University Center for Protestant Theology Matthias Flacius Illyricus is an organizational unit within the University of Zagreb, involved in scientific research and education in the field of theology, social sciences and humanities related to theology. The Center was formally founded on 17th January 2017 by the Senate of the University of Zagreb.
Although a “new” addition to the University, the Center represents the continuation of the Faculty of Theology Matthias Flacius Illyricus, which was founded in Zagreb in 1975 by the Lutheran Church and the Baptist Union in former Yugoslavia.
The Center currently offers two courses: 1) an undergraduate course in Protestant theology, and 2) a graduate course in Protestant theology. Both programs are conceived around five fields of theology – systematic theology, Old Testament, New Testament, history of church and theology, and practical theology – but attention is also given to social sciences and humanities related to theology (history, philosophy, psychology, sociology…), as well as languages (Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and English). The courses are designed to develop the skills of critical thinking and reading, and the skills of academic and non-fiction writing.
University Center for Protestant Theology Matthias Flacius Illyricus is also heavily engaged in publishing and scientific research, with its employees actively participating in various scientific conferences. Among the Center’s staff and associates are: the winner of the John Templeton Award for Theological Promise, winners of the dr. Branko Lovrec Award for promoting dialogue between religion and society, the current president of the Women’s Department at Baptist World Alliance, as well as the winner of the Krunoslav Sukić award for promoting peacemaking, nonviolence and human rights.
The Center organizes and supports a series of activities that promote ecumenism, Christian peacemaking, equality, and the struggle against various forms of discrimination within the public arena. For example, in 2017, celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in Europe, the Center co-organized the international symposium “Reformation: a global event in local perspective,” the international symposium “Iconoclasm and iconophilia,” and, along with the Catholic Faculty of Theology in Split, an Ecumenical Study Day. The Center’s publishing department regularly publishes the most recent theological textbooks and volumes on Protestant heritage in Croatia.
Alumni of the Center successfully find their place within churches and church-related organizations, as well as in a wider social context. Many of them have successfully continued their education both in Croatia and abroad.
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