ROME — With the official opening of its first university dedicated to multicultural dialogue, the Focolare Movement is hoping to help prepare young people for today’s challenges.
The Catholic renewal movement, founded by the late Chiara Lubich, will officially inaugurate the new Sophia University Institute for a Culture of Unity in Loppiano — a small town near Florence — in Italy December 1.
At a Tuesday press conference in Rome, the university’s president, Msgr. Piero Coda, said their aim is to help prepare young people to face “the complexities of today’s world” by reconnecting the deep ties between life and philosophy, study and experience.
At the same press conference, president of the Focolare Movement, Maria Voce, said people are hungry for knowledge and the truth about the human person. “There’s not so much a need for specialized schools, but, on the contrary, places where one can piece back together knowledge” that has been separated into specialized compartments, she said according to the Italian news agency, ANSA.
The Sophia University Institute offers a two-year graduate degree program in spiritual formation and interdisciplinary studies titled “Foundations and Perspectives of a Culture of Unity.” In the future, it will offer a doctorate degree in the same field.
According to a recent press release, 40 students from 16 different nations enrolled in classes this fall for the university’s first academic year.
The program is open to young people from all cultural and faith backgrounds who have already completed a bachelor’s degree and can read, speak, and understand Italian.