Pontificate Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) was established in 1941 by Cardinal Sebastião Leme and by Fr. Leonel Franca, SJ, and recognized by Brazilian governmental organs through the Decree 8.681 of January 15, 1946. Through the decree of the Congregation of Seminaries, on January 20, 1947, PUC-Rio also became associated with the Holy See, receiving the title of Pontificate Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro.

On the year of 1968, the Theology Department was instituted and integrated to the newly-created Centro de Teologia e Ciências Humanas – CTCH (Center of Theology and Human Sciences) of PUC-Rio. In 1972, the Graduate Program was created (Master and Doctorate) recognized by the Holy See through the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education. In 1977, Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior – CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel), which held the function of induction, supervision and promotion of the system, began a process of systematic evaluation of Programs. PUC-Rio sent the Theology data, which received on its first two years the qualification of “SC” (sem conceito, no concept), as it had not yet concluded defenses. In 1979, Theology receives the concept “A”, highest level at the time, indicating the recognition of its excellency in the activities of research and production of theological knowledge.

In 1995, when CAPES was restructured and became stronger as the institution responsible for monitoring and evaluating the stricto sensu graduate Programs already existent in Brazil, among over a thousand Master Programs and six hundred Doctorate Programs, the Master and Doctorate Programs in Theology at PUC-Rio were maintained. Such monitoring and evaluation made by CAPES were formalized on November 29, 1995, through port 1.461, published on the Diário Oficial of December 11 of that same year.

The Program was part of the Philosophy/Theology area, always evaluated on the segments of excellency. The Program is structured in two special fields:

  • Biblical Theology
  • Systematic-Pastoral Theology

These fields are traditional in the history of the Theology Program at PUC-Rio and the University understands, through the appreciation of the evaluation processes from CAPES , that its curricular structure is solidified and makes the Program have a distinguished role in horizon of national and international academic theology.

Currently it holds over forty-five years in research. The starting point of this work is the relationship between positive and consolidated affirmations of theology and the diversity of human realities that question it.


Overall objective:

  • To contribute to the progress of theological academic reflection, observing the characteristics and methodology foreseen for the Graduate studies. The Program aims to be a center for academic excellence, through the researches and advanced studies it conducts.

In its academic contribution, the Program is organized into two special fields of study, that relate and interact between each, having their own profile. Regarding the specificities of the general performance of the Program, and applying it to both fields of studies, certain specific objectives unfold.

Specific objectives, regarding the openness to dialogue and interdisciplinarity:

  • In both fields of studies, to perform researches of strong ecumenical and inter-religious openness.
  • To dialogue with the current historical-social-cultural context in Brazil, Latin America and other parts of the world.
  • To give special attention to interdisciplinarity, multidisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity.

Specific objectives, regarding methodology and the search for interaction and networking:

  • Methodological explicitness: for the performance of its overall academic objective, the Program seeks to value researches of high scientific standards, regarding the general scientific methodology as well as the methodologies specific to theological science, specially those that are most adequate to perform the investigations and obtain the results of each of the two special fields of studies in the Program.
  • Explicitness in the search for new depths, interactions and networking: another aimed objective is to contribute to the consolidation, deepening and development of theological knowledge with quality, in a national level as well as international, dialoguing with other respective fields of research, with the intent of creating researchers, professors of higher education, religious leaders, pastoralists and advisors in the several fields of knowledge production of Area 44 (designated area by CAPES for Theology and Science of Religion).



This line of research, following the proper methods of biblical sciences, studies the texts of both Testaments, interfacing with extra-biblical literature, but also seeks to apply and evaluate the diverse methods of exegesis and the new hermeneutical approaches.



This line of research brings together and develops researches regarding the interpolations that modernity and its so-called crisis bring to faith, religion, thought and theological discourses.
Special field of study – Systematic-Pastoral Theology


This line of research gathers the investigations particular to the importance of contemporary social-cultural context, so that the religious experiences, its practices and processes of cultural construction, human promotion and social-environmental ethics of Christian inspiration may be perceived and welcomed by a public theological reflection.


Graduate Program Journals in Theology at PUC-Rio: