Higher Institute of Religious Studies “all’Apollinare”


The Higher Institute of Religious Studies “all’Apollinare” (ISSRA) is an academic center of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, established on September 17th, 1986 by the Congregation for Catholic Education. The current Statutes, approved on January 22nd, 2010, acknowledge the provisions of the Instruction in Higher Institutes of Religious Sciences, promulgated by the same Congregation on June 28th, 2008.

The main purposes of the Institute are:

  • the theological formation of the faithful, laity and religious, through systematic study and scientific examination of Catholic doctrine;
  • preparation of pastoral workers for local communities
  • preparation for the various activities of the lay apostolate.

The Institute has a specific didactic methodology, which offers the traditional forms of on site teaching (lessons, written assignments, oral examinations) in a flexible form, suited to those who for geographical, professional or family reasons are unable to attend an Institute requiring daily attendance.

All didactic activity is carried out at the University.

The Institute fosters frequent dialogue between students and professors: lesson meetings are particularly important moments in this pedagogical relationship and therefore attendance is compulsory.

The dates of the meetings are indicated on the academic calendar.

Furthermore, a professor with the role of tutor is assigned to each student; the tutor's role is to help students resolve any doubts or difficulties regarding their studies, especially of an organizational or methodological nature.


In evidenza

On Saturday, February 10, 2024, at 11:15 a.m., the Holy Mass was celebrated in the Basilica in honor of Mary Queen of Apostles, the Patroness of the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences at the Apollinare.

Professor Filippo Serafini delivered the Lectio magistralis  titled The Vocation of Abraham in Genesis: The Importance of Delimiting the Passage.


"In quella notte resa santa dalla nascita del Salvatore troviamo un altro segno potente: la piccolezza di Dio. Gli angeli indicano ai pastori un bambino nato nella mangiatoia. Non un segno di potenza, di autosufficienza o di superbia. No. Il Dio eterno si annienta in un essere umano indifeso, mite, umile. Dio si è abbassato perché noi potessimo camminare con Lui e perché Lui potesse mettersi al nostro fianco, non sopra e lontano da noi." (Pope Francis, Introduction to the book "Il mio presepe" - LEV 2023)

The Rector and the Academic Community of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross wish everyone a Holy Christmas and a Happy New Year 2024 filled with peace and serenity.


On Saturday, November 18, 2023 (from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Aula Álvaro del Portillo), the Study Day of the ISSR at the Apollinare took place, titled "Dialogues on Death: Crossroads of Existence."

Teachers and professionals in the field analyzed death from various human, biblical-theological, pastoral, and bio-ethical perspectives, including through the listening of some testimonials.


September 1 to November 30, 2023, registration is open for Academic Year 2023/24 for the biblical and anthropological addresses of the two-year specialist degree in Religious Studies.

For information Click here

Or issrapoll [at] pusc.it (email)



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