The Studium: Training Future Priests
Forming the next generation of Catholic Ministers
Blackfriars Studium serves the Church and the world by providing an intellectual formation for Dominican friars, preparing them for their challenging work as preachers of the Gospel.
Dominican students from Britain and elsewhere are joined by members of other Catholic religious orders, such as the Franciscans, Oratorians and Benedictines. There are about twenty-five students currently training for the priesthood.
Students study philosophy and theology for six years, and at the end of their course normally receive a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St Thomas (the Angelicum), the Dominican Order’s University in Rome.
Lay people can study for the same degree for part of the time at Blackfriars and part of the time in Rome.
Lectures and classes, some of which are open to members of the public, take place in the priory, located in Oxford city centre.
Much of the teaching of Studium students takes place in tutorials, one-to-one meetings with a tutor for which the student writes an essay.
The friars who teach are known as lectors, and some of them commute from Dominican priories in Cambridge, Leicester and London. They are joined in our mission by other Studium lecturers and tutors.
Our teaching draws especially on the Dominican intellectual tradition, especially the teaching of St Thomas Aquinas. Our lecturers and tutors also include lay people and members of other religious orders.
As well as the excellent teaching they receive, students also have the benefit of Blackfriars’s specialist philosophy and theology library, as well as Oxford’s famous Bodleian Library. They share facilities with students of Blackfriars Hall, a Permanent Private Hall of the University of Oxford.
The Studium is governed day to day by the Regent, the Vice-Regent and the Secretary of Studies. They are known as the Moderators.
The English Dominicans began to move their Studium to the priory in Oxford in 1929, having returned to Oxford after an absence of nearly 400 years. After the Reformation, the friars studied in Rome and then Louvain, where a Studium was formally established in 1721 and lasted until the French Revolution. A new Studium was officially set up at Hawkesyard in Staffordshire in 1910, and later moved to Oxford.