About CIBI

The Carmelite Institute of Britain and Ireland

The Carmelite Institute of Britain and Ireland (CIBI) is a collaborative initiative of the British and Irish Provinces of Carmelites and the Anglo-Irish Province of Discalced Carmelites.

Through the provision of online courses, it is a way of celebrating and sharing the rich heritage of the Carmelite tradition – both of the Carmelites of the Ancient Observance (O.Carm.) and Discalced Carmelites (O.C.D.).

Our distance-learning courses ensure this rich heritage can be shared world-wide and being university-accredited, we do so to the highest standard. Our courses aim to enhance the student’s spiritual education through a deeper understanding of Spirituality, History and Theology as it is lived in the over 800-year old Carmelite tradition.

We welcome students of all denominations and backgrounds and our courses cater for many levels of interest and academic pursuit:  We offer courses to those looking for an introduction to Spirituality, with a Carmelite focus; those wishing to strengthen their spirituality through a deeper understanding of Carmelite history and tradition; and for those who seek Carmelite study in a more formal way, there are accredited courses at certificate, diploma, degree and masters level.

So whether you seek a Certificate in Spirituality course or a Masters in Theology, there is something here for everybody!


Our History

CIBI was founded in November 2005. In September 2006, the first students commenced their studies on two courses, a Diploma in Carmelite Studies and an Adult Education Diploma in Carmelite Studies, both accredited by the Milltown Institute, Dublin. The first graduates of the Adult Education Diploma in Carmelite Studies were conferred in October 2009 and the first graduates of the Diploma in Carmelite Studies were conferred in October 2011.

In 2011, York St John University accredited CIBI’s MA in Carmelite Studies. The first graduates of this award were conferred in October 2016.

With the closure of the Milltown Institute in 2015, CIBI requested accreditation for a Bachelor of Theology (B.Th. Carmelite Studies) and a Master of Theology (M.Th. Carmelite Studies) from St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co Kildare, Ireland. The first students commenced their studies in September 2015.

In 2016, two additional programmes were approved by St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, namely the Certificate in Spirituality (Carmelite Studies) and the Diploma in Spirituality (Carmelite Studies). Both courses commenced in September 2016.

In 2019 CIBI introduced two new courses on Formation – The Initial Formation Programme and The Ongoing Formation Programme.

In addition to the above courses, CIBI also offers a non-accredited elementary course, the Discovering Carmel Certificate, which is awarded to students who complete eight modules from a choice of more than forty modules on various aspects of Carmelite History, Spirituality and Saints.

The fully online, distance learning delivery, along with the option of studying full or part-time, has made CIBI courses very accessible and popular throughout the world and we currently have students from over 20 countries.


Our Mission

The spiritual focus of the Carmelite Order is friendship with God through prayer and contemplation. Emanating from this is a strong sense of community and a spirit of service.

These three elements – prayer, community and service – are at the heart of the Carmelite lifestyle.

The mission of the Carmelite Institute of Britain and Ireland (CIBI) is to provide a pathway for students to explore Carmelite spirituality in a modern-day context, set to the backdrop of a bountiful 800-year old tradition; to provide and uphold a recognised and esteemed academic pathway in which to do so; for the purpose of enriching the lives of our students and also of providing a platform for this rich heritage to secure its pathway into the future.

Our Values

Student Centred: We take a pragmatic and empathetic approach to individual students’ needs and circumstances, supporting their learning journey and celebrating their success.

Excellent Academic Standards: Our continually updated content is authored by subject-matter experts. We provide accessible delivery, continuous individual feedback, and assessments that are independently validated. 

Openness: While rooted in a Roman Catholic and Carmelite theological ethos, we are open to and respect, students from all religious traditions and none. We welcome diversity, freedom of expression and sharing of experiences.

Community: Recognising the need for mutual respect, we are a community of students, staff, trustees and committee members working towards a shared purpose and mission.

Simplicity: Our easily accessible self-directed learning – delivered online – allows students to study at a time and place that suits them. We provide straightforward feedback and respond promptly to queries.

Our Governance and staff

The Institutes Trustees are the presiding Provincial of each of the three Carmelite Provinces, who appoint the members of the Executive Board.

Academic Boards (BTh Academic Board and MTh Academic Board) are drawn from renowned academics with an internationally recognised External Examiner who is approved by the accrediting body.

The academic standards of all courses are overseen by the Director of studies and students are supported by the institutes administrative team.

CIBI has a varied and international associate faculty of authors and correctors.


I have enjoyed studying at CIBI and am recommending it to everyone. The studies nourished not only my intellect but also my spirit, for which I am very grateful. Please carry on your good work that brings glory to Our Lord by sharing the charism of Carmel.

UK Student. December 2021


I am thankful and ever so grateful to the Carmelite Institute of Britain and Ireland for providing an invaluable online educational opportunity for those who would like to study Carmelite spirituality in-depth. I thoroughly enjoyed every class I took. For me, it was not just an academic activity; it was also a time of spiritual formation. The hours I spent on each class became a special time of prayer. The insights provided by the modules, the reading materials, and instructors made the Carmelite mystics and saints so much “alive” that these saints became real companions in my spiritual journey, including the most difficult year of the pandemic. 

 Noel (Philippines) November 2021

The CIBI course I undertook over a number of years was extremely well organised, intellectually stimulating, and an invaluable aid in my own spiritual formation. Administrative staff were always swiftly to hand when queries arose (and they regularly did) – Frank and his team were always patient and kind. Assignments were paced appropriately, and feedback provided was extremely helpful and encouraging. A most rewarding and enjoyable experience that I will reflect upon with gratitude and contentment.

Anon, Ireland, July 2021

Not being naturally academically inclined it was with some trepidation that I commenced my studies for the Diploma in Spirituality (Carmelite Studies). But the support I received from the admin team and the corrector’s was great. Even when I had to take a break due to health issues, everybody was so flexible and enthusiastic, it enabled me to finish my last module for the diploma. Without doubt, the spirit and ethos of the Carmelite Orders is alive and manifest in the programme materials and in CIBI’s academic and administrative teams.

Kim Langridge UK. July 2020. 

This CIBI course is one of the best courses which I have ever experienced. It gives lots of information and knowledge. It has had a great impact in my life and will be a great help to me as a Carmelite. The presentation of each module is excellent.  The authors presented the material in a clear and concise way. The material is very interesting and there is lots of information in each unit. Which encouraged me to want to know more and to deepen my understanding.

I am also very grateful for the excellent help provided by the assignment correctors.  I greatly appreciate that my attention was drawn to areas where I needed to improve and I had the opportunity to go back over the material and to deepen my knowledge and understanding.

The Student Support team at CIBI were always very helpful and available to answer my questions and to advise me.

To all my grateful thanks.

Sr Emy. Ireland. May 2019