The Church Up Close is an initiative born of the School of Church Communications of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. The seminars count on the collaboration of ISCOM media-relations group.
The Church Up Close is an initiative born of the School of Church Communications’ of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, based in Rome, Italy. The university was born from the desire of St. Josemaría Escrivá, Founder of Opus Dei, to create a center of higher ecclesiastical studies in Rome at the service of the whole Church. With prayer and patient work, he laid the foundations of the current University of the Holy Cross.
St. Josemaria’s first successor, Bishop Álvaro del Portillo, with the support of Bl. John Paul II, brought that desire to completion, inaugurating the Roman Academic Center with a Holy Mass dedicated to the Holy Spirit on October 15th, 1984. Thanks to the assistance of the University of Navarre's ecclesiastical Schools, the institution was destined to become a center of study and research, committed to the task of theological, philosophical, and canonical formation.
Bishops around the world choose to send both priests and seminarians to Rome from their respective diocese, in the hope of providing them with a profound academic and spiritual formation. In this way, Rome becomes a central meeting place, strengthening fidelity and unity with the Holy See.
In addition to the School of Church Communications, The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross is currently comprised of Theology, Canon Law, Philosophy, and offers the Higher Institute of Religious Studies “all’Apollinare” (ISSRA). The Academic Building is found in Palazzo S. Apollinare in Rome, while the Research Center and the Library are located on Via dei Farnesi.
Within the vast spiritual legacy left by St. Josemaría Escrivá, exists without a doubt the exhortation to cultivate a profound unity of life. This call is manifested not only in a proper balance and consistency between words and actions, but also through the harmony that should exist between professional and intellectual formation on the one hand, and spiritual and theological formation on the other. The University is further called to establish a dialog with contemporary culture. Due to its very nature as a center of ecclesiastical formation, it contains an enormous diversity of cultures, all sharing the common goal of studying the Faith's intelligibility.
Academic activities, organized with an interdisciplinary spirit, are open to scholars and intellectuals from the economic, scientific, philosophical, and political fields, thus providing the elements necessary for a true dialog with the world.
The School of Church Communications, active since 1996, has not only generated a wealth of intellectual contribution to the field of Church Communications, but has played a vital role in developing the field itself.
It was founded in order to prepare communication professionals for ecclesial institutions.
Students can pursue degrees in the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. Systematic courses are offered in four key areas:
- The nature of communication and the elements upon which it is based.
- The Church in cultural context.
- The theological, philosophical and canonical content of the faith and its impact on the identity of the Church as an Institution.
- The application of these theories, practices and communication techniques to institutions of the Church, bearing in mind their particular identity. Special emphasis is given to how communication offices are organized, methods of communicating with the various interlocutors of the Church and the presentation of the content of the faith in the field of public opinion.
Research projects and conferences born from within the School of Communications extend the School’s work beyond the classroom.
On a weekly basis, the School of Church Communications organizes meetings for its students with experienced journalists and professionals in the field of communications.
Since 1997, the School has organized a biennial professional workshop that gathers hundreds of communication professionals from around the world to improve Church communications.
The Poetics and Christianity Project is an international forum for studiyng the intersection of artistic culture and expressions of religious faith, with a special emphasis on narrative and dramatic arts. It offers a meeting place for scholars and artist of diverse fields of expertise.
Family and Media is a think-tank that examines how the family is presented in the media and how family associations can effectively communicate .
Last but not least, the School of Communications is proud to host the intensive Church Up Close seminars for journalists who cover religion in mainstream media around the world.
The Church Up Close seminars count on the collaboration of ISCOM media-relations group. ISCOM is a non-profit association that seeks to enhance the communications of educational, religious, and social development entities through professional consulting and training.