THE Broken Bay Institute (BBI) in NSW and Saint Paul University (SPU) in Ottawa, Canada, are combining to deliver Australia’s first pontifically recognised degree in Canon Law.
Through its partnership with BBI, SPU will deliver intensive on-campus courses for the Licentiate in Canon Law (JCL).
The rest of the program will be delivered online by SPU, removing the need for BBI students to relocate overseas to study Canon Law.
The residential component will be taught by SPU at the BBI campus in Sydney.
In consultation with the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, BBI received a nihil obstat from the bishops for the establishment of the program.
The JCL program of study is relevant to those who hold pastoral and leadership positions within various Catholic organisations (religious and lay) and who need to understand, or have an interest in understanding, how best to apply canon law.
Auxiliary Bishop Brian Finnigan of Brisbane said: “As current chair of the Bishops’ Commission for Canon Law and the Australian Catholic Council for Canon Law, I heartily endorse this new venture.
“We live in a changing world and Church, so the need for educated and well-formed canonists is clear.”
Saint Paul University rector Dr Chantal Beauvais said she was absolutely thrilled with this new collaboration.
“This partnership highlights how solid and effective distance learning is at SPU,” she said.
Dean of Canon Law Dr Anne Asselin is equally excited about the opportunities this partnership will create for students.
“This opens up an appealing option for many Australian and New Zealander students who were formerly unable to pursue an ecclesiastical diploma for geographical reasons,” she said.
President of the Canon Law Society of Australia and New Zealand Josephite Sister Maria Casey said: “The partnership between BBI and SPU is the first international one of its kind.
“It allows Australians and New Zealanders to obtain a dual degree in Canon Law – a pontifical degree from SPU and a civil one from the University of Ottawa – without the need to travel and live overseas.”
BBI chief executive officer Dr Gerard Goldman said: “I’m delighted to launch this new initiative and hope we can encourage the continuous improvement of organisations and further professional development of Church personnel in Australia and New Zealand.
“BBI is proud to establish this partnership with Saint Paul University.”
Saint Paul University is the founding college of the University of Ottawa, with which it has been federated since 1965.
The Broken Bay Institute is one of the largest Catholic providers of online theological education in the Asia-Pacific region.