the texts and that sufficient room is given to student participation to develop the virtues of active and responsible reading and thinking.
  • Theology in its Unity: Foregoing premature specialization, the Curriculum seeks to unfold theology out of its inner unity, in conformity with its essence as a scientific reflection of the faith of the Church. The Curriculum is ordered around the central mysteries of the faith: the Trinity, the Incarnation, grace, justification, the Church, etc. All particular questions are addressed in the light of these central mysteries.
  • Theological Rationale: The rationale of studies at ITI is theological throughout. Both the sequence of semesters and the composition of courses in each semester are shaped in accord with the above mentioned unity to allow for a systematic building up of the parts of theology. When questions usually classified with other fields (philosophy, psychology, sociology) are discussed, they are discussed for the sake of theology and in an order required by theology.
  • Primacy of the Theological Question: Historical-critical investigations are a necessary aspect of the study of sources. Such investigations, however, find their inner completion only in the properly theological question, What is the truth of the matter?
  • Above All, Charity: Theology stands under the rule of the new commandment and exists for the sake of union with the One whose love for us we come more deeply to understand. It is therefore studied and taught at the heart of his Church.