Curriculum of Studies
for the Diploma in Ecclesiastical Latin

English Version

The Diploma in Ecclesiastical Latin is a 32 USAC/64 ETCS certificate program cosponsored by VSI and PIAL with Vatican approbation.

Students must pass each course with a minimum cumulative grade (“final course grade”) of 90% (A-) to advance to a higher course. Students must also maintain at least 75% attendance or they will be failed for non-attendance.

Click here to see the recommended DLE program timeline.

Part A: First Milestone

1. Latin Language (10 USAC/20 ECTS1)

  • LAT101/D0011.1: Fundamentals of the Latin Language – Level 1. [Familia Romana chs. 1-15] (2 USAC/4 ECTS)
  • LAT102/D0011.2: Fundamentals of the Latin Language – Level 2. [Familia Romana chs. 16-26] (2 USAC/4 ECTS)
  • LAT103/D0011.3: Fundamentals of the Latin Language – Level 3. [Familia Romana chs. 27-35] (2 USAC/4 ECTS)
  • LAT201/D0012: Latin composition (2 USAC/4 ECTS)
  • LAT202/D0013: Advanced Latin Language. [Roma Aeterna chs. 36-40] (2 USAC/4 ECTS)

Upon successful completion of these courses, the student will be awarded a Certificate of Basic Ecclesiastical Latin Language Proficiency (Diplóma Tirocínii Latinitátis Ecclesiásticæ).

2. Classical Latin (3 USAC/6 ECTS)

Three courses (every course gives 1 USAC/2 ECTS) chosen from the following. At least one course must be on a poetic author and on a prose author. The third course can be chosen from either group.

2.1 Poetry

  • LLC321/D0021: Fables of Phaedrus (10)
  • LLC322/D0022: Ovid (300 verses)
  • LLC323/D0023: Eclogues of Vergil (3)
  • LLC324/D0024: Elegies of Propertius & Tibullus (5)
  • LLC325/D0025: Aeneid of Vergil (1 book)
  • LLC326/D0026: Georgics of Vergil (1 book)
  • LLC327/D0027: Poems of Horace & Catullus (10/5)
  • LLC328/D0028: Horace’s Ars Poetica
  • LLC329/D0029: Plautus / Terence (1 comedy)
  • LLC330/D0030: Lucretius (300 verses)

2.2 Prose

  • LLC331/D0031: Letters of Cicero (20)
  • LLC332/D0032: Nepos, Life of Hannibal or Atticus
  • LLC333/D0033: Caesar (1 book)
  • LLC334/D0034: Humanist Dialogues (Erasmus, Vives, Pontanus)
  • LLC335/D0035: Livy, book 1
  • LLC336/D0036: Oration of Cicero (1)
  • LLC337/D0037: Sallust (30 chapters)
  • LLC338/D0038: Philosophical Work of Cicero (De Amic., De Senec., selection Tusc.)
  • LLC339/D0039: Tacitus (1 book)
  • LLC340/D0040: Cicero, De Officiis (1 book)
  • LLC341/D0041: Rhetorical Work of Cicero (1 book)

3. Ecclesiastical Latin (4 USAC/8 ECTS)

3.1 Magisterium

  • THC350/D0050: Catechismus Romanus (1 USAC/2 ECTS)
  • THD351/D0051: CV II Documents (1 USAC/2 ECTS)

3.2 Liturgy

  • TLL360/D0060: Ordinary of the Mass [UA and NO] (1 USAC/2 ECTS)
  • TLL361/D0061: Proper of the Mass [UA and NO] (1 USAC/2 ECTS)

External Evaluation at End of First Milestone2

DLE100: First Milestone Exam (No Academic Credit)

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Part B: Second Milestone

1. Specific area of Ecclesiastical Latin (7 USAC/14 ECTS)

Two courses are required, five are elective. Each course is worth 1 USAC/2 ECTS. At the end of each course, students will write a one-page paper in Latin and undertake a 5-10 m. oral examination.3 Students that have not previously completed collegiate studies in Scholastic philosophy and Catholic theology will be required to take the courses marked with an asterisk (*).

D1 Philosophy

  • PHI401/D1001: Overview of Latin Philosophy Manual Tradition*
  • PHI402/D1002: Selected Topics in Philosophy

D2 History of Theology

  • D2001: Overview of History of Monastic Theology
  • D2002: Overview of History of Scholastic Theology
  • D2003: Overview of History of Neo-Scholastic Theology

D3 Dogmatic Theology

  • THD401/D3001: Overview of Latin Dogmatic Theology Manual Tradition
  • THD402/D3002: Selected Topics in Dogmatic Theology
  • THD403/D3003: Selected Dogmatic Theology in Summa Theologiæ

D4 Moral Theology

  • THM401/D4001: Overview of Latin Moral Theology Manual Tradition
  • THM402/D4002: Selected Topics in Moral Theology
  • THM403/D4003: Overview of Moral Theology in Summa Theologiæ

D5 Sacred Scripture- one required

  • SSB401/D5001: General Survey of the Vulgata
  • SSB402/D5002: Study of a Specific Vulgata OT Book
  • SSB403/D5003: Study of a Specific Vulgata NT Book

D6 Canon Law – one required

  • JUS401/D6001: Overview of the Latin of Canon Law
  • JUS402/D6002: Selected Topics in the Latin of Canon Law

D7 Liturgy

  • TLL401/D7001: Hymns of the Breviary
  • TLL402/D7002: Psalter
  • TLL403/D7003: Historical Development of Liturgy
  • TLL404/D7004: Selected Topics in Liturgy
  • TLL405/D7005: Latin of the Western Liturgical Books

2. Special Courses or Intensive Spring Capstone Courses

(6 USAC/12 ECTS) to be taken either in Rome or remotely.4

  • TPP501/D8001: Latin Patristics (2.5 USAC/5 ECTS; required for all)
  • JUS501/D8002: Roman Curial Latin (2 USAC/4 ECTS; required for all)
  • ARC501/D8003: Christian Archaeology (1.5 USAC/3 ECTS; required for students in Rome)
  • LAT501/D8004: Ecclesiastical Neo-Latin Christian Authors (1.5 USAC/3 ECTS; required for remote students)

Final paper - 30-50 pages

DLE200: Final Paper (2 USAC/4 ECTS) Evaluated by PIAL.

External Evaluation at End of Second Milestone5

DLE300: Second Milestone Exam (No Academic Credit)


1 1 US Academic Credit (here abbreviated as USAC), based on the Carnegie Unit, is defined as 1 academic hour (50 minutes) of lecture once a week for 15 weeks. 1 USAC equals 2 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits.
2 Students must demonstrate that they meet the ACTFL criteria for intermediate proficiency via a general competency oral exam in speaking and writing Latin with an external examiner. VSI will arrange for this external examination.
3 For USA students oral examinations will be evaluated according to ACTFL.
4 These courses are taught and evaluated by PIAL.
5 Students must complete a general competency oral exam in speaking Latin with an external examiner according to the ACTFL criteria for intermediate proficiency. VSI will arrange for this external examination.