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postgraduate certificate in

Shroud Studies

2024-2025 Academic year


The Science and Faith Institute of the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, in collaboration with Othonia, and the Giulio Ricci Diocesan Center of Sindonology of Rome, is offering the eight consecutive English edition of the Postgraduate Certificate in Shroud Studies, now in its fifteen edition in Italian and in its sixth edition in Spanish language.

This online program offers a panoramic view of several interrelated fields: theology, archaeology, history, physics, chemistry, forensic medicine, etc. The program is for priests, seminarians, consecrated men and women, lay apostles, professors, researchers, journalists – in short, anyone who desires a deeper grasp of Shroud studies, using an interdisciplinary approach.


The program is two semesters long.



From March 25 to October 31, 2024


Requirements for admission

- Hold a bachelor’s degree or at least a three-year degree

- Alternatively, students may audit the program. To do so, they are only required to complete the courses and conferences, after which they will receive a certificate of attendance.


To obtain the Postgraduate Certificate in Shroud Studies

Students must fulfill the following criteria:

  • complete the online courses and pass examinations;

  • follow conferences by guest speakers;

  • write a 25 to 30-page paper on a topic approved by the Scientific Committee and directed by one of the professors of the program.

Therefore, 22 ECTS credits are required: 13 from the courses, 3 from the conferences, and 6 from the paper.


Cost (including registration)

  • Postgraduate Certificate. Total cost: € 530.00, payable in two installments: € 265.00 at registration and € 265.00 by February 28, 2025.

  • Auditors: one-time payment of € 320.00.


How to Take Part in the Program

This program is available on the internet.


2024-2025 Calendar


1st semester: October 9, 2024 to January 9, 2025

Exams: deadline February 8, 2025


2nd semester: February 12 to May 22, 2025

Exams: deadline June 21, 2025

academic program 2024-2025


(October 2024 - January 2025)


Introduction to Shroud Studies

Bruno Barberis and Joseph Spence FFm


History of the Shroud

Flavia Manservigi

Pastoral and Biblical Approach to the Shroud

Andrew Dalton LC and collaborators


(February - May 2025) 

Scientific research on the Shroud; the STURP, history and results

Prof Barrie Schwortz


The Shroud and Archaeological Studies

Ada Grossi

The Shroud and Science

A series of conferences coordinated by Bruno Barberis

Papa Francisco.jpg

“We do not simply observe; we venerate. Ours is a prayerful gaze. I would say more: it is letting yourself to be gazed upon. This face has closed eyes; it is the face of one who is deceased. Yet, mysteriously, he looks at us, and, in the silence, he speaks to us. How is it possible? Why do people of faith, like you, want to pause before this icon of a man scourged and crucified? Because the Man of the Shroud invites us to contemplate Jesus of Nazareth. This image—impressed on the cloth—speaks to our heart and urges us to climb the Mount of Calvary, to look at the wood of the Cross, to immerse ourselves in the eloquent silence of love”.

- Pope Francis -         

Video message for the extraordinary exposition of the

Shroud of Turin, March 30, 2013.

First semester
(October 2024 – January 2025)

Introduction to Shroud Studies (3 ECTS)

Bruno Barberis and Joseph Spence FFm

The aim of the course is to study the Holy Shroud in a comprehensive and summarized view of the various perspectives and contributions of Shroud studies.

The first part of the course (8 units), taught by Prof. Bruno Barberis, focuses on the Imprints and Traces visible on the Shroud; the Scientific Research on and the Preservation of the Shroud; the Shroud and the Gospels; Shroud, Science, and Faith; and How to Explain and Teach the Shroud.

The second part of the course (9 units), taught by Fr. Joseph Spence, dedicates a lesson to Shroud basics, mainly regarding various textile aspects of the Shroud linen; an overall view of the History of the Shroud; with particular attention to the various moments of the Way of the Cross, according to Shroud data; and a final glimpse at the topic “Shroud and Evangelization”, as lived by Mons. Giulio Ricci and Mother Maria Elisabetta Patrizi, Founders of the Roman Center of Sindonology.

History of the Shroud (3 ECTS)

Flavia Manservigi (International Center of Sindonology, Turin)

The aim of the course is to study the History of the Shroud of Turin. In the introduction the several problems regarding this complex matter will be analyzed from a religious and historical point of view. The problem regarding the correct method for studying the Shroud will be part of an autonomous lesson, which will be followed by an overview on the historical periods that characterized the history of the Shroud from the 14th century onwards, with particular attention to the moment when the Cloth officially appeared in Europe. The last lessons will focus on more specific historical topics, such as the peculiar forms of devotion that were attributed to the Shroud in specific historical moments, the matter of the position of Jesus’ burial cloths according to the Gospels description, the issue of the Roman flagrum that was used, according to scholars, to scourge the Man of the Shroud, and the relationship between the Shroud and the iconography of Christ.

Pastoral and Biblical Approach to the Shroud (3 ECTS)

Andrew Dalton LC and collaborators

This course focuses on the biblical theology of the Passion of the Christ. The four canonical gospels constitute the primary source material, but the entire biblical canon also provides essential context. Shroud studies cannot be content merely with questions regarding the authenticity of the cloth. Nor is it sufficient to investigate what the man of the Shroud suffered from a forensic perspective. Essential as these and other topics are, the empirical sciences are incapable of discerning the deepest theological reasons for the Passion. Only divine revelation, received from the apostles and passed down by the Church, can attain this end. This course aims to bridge the gap between scientific observation and theological interpretation. Students will learn not only about what Christ suffered during every stage of the Passion, but also why he did so.



Second semester
(February – May 2025)

Scientific Research on the Shroud; STURP, History and Results (2 ECTS)

Barrie Schwortz (STERA, Inc.)

The aim of the first part of this course is to provide a clear overview of the STURP team and its members, the team’s genesis and history, the in-depth level of their advance preparation, their actual examination of the cloth in October 1978 and the resulting scientific papers that were generated from their work and ultimately published in refereed scientific journals afterwards. Their cumulative work and conclusions form the primary database of credible scientific knowledge that exists today in the scientific literature and points to the Shroud’s authenticity.

The aim of the second part of the course is to provide a clear overview of the evolution of Shroud research in the post-STURP era. The course covers key events in recent Shroud history, including the 1997 Turin Chapel fire and its repercussions and the 2002 restoration of the Shroud. The course provides access to Shroud research that has been completed in recent years, evaluates its techniques and conclusions and examines the role the internet has played in furthering communication, publication and distribution of data amongst Shroud scholars worldwide.

The Shroud and Archaeological Studies (2 ECTS)

Ada Grossi (Associazione Italiana dei Paleografi e Diplomatisti)

The aim of the course is to provide an overview of the tortures inflicted on the Man of the Shroud: the lectures then move on towards a thorough knowledge of the historical context of tortures in the ancient world. The course focuses mainly on Roman flagellation and crucifixion and on Jewish burial traditions.

All the issues are analyzed both scientifically and historically, with a particular emphasis on Jewish culture and Talmudic literature.


The Shroud and science (3 ECTS)

A series of conferences coordinated by Bruno Barberis

Collaborators: Nello Balossino, Bruno Barberis, Tristan Casabianca, Paolo Di Lazzaro, Roberto Falcinelli, Alfonso Muñoz-Cobo, Marco Riani, Luigi Rodella, Enrico Simonato


Diploma Director

Rafael Pascual LC


Scientific Committee of the Diploma

Bruno Barberis, Antonio Cassanelli, Andrew Dalton, Rafael Pascual, Joseph Spence.


Professors and lecturers

Nello Balossino, Bruno Barberis, Tristan Casabianca, Andrew Dalton, Paolo Di Lazzaro, Roberto Falcinelli, Ada Grossi, Kelly Kearse, Flavia Manservigi, Alfonso Muñoz-Cobo, Rafael Pascual, Marco Riani, Barrie Schwortz, Enrico Simonato, Joseph Spence.

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