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Since members of the Institute come from a rich array of nations, backgrounds, and ministries, the Orientation Session provides a welcoming environment and starting point for the nine-month Institute. 

Workshops and Classes

Participants consider and discuss cutting-edge issues, ponder the Word of God, and engage in intensive workshops with experts in a wide range of areas. Learning is integrated in small theological reflection groups. 


Based at Catholic Theological Union, the IRF’s curriculum is enriched by CTU’s world-renowned faculty who form the core of the IRF faculty. Among those teaching in their areas of expertise are noted scholar/ author/experts: Rev. Donald Senior, C.P., Rev. Robert Schreiter, C.PP.S., Sr. Barbara Reid, O.P., and Tony Gittins, C.S.Sp.

Recreation and Restoration

Weekends are free for worship and prayer, fun together, rest and relaxation, reading, walking the shore of Lake Michigan, seeing Chicago's cultural treasures, and having lots of great conversation. 

Academic Credit

IRF courses are graduate level. Participants are able to earn between nine and 15 credit hours during their year at CTU. These earned IRF credits can be applied toward a Master of Arts (Theology) degree at CTU, which usually can be completed within a second year. Participants can either stay an additional year, or use non-traditional resources such as online, blended and Summer Institute to finish their degree over a more extended period of time. Nearly 30 IRF participants have earned an M.A. degree at CTU through this process.

Course Start Dates
Academic Year 2017-2018: August 30, 2017 - May 23, 2018
Academic Year 2018-2019: August 29, 2018 - May 23, 2019
Sessions Open to those Outside the IRF

The IRF, in conjunction with the Hesburgh Center, makes some of its sessions open to the public. To view our Open Sessions catalogue, please click here.  For an Open Sessions Registration Form, please click here. Please contact the Institute at 773.595-4016 or with any questions.

Please complete our Request for Information form to receive more information about the IRF.