1. The establishment and development of the specialization

The beginnings of the Specialization of Practical Theology at the Faculty of Theology of the Catholic University of Lublin are linked with the establishment of the Section of Pastoral Theology in 1958 in a university course of theology. Originally, it was formed by the three departments: the Department of the General Pastoral Theology, the Department of Sociology of Religion, and the Department of Pastoral Psychology. The first department was the most developed in that time, and its academic research focused on hodegetics, liturgics, catechesis and homiletics.

In line with the recommendations of the Apostolic Constitution Deus scientiarum Dominus, the students of pastoral theology took the BA exam in general theology (ex universa theologia) at the end of their first year. The second and the third year of studies were focused towards specialization. Separating general theology from specialization gave a chance to introduce new courses in the second year, and monographic subjects covering pastoral theology in the third year. In 1963, holiday pastoral practice was introduced for PhD students of the Section of Pastoral Theology.

In 1964, the Council of the Faculty of Theology introduced a new project of studies. It assumed the establishment of three new specializations within the Section of Pastoral Theology: a socio-hodegetic, pedagogical and catechetic, and liturgical and homiletic one. Moreover, the curriculum of the Section of Pastoral Theology included lectures and classes in catechesis, as well as lectures in pastoral anthropology.

In 1968, the Institue of Pastoral Theology was established in line with the decree of Sacrae Congregationis pro Institutione Catholica (hereinafter called IPT) was established. Its structure was formed by three sections: a socio-hodegetic, pedagogical and catechetic, and liturgical and homiletic one. Three departments functioned in the IPT at that time. The head of the Department of Sociology of Religion was Rev. J. Majka, the head of the Department of the General Pastoral Theology was Rev. W. Piwowarski, whereas in charge of the Department of Pastoral Psychology was Rev. P. Poręba. In 1970 Rev. A. L. Szafrański became the head of the Department of Pastoral Dogma, which was established in the place of the Department of the General Pastoral Theology, and Rev. W. Piwowarski became the head of the Department of Sociology of Religion. Since 1962, “Roczniki Teologiczno-Kanoniczne” (“Theological-Canonical Annals”), and since 1992 ”Roczniki Teologiczne” (“Theological Annals”) have been in print, devoted to the problematic aspects of pastoral theology.

In the academic year 1973/1974 some other changes took place in the organizational structure of the IPT. The Specialization of General Pastoral Theology was separated from the Social Pastoral Theology, and in 1974 the new Department of Organization of Pastoral Care was brought to life. Rev. R. Rak became its head.

In the academic year 1980/1981, in the spirit of Pope John Paul II's recommendations found in the Constitution Sapientia christiana, another reform of studies was made. The length of studying did not change, and it still lasted three years, however the time and character of the BA exam underwent some changes. Now it took place after the second year of studying. The specialization of general pastoral theology and the specialization of social pastoral theology were united, and together they constituted the reason for the establishment of the Specialization of Practical Theology.

In 1998 the Department of Specific Pastoral Theology was brought into life in the place of the Department of Organization of Pastoral Care, and the Department of General Pastoral Theology was established in the place of the Department of Pastoral Dogma, all within the Specialization of Practical Theology.

In 2000 the Specialization of Practical Theology, together with the whole ITP, moved from the old building to the newly-built Collegium Joannis Pauli II on the 9th floor. The specialization of Practical Theology received two professor’s rooms there, and the ITP library now had more storehouse room and a new reading room.

In 2000-2005 ITP was divided into two institutes: the Pastoral-Catechetic Institute and the Liturgical-Homiletic Institute. The development of the Specialization of Practical Theology was realized within the Pastoral-Catechetic Institute, which comprised six departments of three specializations: practical theology, catechesis, and pastoral care of families. As regards the Specialization of Practical Theology, the head of the Department of General Pastoral Theology was Rev. S. Bielecki, the head of the Department of Specific Pastoral Theology was Rev. R. Kamiński, and the head of the Department of Sociology of Religion was Bishop K. Ryczan. In 2005 once again another Institute of Pastoral Theology was established, and the Department of Charity Theology was brought into life within the Specialization of Practical Theology, and Rev. W. Przygoda became its head.

In 2009, ITP was once again divided into the Institute of Pastoral Theology and Catechesis, as well as the Institute of Liturgics and Homiletics. Since then the Specialization of Practical Theology has been functioning separate to the Specialization of Catechesis, Pastoral Care of Families, and Media Education in the Institute of Pastoral Theology and Catechesis. In 2010, Rev. W. Śmigiel, and in 2011 M. Fiałkowski (OFMConv), Rev. K. Święs and Rev. D. Lipiec got their postdoctoral degrees in the Specialization of Practical Theology. In 2012-2014 the head of the Specialization of Practical Theology was Bishop W. Śmigiel, and its structure was formed by five departments. The head of the Department of General Pastoral Theology was M. FIałkowski (OFMConv), the head of the Department of Specific Pastoral Theology was Bishop W. Śmigiel, the head of the Department of Charity Theology was Rev. W. Przygoda, the head of the Department of Organization of Pastoral Care was Rev. was D. Lipiec, and the Head of the Department of Sociology of Religion was Rev. K. Święs.

 
2. Current structure and areas of research

The current structure of the Specialization of Practical Theology is formed by the to departments: the Department of Pastoral Theology and the Department of Pastoral Praxeology. There are five full-time scholars employed therein. The head of the Specialization of Practical Theology is M. Fiałkowski, who is also the head of the Department of Pastoral Theology. Bishop W. Śmigiel and Rev. P. Mąkosa are also employed there. The head of the Department of Pastoral Praxeology is Rev. W. Przygoda, and Rev. Lipiec and Rev. K. Święs are its academic workers.

 

The academic workers of the Specialization of Practical Theology carry out research of an interdisciplinary character concerning the redeeming activity of the Church, often referring to the paradigm of an analysis of pastoral theology. The subject of interests also revolves around the following topics: model of the redeeming activity of the Church, theological foundations of pastoral care, forms and manifestations of religiousness in Poland, revival of pastoral care in the period of the political system transformation, participation of Catholics in the public life, revival of the parish structure and parish pastoral care. Detailed information of the fields of study could be found on the internet tabs of particular departments within the Specialization of Practical Theology.

 

3. Academic achievement

One of the achievements of the Specialization of Practical Theology was the publication of the two-volume coursebook titled: Teologia pastoralna (“Pastoral Theology”) edited by Rev. Professor R. Kamiński in 2000-2002. The coursebook is the fruit of work of many pastoral theologians from all the important academic centers in Poland, and it is made up of two parts: pastoral fundamental theology (vol. 1), and specific pastoral theology (vol. 2). Apart from the introductory and historical aspects, Teologia pastoralna fundamentalna („Fundamental pastoral theology”) treats of the issues of criteriology, i.e. the ones concerning the essence and mission of the Church and its realization today.

An important aspect touched upon is also cariology, i.e. aspects of signs of the times and of the Church attitude towards the world, and praxeology, i.e. aspects of the subject of pastoral care, and pastoral care as an organized activity. This volume also presents the chapter concerning theological bases of pastoral care. Teologia pastoralna szczegółowa (”Specific pastoral theology”) covers the issues of realization of the practical activity of the Church in the contemporary world. This volume presents the issues of the parish, deanery, big city and diocese as a place of realization of pastoral service. It also discusses the topics of ordinary and extraordinary pastoral care, pastoral care of families, charity service of the Church, social apostleship of laic Catholics and individual pastoral care. One of the assets of the coursebook is its acknowledgment of the work of the Church revival inspired by the documents of the Second Vatican Council, and is adjusted to the current conditions of the redeeming activity of the Church in Poland and it meets the highest academic standards.

One of the effects of the academic work of the Specialization of Practical Theology is Leksykon teologii pastoralnej (“Lexicon of pastoral theology”), published by Towarzystwo Naukowe KUL in 2006 (eds. R. Kamiński, W. Przygoda, M. Fiałkowski). It constitutes a continuation of the coursebook Teologia pastoralna published in 2000-20002 and is the keystone of theological-pastoral knowledge. The lexicon covers 406 entries, and in particular: 257 subject entries from the area of pastoral theology and related academic areas, 126 personal entries, and 23 cross-reference entries. It also covers biographic entries of eminent pastoral theologians. The entries were prepared by more than 100 theologians from various scientific centers in Poland. The contents of Leksykon teologii pastoralnej cover the whole of issues typical of fundamental and specific pastoral theology.

Particular entries were approached in a synthetic and multifaceted manner, and some of them also in an interdisciplinary way.

The Specialization of Practical Theology has recently published some books of considerable importance to the development of pastoral theology in Poland: R. Kamiński. Duszpasterstwo w społeczeństwie pluralistycznym (”Pastoral care in a pluralistic society”). Lublin 1997; ibid. Działalność zbawcza Kościoła w teorii i praktyce pastoralnej (”Redeeming activity of the Church in pastoral theory and practice”) Lublin 2007; Duszpasterstwo specjalne (”Special pastoral care”). Ed. R. Kamiński, B. Drożdż. Lublin 1998; S. Bielecki. Chrześcijanin i czas według listów św. Pawła (A Catholic and time according to St. Paul’s letters). Lublin 1999; ibid. Teologia znaków czasu (”Theology of the sign of the time”). Kielce 2006; W. Przygoda. Posługa charytatywna Kościoła w Polsce (”Charity service of the Church in Poland”). Lublin 2004; ibid. Apostolski wymiar wolontariatu charytatywnego w Polsce. Studium teologicznopastoralne na podstawie badań wolontariuszy z parafialnych zespołów Caritas (“An apostolic dimension of voluntary service in Poland. A theological-pastoral study on the basis of a study carried out in the parish Caritas group”). Lublin 2012; W. Śmigiel. Uczestnictwo wiernych świeckich w budowaniu Kościoła-Wspólnoty. Studium teologicznopastoralne w świetle nauczania Kościoła (1965-2009). (”Participation of the laic faithful in the formation of the Church as a Community. A theological-pastoral study in the light of the Church teaching (1965-2009)”). Lublin 2010; M. Fiałkowski. Formacja chrześcijańska katolików świeckich w świetle nauczania Kościoła współczesnego. Studium teologicznopastoralne (A Christian formation of laic Catholics in the light of the contemporary Church teaching. A theological-pastoral study). Lublin 2010; D. Lipiec. Duszpasterstwo niewidomych i słabowidzących w Polsce. Studium teologicznopastoralne (“Pastoral care of the poor and the short sighted in Poland. A theological-pastoral study”. Lublin 2011; K. Święs. Przemiany religijności miejskiej w czasie transformacji systemowej (Changes in religiousness in the cities in the time of a political system transformation). Lublin 2011). What is more, the academic workers of this specialization are regularly appointed as consultants of the Pastoral Commission and the Charity Commission of the Polish Episcopate.

4. The organization of PhD studies

PhD studies in the Specialization of Practical Theology at the Catholic University of Lublin last four years. The first year of studies offers: 405 hours of compulsory lectures (11 courses), 90 hours of compulsory seminars, 30 hours of PhD seminar and 15 hours of compulsory work practice (all in all, 540 hours). The students of the second year have: 450 hours of compulsory lectures (12 courses), 60 hours of compulsory seminars, 30 hours of PhD seminar and 15 hours of compulsory work practice (all in all 565 hours). At the end of the second year students take a specialization exam on the basis of which they receive their licentiate degree entitling them to lecturing pastoral theology in church colleges and universities, as well as to starting PhD proceedings and having the topics of PhD dissertations accepted. The students of the third and fourth year of studies have: 30 hours of compulsory lectures, 30 hours of PhD seminar and 15 hours of compulsory work practice (all in all, 75 hours in every year).

The major courses of the Specialization of Practical Theology are the following: Introduction to Pastoral Theology, Cariology, the Church in the Modern World, Social Apostolate of Catholics, Theological Basis of Pastoral Care, Extraordinary Pastoral Care, Extra-Parish Pastoral Care, Organization of Extra-Parish Pastoral Care, Hierarchy and lay Brother as the Subject of Pastoral Care, Charity Function of the Church, Form of Socio-Charitable Pastoral Care, Parish as the Community of Communities, Parish Sociology, Religious Union and the Church Restoration, Theology of Culture, Modern Social Changes and Pastoral Care, Political System Change in Poland, Sociology of Religion, Sociography of Religion, Pastoral Psychology, Methods of Sociological Research, Research Methods in Pastoral Theology. The students of the Specialization of Practical Theology may choose from the following PhD seminars: General Pastoral Theology, Specific Pastoral Theology, Organization of Pastoral Care, Charity Theology, Sociology of Religion.

Such a wide spectrum of an educational offer makes it possible for PhD studies at the Specialization of Practical Theology to provide students with a thorough education in pastoral theology, and, in particular, in theory of ordinary pastoral care and various forms of extra-ordinary pastoral care. Moreover, these studies give the future doctors of pastoral theology a deep and well justified knowledge, the one which is broader than specialist knowledge strictly connected with topics of PhD dissertations. Academic, practical and organizational sills which are acquired by students wile participating in seminars and symposiums are also of great value.