The Saint Albert the Great Center 
for Scholastic Studies

Our Mission

The St. Albert the Great Center for Scholastic Studies is an organization dedicated to the revival of higher studies in theology undertaken according to the mind and method of the great scholastics.

This purpose is realized principally through the regular hosting of two-week long Summer Programs, in which participants are invited to an intensive course of studies in Catholic theology presented in the form of the great universities of the high Middle Ages. Unique to these programs is the combination of scholastic form and content, namely the study of St. Thomas Aquinas in the way that St. Thomas himself would have studied. Hence the dedication of the Center to his own teacher, St. Albert the Great. These programs thus take as their central focus the three tasks of the medieval masters of theology (praedicatio, lectio, disputatio) together with the course of studies undertaken by medieval students of theology, which involved commenting on the theological textbook of the day, e.g. the Sentences of Peter Lombard.
  • Praedicatio (preaching). In our programs, this task of the master of theology is generally fulfilled in the context of the daily Mass which participants are invited to attend.
  • Lectio (lecture). One or several keynote speakers are invited to fulfill this task of the master of theology by delivering a series of academic lectures throughout the program on the principal academic topic, which varies each year.
  • Disputatio (disputation). The culmination and highlight of our Summer programs is the holding of an authentic scholastic disputation in which participants are invited to pose arguments and objections for and against a disputed question of theology, after which one of the masters organizes the arguments, presents his definitive respondeo (response), and answers each of the objections raised on either side.
  • Commentaria (commentary). The academic portion of our programs is then rounded out by two or three further courses in theology which consist of daily seminar style discussions of some of the great texts of the great masters in theology, principally Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae, which has long since replaced Peter Lombard's Sentences as the textbook for ‘beginners’ in theology.
In addition to the central academic focus, our programs seek to integrate a wider experience of the Church's culture and history. For this reason, while making sure that participants have plenty of time for careful and fruitful reading of the texts to be discussed in class, some days are set aside for excursions and cultural activities.