Certificate in Spirituality (Carmelite Studies)

  • Level 6 Special Purpose Award accredited by St Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth
  • Designed for students who wish to explore the Carmelite tradition and study the spirituality associated with the Carmelite charism
  • Awarded on completion of six mandatory modules
  • Delivered fully online, and can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis 



Course Overview

The Certificate in Spirituality (Carmelite Studies) programme, which is in keeping with the Roman Catholic ethos of the Carmelite tradition, offers students the opportunity to study the rich heritage of the Carmelite tradition at a formal academic level and to achieve a broad understanding of Carmelite History, Spirituality and Saints.

Students study individual modules at their own pace in a structured yet flexible way. The range of topics studied provides a foundation for candidates to engage in the ongoing dialogue between the Carmelite tradition and the contemporary world. Graduates of this course will be able to describe and engage with the principal elements of the Carmelite tradition.

The course also supports the development of important skills in academic research and practical writing at undergraduate level. Academic guidance is provided through individual assessment feedback, and instruction on the writing of academic essays.



The Certificate in Spirituality (Carmelite Studies) has two main areas of focus:

  • The history and traditions of Carmel
  • Carmel Saints and their approach to prayer and Christian living

To complete the course students study the following six modules, completing all the required assignments for each module.

H02: The Origins of the Carmelite Family S01: St Teresa of Avila
H03: Figures of Inspiration: Mary and Elijah S04: St Thérèse of Lisieux
H05: Carmelite Reform and Renewal in the 16th Century S05: St Titus Brandsma




Each module is assessed through a mix of continuous assessment (ten questions after every four units) and a final essay (2,000-2,500 words).

  • Each questionnaire is awarded 10% of the total marks (4 x 10 = 40%).
  • The essay is awarded 60% of the total mark.

(A module consists of 16 units. The content of one unit is equivalent to approximately that delivered in a 45-minute lecture. Students will need to dedicate twice this amount of time to private reading beyond the material provided in the module).



The course is delivered fully online  in the form of a phased release of reading material, facilitating a reflective approach to study and learning. 

We have two thirteen week semesters each academic year and you can start the course in either semester:

  • Semester 1: September – December
  • Semester 2: January – April

Semester weeks graphic Sep 2023




The six modules must be completed within three years of registration.



On successful completion of the Certificate course, the graduate should be able to:

  • Exhibit a knowledge and understanding of some of the significant topics, figures and sources relating to studies in the Carmelite tradition of spirituality.
  • Identify, gather and analyse some of the historical material relating to the Carmelite tradition of spirituality
  • Display the capacity to identify and communicate some of the significant elements in the Carmelite tradition of spirituality
  • Present a coherent and well-structured written presentation of some on the elements of the Carmelite tradition of spirituality


Admission Criteria

The course is open to all adult students, both lay and religious, and to those of all faiths and none.

(Students who have completed some of the modules of the Diploma in Carmelite Studies (accredited by the former Milltown Institute) may request exemptions from the equivalent modules in this course).


English Language requirements

All our programmes are delivered through English and students are expected to be proficient in English. This proficiency is typically evidenced by use in daily life, by achieving the minimum standard in a recognised English language test or through other documented verifiable means. This minimum standard is an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in each band in the academic version) or equivalent. 



The Certificate in Spirituality (Carmelite Studies) is accredited by St Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth, Ireland.



  • Initial one-off registration fee of €50 (non-refundable)
  • Module fee €120.00 per module

Module fees are payable in advance of the semester of study.

CIBI has a small bursary fund to support students who may financially struggle to access or stay in our accredited programmes. Details can be found here.