The Spring 2015 P.C. in Rome program is fast approaching its end. As we say in Rome – tempus fugit – time flies! Although there is a tinge of melancholy in the air because we know we’ll be leaving Rome in a few weeks, we are grateful for our time here and the experiences we’ve had.
As usual, the core course, New Testament in the Eternal City, has used Rome as its “classroom” and has provided us with many adventures during our weekly site visits. Our other Theology course, The Catholic Church and Major World Religions, has also used site visits, guests speakers, and lectures to unpack the reality of inter-religious dialogue that is so crucial in today’s world.
As we approach our final exam period and make a list of things we still need to see and do before departure, I asked the students to share their thoughts about their experience with PC/CEA in Rome. I asked them to imagine speaking to a student back home in Providence who might be considering studying abroad next year. What would they say to him or her about being in Rome?
In other words, “why study theology in Rome”? Here’s what some of them said:
“Studying theology in Rome is a great experience since we were able to connect with the New Testament on a physical level when we visited some of the most important sites of early Christianity.” – Stephen Beck“I would encourage any PC student to pursue their theology cores in Rome simply because of the fact you’re in Rome. Our classes aren’t just sitting in a lecture hall, we actually go once a week to see some of the most ancient sites in the world where Christianity began. It’s not an experience you can find anywhere else and it’s incredibly rewarding.” – Katie O’Brien
“As an accounting major with a rigorous business course load, I saved many of my core requirements, including my two theology classes, for my semester abroad, and I would recommend to anyone considering studying abroad in Rome to do the same. Seeing how the themes of the New Testament are manifested in churches and other historical sites throughout Rome has given me a deeper understanding of my faith that I will carry with me through the rest of my life.” – Kathleen McGinty
“Taking Theology in Rome has been a lot more enjoyable than I can imagine it to be at PC in a class room. As an accounting major I struggled in CIV and pushed off my theology requirements for this point exactly. We have site visits once a week, so we are out of the classroom exploring the city. Personally I wouldn’t have gone to nearly as many of the churches and places we got to go, but I was so happy I had the opportunity to do so. I highly recommend filing these requirements abroad!” – Emily Rose“Rome is the ultimate place to study theology. The city is our classroom and the guided site visits make the readings and lectures come to life in an incredible way. ” -Julia Averna
“Rome – full of religious history making it an ideal location to learn about theology. Being able to connect the city to theology classes makes for a rich and fulfilling educational experience.” – Maddy McDonald“Studying theology in Rome is incredible because you get to go on field trips during class time every week which are often very relevant to the course material and history of the Church. It’s a unique opportunity to learn, grow, and fulfill Core Requirements through this interactive and memorable experience. ” -Madeleine Veith“Studying theology in Rome has been such an amazing experience as everything we learn about in the classroom we are able to see in person. The correlation between the New Testament and the awesome site visits allows us to make connections that we never would have seen if not studying in Rome. Though I have taken theology classes at PC before, this has been my favorite by far as everything is so relevant to our daily lives here in the eternal city.” -Katherine Mahder“Why study Theology in Rome? Because the environment is extremely conducive to learning theology. Physically being surrounded by ancient structures that relate to the course material instantly make this class uniquely beneficial and memorable. ” – Dan ElfmanGo Friars!