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  • Locations: Assisi, Italy; Rome, Italy
  • Program Terms: December
  • Restrictions: DPU applicants only
  • Click for Tuition + Program Fee: December
  • Dates / Deadlines
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Short-term Academic Level: Graduate, Undergraduate
Recommended GPA: 2.5 Living Arrangements: Residence Hall
Language of Instruction: English Prerequisite: None
Liberal Studies Domain: EL, HI, RD Study Abroad Contact: Erica Rideaux
Program Description:
Italian ruins

The program focuses on Roman Catholicism in Rome in its historical, theological, and material aspects. Students will take two courses associated with the program: “Introduction to Catholicism” (RD credit) and “Catholic Experience II” (UP credit); the program also carries Junior Experiential Learning credit.

While living and learning in central Rome, students can expect to visit sites that invoke several course components at once--for example--the Vatican City's historical, architectural, cultural, and Catholic aspects. Students will be invited to engage with sites in Rome through lectures from DePaul faculty, local experts, discussions, on-site learning at museums landmarks, experiential learning activities, and cultural activities.

Important sites and museums include orientations to the geography of Rome itself, St. Peter's Basilica, 4th and 5th-century mosaics, the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel, Caravaggio sites across Rome, and a trip to Assisi. Experiential learning activities include such examples as visual lectures as we tour the city, immersing ourselves in the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums, engaging with artisans of the Vatican Mosaic lab, and interacting with the ancient Italian collections of books and manuscripts at the Vatican Library. And of course this includes typical Italian dinners and concerts!

Sheryl Overmyer Sheryl Overmyer (Ph.D., Duke University) is Associate Professor at DePaul in the Department of Catholic Studies. Her research is focused on virtue ethics. Her most recent studies include the virtue of tolerance, the vice of envy, and the emotion of regret.

Emanuele Colombo Emanuele Colombo (Ph.D., University of Milan-Padua, Italy) is Associate Professor at DePaul in the Department of Catholic Studies. His research is focused on early modern European history, in particular on religious missions and encounters between Christians and Muslims.

All students will be enrolled in the following 2 courses:
Course CTH 180/REL180 Introduction to Catholicism
Credits 4 credit hours
Term registered Fall 2020
Class meeting times Fridays during Autumn Quarter in Lincoln Park
Liberal Studies domain Religious Dimensions (RD) or Experiential Learning (EL)
Taught by Sheryl Overmyer
Course description This course will be an introduction to Catholicism, examining the breadth of the Catholic experience with a focus on the rich resources of the early and medieval church. It comprises a staggering span of history – from 33 C.E. to 1200 C.E. It encompasses the experience of the early Church from the apostles and early Christian communities, to its rise along with the flourishing of the Roman Empire, through the fall of Rome as Christian intellectual life flourished in monasteries, through the development of increasingly complex relationships between Church and state while both find homes in Rome. Rome is a recurring and dynamic character in this unfolding of history and we will pay special attention to the experience of ordinary and extraordinary Christians in Rome. This course fulfills a requirement in the Religious Dimensions (RD) Domain of the Liberal Studies Program or a Experiential Learning (JYEL) credit.
Additional course information The program is planning to meet four times in the fall before the travel portion of the program in December, and will also meet a few times upon conclusion, during the winter quarter
Course CTH 221/HST219/REL 207, Catholic Experience II
Credits 4 credit hours
Term registered Winter 2021
Class meeting times Fridays during Winter Quarter in Lincoln Park
Liberal Studies domain Historical Inquiry (HI) or Experiential Learning (EL)
Taught by Emanuele Colombo
Course description This course provides an overview of the history of Catholicism and its interactions with institutional, political, and social history from 1200 to the French Revolution. The main topics of the class are the origin of the Universities and Scholasticism; Mendicant Orders and their impact on the Medieval Society; the Challenges to Papal Monarchy; Humanism and Erasmus; the impact of the Age of the Reformation; the Council of Trent; the geographic discoveries and the New Worlds; the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution; the Catholic Church and the French Revolution. The course fulfills a requirement in the Understanding the Past (UP) Domain of the Liberal Studies Program or a Experiential Learning (JYEL) credit.
  Please note that although some courses are registered in a particular term, some coursework or final assignments may be due in a different term. E.g. Course registered in winter quarter, but coursework is due in spring quarter once the travel component of the program is complete.

Students will stay at the beautiful, recently renovated Rome campus of St. John’s University. The dormitory style rooms are complemented with common areas, kitchenettes, a library, classrooms, and 24-hour security. It is a ten-minute walk from the Vatican and right next to the Lepanto Metro stop.

St. Peter's Basilica and Scavi, San Callisto Catacombs, 4th and 5th-century churches, the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel, Caravaggio sites across Rome, the Vatican Library, and the Vatican Observatory. Our cultural activities include, at the very least, concerts and typical Italian dinners.

All students participating in study abroad will be charged both tuition (billed at the regular DePaul tuition rate, based on the number of credits enrolled) and a program fee. Please read the program fee details carefully to understand exactly what is included, as this can vary from program to program. If the program fee is posted, be sure to note whether the fee is current or from a previous year (past program fees may serve as a guide until the current program fee is available). If the current program fee has not yet been posted, please check back closer to the application deadline. Please also note the withdrawal policy.

DePaul offers several types of scholarships for students studying abroad, and students should visit the scholarship page early in the application process for information on eligibility and deadlines.


If you are planning to study abroad and do not have a passport, apply for one immediately. Some programs require students to obtain student visas. In that case, contact the country's local consulate or embassy for up-to-date instructions. As of this publication, students traveling with US passports on the Italy: Religion in Rome in Spirit and Stone program DO NOT need a visa. Please note that visa requirements can change quickly. Study Abroad will update this website to reflect changes as they become available.

Here are some helpful tips from former students who have participated in this program:
  • Get to know the surrounding neighborhoods and the public transportation system early in the trip.
  • Don't be in such a hurry to fit in 'everything'. Find the balance between exploring and relaxing.
  • Be aware of your environment and be polite.
  • Brush up on your basic Italian beforehand to make communicating with locals easier.
  • Pack warmer clothes, as it can get chilly.
  • Bring a small purse that zips if you are a person who carries a purse.
  • Change $500-$1000 at your bank in the US before leaving or use the ATMs abroad. Don’t exchange money during the trip because the rates are very high.
  • Take vitamins and stay hydrated!
  • Grocery shopping or bringing meal bars can cut the expenses of daily meals.

DePaul University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or handicap in admissions, employment, or the provision of services. Inquiries regarding this policy should be addressed to the Director of Human Resources, 1 East Jackson Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60604.

Circumstances, such as an unexpected event abroad or a curriculum change, may require DePaul University to make changes to the program. DePaul University reserves the right to cancel or alter programs and courses without notice.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Admissions Notification Date Start Date End Date
December 2020 05/01/2020 06/01/2020 11/28/2020 12/13/2020