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study@cuea.edu +254 (0) 709 691-000
CUEA

INSTITUTE OF CANON LAW

Introduction

The traditional Catholic doctrine, which considers the Church as a reality at the same time invisible and visible, spiritual and social, charismatic and institutional, sacramental and juridical, has been recently confirmed again by the ecclesiastical Magisterium. An indissoluble link between the social-visible dimension of the Church and the existence of juridical dimension is affirmed in the conciliar documents (Lumen Gentium n. 8 and Optatam Totius n. 16) and the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte n. 45 of His Holiness John Paul II. According to Canon law, the Church requires rules to maintain its hierarchical and organic structure, regulate the exercise of its sacred power and administration of sacraments, reconcile relationships among Christ’s faithful, protect the rights of individuals, and support common initiatives for the betterment of Christian life. This is essential for the Church as a social and visible unit, as stated by John Paul II in Ap. Cost. Sacrae disciplinae leges, in AAS 75 (1983-II), pp. 12-13).

  1. Nature of the institute

Canon law is absolutely necessary for the Church. Since the Church is established in the form of a social and visible unit, it needs rules, so that its hierarchical and organic structure may be visible; that its exercise of the functions divinely entrusted to it, particularly of sacred power and of the administration of the sacraments, is properly ordered; that the mutual relationships of Christ’s faithful are reconciled in justice based on charity, with the rights of each safeguarded and defined; and lastly, that the common initiatives which are undertaken so that Christian life may be ever more perfectly carried out, are supported, strengthened and promoted by canonical laws’ (John Paul II, Ap. Cost. Sacrae disciplinae leges, in AAS 75 (1983-II), pp. 12-13). The Catholic University of Eastern Africa’s Institute of Canon Law is overseen by the Congregation for Catholic Education. This institution operates under the guidance of the Faculty of Canon Law at the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome, following the regulations set by the Holy See, including the Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana and the Decree of the Congregation for Catholic Education. Collaboration with the Faculty of Canon Law at Pontifical Urbaniana University is an essential part of developing the curriculum for the Institute.

Objectives of the Institute

  • • The Institute is committed to promote the continuing permanent education of the sacred ministers of the Church, the members of institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life, the laity, especially all pastoral agents in the field of Canon Law for efficient evangelization.
  • • The Institute is committed to form necessary personnel who will serve in the Episcopal Conference secretariat offices, ecclesiastical tribunals, diocesan curia, pastoral offices, and parishes, institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life especially in the AMECEA Region and beyond to implement the provisions of the Code of Canon Law.
  • • Through teaching and scientific research, the Institute of Canon Law is committed to cultivate and promote the study of the canonical discipline and the matters connected with it, in order to deepen the knowledge of the ecclesiastical laws and to enunciate them systematically, considering the continuous renewal of the law and the progress in the life of the Church.
  • • The Institute is committed to train students to a level of high qualification in the canonical discipline and to prepare them properly to face competently the tasks they will be assigned in the Church.
  • • The Institute is committed to train researchers, lecturers, and practitioners of Canon Law as well as the other holders of ecclesiastical offices (cf. Sapientia Christiana Art. 75) at institutes of higher learning, seminaries and novitiates of religious institutes.

Programs

A. The First Cycle 1

  1. The First Cycle is obligatory for all those who do not have a philosophico-theological preparation responding to the curriculum required by the Institute. This regulation also concerns those with an academic degree in jurisprudence obtained from civil universities.
  2. The First Cycle is not obligatory:
    (i)    for students who have completed the philosophico-theological studies foreseen in the Faculties of Theology for getting the degree of Baccalaureate.
    (ii)   For students who can produce documents showing they have already conveniently studied for a period equivalent to four semesters in a relevant Academic Institution (Faculty of Theology, Higher Institute of Religious Sciences) all the disciplines required for the First Cycle and have passed all the examinations (cf. Sapientia Christiana, Art. 77 1). These students are directly admitted to the Second Cycle (cf. Sapientia Christiana Ord. 57 1).
  3. Objectives of the First Cycle are to:

(i)    Study philosophical and theological disciplines necessary to acquire basic formation;

(ii)   Study the institutions of Canon Law (cf. Apost. Const. Sapientia Christiana Art. 76; Ordinationes Art. 56 and 57, Decree “Novo Codice“).

  1. Duration

The First Cycle, lasting two academic years (four semesters), is for those who do not have a philosophico-theological formation as well as for those who already hold an academic degree in civil law.

  1. The completion of the curriculum foreseen for the two years of the First Cycle ds not permit the attainment of an academic degree, but is rather admission requirement to the Second Cycle. At the first cycle:
  • Students who have completed the required philosophic-theological studies for a Baccalaureate degree from a faculty of theology are exempt from the First Cycle.
  • Additionally, students who can show proof of completing equivalent studies at an academic institution covering all necessary disciplines and passing related exams may also skip the First Cycle and proceed directly to the Second Cycle.
  • The following are the main goals of the First Cycle:
  • Studying the philosophical and theological subjects that are necessary for a basic education.
  • (ii) Examining the Canon Law institutions in compliance with the Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana and pertinent decrees (article 76 of the latter; Ordinationes art. 56 and 57; Decree “Novo Codice”).
  • Duration: The First Cycle lasts for two academic years, or four semesters. It is intended for people who have never studied philosophy or theology as well as those who have a degree in civil law.
    5) Academic degrees are not awarded for fulfilling the requirements of the prescribed curriculum within the two-year First Cycle. Rather, it is a requirement in order to be admitted to the Second Cycle.

B. Second Cycle

 
  1. Objectives

(i) To deepen students’ knowledge in the canonical discipline and to introduce them into a process of specialization in order to acquire a mastery of the method of scientific research under the guidance of lecturers.

(ii) To train priests, religious and lay persons who will be engaged in a variety of juridical activities of the Church: future lecturers, counselors in the ecclesiastical government, operators in ecclesiastical tribunals, and pastoral agents for effective evangelization.

  1. Duration

The Second Cycle programme consists of three academic years (six semesters) during which candidates are guided to a more profound and in-depth study of the entire Code of Canon Law through the complete treatment of its sources, either the Magisterial or disciplinary to which the study of the related disciplines is added.
Objectives: (i) Under the direction of knowledgeable teachers, the Second Cycle seeks to expand students’ knowledge of the canonical discipline and expose them to specialized fields while promoting mastery of scientific research techniques.
(ii) It trains clergy, laity, and priests for a range of legal positions in the Church, such as future teachers, consultants for ecclesiastical administration, judges in ecclesiastical courts, and evangelism facilitators.
Duration: Three academic years, or six semesters, make up the Second Cycle program. During this time, candidates study the Code of Canon Law in greater detail, delving into its sources on a magisterial and disciplinary level and integrating the study of allied fields.

Academic Degrees

(i)    When all examinations established for the First and Second Year of Licentiate are completed, the student may request to be awarded the degree of Baccalaureate in Canon Law.

(ii)   At the end of the curriculum established for three years, one is awarded the Academic Degree of Licentiate in Canon Law.

Diploma
(i)    The Diploma programme in Canon Law is meant for those who do not intend to follow the entire Licentiate syllabus, but prefer to concentrate on a few courses.

(ii)   The admission requirement is the completion of Secondary education with a mean grade allowing entry into a university in one’s country.

(iii)  A curriculum of 14 courses shall be the requirement of the Diploma programme. This curriculum will be complemented by a Project of 10 000 to 16 000 words written by the candidate under the direction of a supervisor appointed from among lecturers of the Institute.

(iv) The duration of the course will be one year (2 semesters). (i) Upon completion of all examinations for the First and Second Year of Licentiate, students can request a Baccalaureate in Canon Law.

(ii) After completing the three-year curriculum, the Academic Degree of Licentiate in Canon Law is conferred. Diploma

(i) The Diploma program in Canon Law is designed for those who do not plan to pursue the full Licentiate syllabus but wish to focus on specific courses.

(ii) To be admitted, applicants must have completed Secondary education with a grade that meets university entry requirements in their country.

(iii) There are 14 courses in the Diploma program’s curriculum. A 10,000–16,000 word project overseen by a faculty member chosen from the Institute’s lecturers is another requirement for candidates.

(iv) The course lasts for a full year, divided into two semesters.

Diploma Courses

Diploma in Ecclesiastical Tribunal and Matrimonial Cases

1. Nature of Diploma in Ecclesiastical Tribunal and Matrimonial Cases

The Diploma in Ecclesiastical Tribunal and Matrimonial Cases is meant for those who do not intend to follow the entire Licentiate syllabus, but prefer to concentrate on a few courses related to the organization of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal and Matrimonial Cases. The Diploma in Ecclesiastical Tribunal and Matrimonial Cases is tailored for individuals who seek focused training on organizing Ecclesiastical Tribunals and handling Matrimonial Cases, without pursuing the full Licentiate syllabus.

 

2. Rationale of the Course

It has been observed that most dioceses in Africa in general and the AMECEA Region in particular, are lacking ecclesiastical tribunals. The need of training the necessary personnel who will serve in the ecclesiastical tribunals is more and more felt. In fact, many marriage cases remain unattended by the Church, especially in African context. It is therefore time that the Institute of Canon Law offered to the dioceses of AMECEA the opportunity of training ecclesiastical tribunal officials to address the juridico-pastoral needs of the faithful. In light of the absence of ecclesiastical tribunals in many African dioceses, particularly within the AMECEA Region, the course aims to address this gap by training personnel to serve in such tribunals. The Institute of Canon Law recognizes the pressing need to equip officials to handle marriage cases, particularly within the African context.

 

  1. Objectives of the Course

The Diploma in Ecclesiastical Tribunal and Matrimonial Cases aims at equipping students with the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skills to competently organize the matrimonial tribunals of the first and second instances and to instruct the matrimonial cases in view of solving the difficulties regularly occurring in canonical marriage. The course’s primary objective is to provide students with both theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary to effectively manage first and second instance matrimonial tribunals and to guide matrimonial cases towards resolution within the framework of canonical marriage.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirement is the completion of Secondary education with a mean grade allowing entry into a university in one’s country. The candidate must be recommended by the local Ordinary or by a lawful Superior. Admission to the program requires completion of secondary education with a grade allowing entry into a university, along with a recommendation from the local Ordinary or a lawful Superior.

Duration of the Course

The duration of the course is one trimester.

Course Requirements

A curriculum of 7 courses shall be the requirement of the course. This curriculum will be complemented by a Case Study of 10 000 to 16 000 words on a matrimonial case by the candidate under the direction of a supervisor appointed by the Academic Board from among lecturers of the Institute. Students are required to complete a curriculum consisting of seven courses, complemented by a Case Study of 10,000 to 16,000 words on a matrimonial case. This case study will be conducted under the supervision of a faculty member appointed by the Academic Board.

 

Department Contact Info

P.O BOX 62157-00200
Nairobi, Kenya6

+254 (0) 709 691-208
canonlaw@cuea.edu

Mon – Fri 9:00A.M. – 5:00P.M.

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