Order of Friars Minor in Great Britain

No distinction between Theology and Spirituality

  “When I was beginning my studies in Canterbury I can remember reading an article which said that for the early Church Fathers there was no distinction between theology and spirituality in the sense that the study of theology, the study of God as the word implies, was a spiritual exercise in itself. It is only later on that a distinction was made between the two. And so as I began my studies in Canterbury I decided that I would treat my years of study as a spiritual exercise, as a time of prayer and devotion” (A. Friar).

Franciscan sisters and lay people from all over the world come to study Franciscan theology and spirituality, the life of Saint Francis and Saint Clare, the writings of Saint Francis, Franciscan history and the broader aspects of theology. The Franciscan International Study Centre continues the venerable tradition of forming friars and sisters in the Franciscan way of life and prepares them for ministry through teaching, study, writing and other forms of education.
Like Saint Bonaventure, Franciscan lecturers at the Study Centre see themselves as preparing “preachers and pastors of souls” in whatever ministry students will eventually find themselves. And all this study, teaching and writing by Franciscans is grounded in the “spirit of holy prayer and devotion” and in the lived experience of Franciscan community life and the daily expression of the values of fraternity, simplicity, faithfulness to the Church and love for all creation. The Franciscan Intellectual Tradition is a gift not just to the Franciscan Order and the Church but to the world in which Franciscans live and move and minister having been prepared for that ministry by Franciscan thinkers and teachers imbued with the spirit of Saint Francis and holy prayer and devotion.

Séamus Mulholland in his study

Franciscan International Study Centre

  For more information on the Franciscan International Study Centre follow the links:

Study Centre Website:

Post-Noviciate Formation:

(Article by Br Séamus Mulholland OFM)