B.Th. (Carmelite Studies)

  • Level 8 Honours Bachelor Degree, accredited by St Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth
  • Designed for students who wish to explore and deepen their knowledge of the Carmelite tradition
  • Delivered fully online, and can be taken on a part-time or full-time basis
  • Modular course combining mandatory modules and individually selected modules



Course Overview

This degree, which is in keeping with the Roman Catholic ethos of the Carmelite tradition, offers students the opportunity to study the essentials of a theological approach to the Christian life. The programme enables students to consider the rich heritage of the Carmelite tradition at a formal academic level and to achieve a deep understanding of Carmelite Theology, History and Spirituality.

The course offers students the opportunity to study individual modules at their own pace with a structured yet flexible approach. The range of topics studied provides the basis for candidates to engage critically in the ongoing dialogue between the Carmelite tradition and the contemporary world. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to describe, present and critically engage with the principal elements of the Carmelite tradition.

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

The programme is ideal for those who have completed the Diploma in Spirituality (Carmelite Studies) and wish to continue their academic engagement in the field of Carmelite Studies. It is also a pathway to the Master’s Degree in the specialised field of Carmelite Studies.



Modules are divided into three categories:

  • Theological Foundations
  • History and Tradition
  • Spirituality: Saints and Blesseds

Students must complete six modules in each of the three categories, along with an additional six modules across any category, making 24 modules in all. On completion of the mandatory modules in Theology, History, and Spirituality, students write a long essay. When the three long essays are completed, one further long essay (in any of the three categories) is also required. In addition to the mandatory modules, three further modules in each of the three sections is required. The remaining six modules may be chosen from any of the modules not already completed.

BTh course details Sept 2023

Module Titles

Theological Foundations

T01: An Introduction to the New Testament T10: Understanding the Charisms of Consecrated Life
T02: The Sacramental Basis of Christian Living T11: The Synoptic Gospels/Matthew
T03: Faith and Revelation T12: Paul’s Letters
T04: The People of God T13: The Rebirth of the People of God: The Acts of the Apostles
T05: An Introduction to Moral Theology T14: The Prophets
T06: The Biblical Theology of the Practice of Faith T15: The Pentateuch
T07: An Introduction to the Old Testament T16: The Mystery of the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit
T09: Christology T17: Penance and the Sacrament of the Sick


History and Tradition

H01: Carmel: Development of the Tradition H07: The History of Female Contemplative Life & Recent Developments
H02: The Origins of the Carmelite Family H08: The Compiègne Martyrs.  Died by Guillotine July 17, 1794
H03: Figures of Inspiration: Mary & Elijah H09: The History of Carmelite Devotion
H04: The Carmelite Charism: Exploring the Biblical Roots H10: Church History: Early and Medieval Period
H05: Carmelite Reform and Renewal in the 16th Century H11: Church History: The Protestant Reformation and Modern Period
H06: The Historical Founders of the Carmelites


Spirituality: Saints and Blesseds

S01: St Teresa of Avila S09: St Albert of Jerusalem
S02: St John of the Cross: Carmelite, Mystic, Poet S10: St Thérèse of the Child Jesus as Revealed in Her Letters
S03: St Mary Magdalene de Pazzi S11: St Teresa of Avila, Doctor of Prayer
S04: St Thérèse of Lisieux S12: St Elizabeth of the Trinity, Transformation and the Mystical Tradition
S05: St Titus Brandsma S13: The Impact of God: A reading guide to St John of the Cross
S06: St Elizabeth of the Trinity S14: St Elizabeth of the Trinity Reader of John of the Cross
S07: St Edith Stein S15: The Mystical Poetry of Jessica Powers (1905-1988) Sr Miriam of the Holy Spirit
S08: Saints Louis and Zélie Martin


A module is delivered in the form 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 B.Th. (Carmelite Studies) is assessed as follows:

Questionnaire and short essays

  • Each taught module is assessed by four ten-question questionnaires and one essay
  • Each questionnaire is awarded 10% of the overall marks (4 x 10 = 40%)
  • The final essay for each taught module is on an assigned topic and between 2,000-2,500 words long. The final essay in each module is awarded 60%

Long Essays

  • Four long essays of between 6,000-7,500 words are required for the course. The four long essays are based on the mandatory modules in each of the three categories: Theological Foundation, History and Tradition and Spirituality: Saints and Blesseds
  • 1 long essay in Theological Foundations
  • 1 long essay in History and Tradition
  • 1 long essay in Spirituality: Saints and Blesseds
  • 1 further long essay in any of the three categories above

BTh 1

BTh 2




The course is delivered fully online in the form of a phased release of reading material,  facilitating a reflective approach to study and learning. The content is made available through the student portal on the CIBI website, and support is available through the administration team in CIBI.

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 24 modules and four long essays must be completed within 12 years of registration.

Students normally complete two modules per semester (4 modules per academic year), so that the course is completed in seven and half years (15 semesters). Students who want to study the course full-time can complete the course in a shorter time-frame.

Exiting the course

Students registered for the BTh (CS) and who choose to exit the course prior to the final award, and who have completed the requirements of either of the two Exit Awards, may request the CIBI Academic Board to be conferred with either a Certificate in Theology (Carmelite Studies) or a Diploma in Theology (Carmelite Studies).



It is expected that students who achieve an overall second class honours grade in the BTh (CS) course, together with a mark of at least 65% in all four of the long essays, will be eligible to proceed to the Masters in Theology (Carmelite Studies). Students who receive at least 65% in two of the four long essays may be eligible to proceed to the MTh (CS) upon approval of the Academic Board.


Admission Criteria

Applicants will normally have completed second-level education (equivalent to National University of Ireland Matriculation) but applicants 23 years of age or over on January 1st of the year of registration for the BTh (CS) and who do not fulfil the normal matriculation requirements may apply for matriculation on the basis of mature years.

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 Baccalaureate in Theology (Carmelite Studies) is accredited by St Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth.


The Honours BTh (CS) course requires a total of 180 credits.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 09.48.48

Exemptions may be granted for up to three taught modules on equivalent modules completed elsewhere, subject to the approval of the Director of Studies.



  • Initial one-off registration fee of €50 (non-refundable)
  • Module fee €120 per module
  • Long Essay fee €295 per long essay

Module and essay 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.

Student Testimonials

At first, I was intimidated by the idea of an online course, but I can confidently say this was an amazing learning experience

There were times when I found it a real struggle to find the time to engage with the assignments due to the, at times, heavy demands of full time job and supporting a young family. However, due to the way the distance learning course is structured, with very supportive tutors – flexible in their approach, I managed to complete the course.
(United Kingdom).

The course modules fulfilled both academic and formative expectations. I have found in them depth and substance, reflective of the scholarly effort of the module authors and tutors. I found the delivery of and the content of the modules to be very well structured and user-friendly. While awaiting the clock-work release of the module reading and questionnaires, my anticipation heightened with tackling each block of units and questionnaire.