John Paul II Institute

The Pontifical John Paul Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family is a graduate school of theology founded by the Holy Father to help the people of God understand more fully the person, marriage and family in the light of divine revelation. Carl Anderson and Father Grenados are distinguished faculty members of the institute. 


A Brief History

At the conclusion of the 1980 Synod of Bishops devoted to the family, the Synod Fathers called for the creation of theological centers devoted to the study of the Church’s teaching on marriage and the family. Accordingly, Pope John Paul II responded to the Synod with the establishment of the Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family and the Pontifical Council for the Family, entrusted in a special way to the care of the most Blessed Virgin Mary under her title Our Lady of Fatima.

In 1987, His Eminence, James Cardinal Hickey, Archbishop of Washington, joined Mr. Virgil C. Dechant, then Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, in asking the Holy See for permission to establish a campus, or session, of the Institute in the Archdiocese of Washington to serve American and other English-speaking students. The permission was granted by the Congregation for Catholic Education on August 22, 1988, creating a session of the Institute in Washington, D.C., and empowering it to grant degrees. The Institute began its work in the fall of 1988. The Institute now offers studies leading to the Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.), the Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.), the Doctorate of Sacred Theology (S.T.D.), and the Doctorate in Theology (Ph.D.).

In the United States, the Institute is under the authority of the Archbishop of Washington, who serves as Vice Chancellor (currently Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl), of a Vice President (currently Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus), and of a Provost/Dean for academic and administrative affairs (currently David L. Schindler). The President of the Institute worldwide (currently Msgr. Livio Melina) is directly appointed by the Holy Father.

As a canonically recognized ecclesiastical faculty, the Institute is one of seven institutions in the United States that grant degrees by the authority of the Holy See.