Diploma in Spirituality (Carmelite Studies)

  • Level 7 Special Purpose award accredited by St Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth
  • Designed for students who wish to explore and deepen their knowledge of the Carmelite tradition
  • An opportunity for students to study the Spirituality associated with the Carmelite charism (and is not designed to provide training for spiritual direction)
  • Delivered fully online, and can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis 
  • Completed through a combination of six mandatory and six individually selected modules



Course Overview

The Diploma in Spirituality (Carmelite Studies), 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 proficient level of competence in Carmelite History, Spirituality and Saints.

The range of topics studied provides a basis for candidates to engage knowledgeably in the ongoing dialogue between the Carmelite tradition and the contemporary world. Graduates of this course will be able to describe, present 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.



To be awarded the Diploma in Spirituality (Carmelite Studies)  students study 12 modules (six mandatory modules plus six additional modules). Modules are drawn from two categories:

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

Mandatory modules:

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


Additional modules:

Students choose three modules from the History and Tradition section and three modules from the Saints and Blesseds section:

History and Tradition
H01: Carmel: Development of the Tradition H08: The Compiegne Martyrs: Died by Guillotine July 17th 1794
H04: The Carmelite Charism: Exploring the Biblical Roots H09: The History of Carmelite Devotion
H06: The Historical Founders of the Carmelites H10: Church History: Early to Medieval Period
H07: The History of Female Contemplative Life & Recent Developments H11: Church History: Protestant Reformation to Modern Period


Spirituality: Saints and Blesseds
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
S06: St Elizabeth of the Trinity S12: St Elizabeth of the Trinity, Transformation and the Mystical Tradition
S07: St Edith Stein S13: The Impact of God: A reading guide to St John of the Cross
S08: St’s Louis and Zélie Martin S14: St Elizabeth of the Trinity Reader of St John of the Cross
S09: St Albert of Jerusalem S15: The Mystical Poetry of Jessica Powers (Sr Miriam of the Holy Spirit)



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 twelve modules of the course must be completed within six years of registration.



On successful completion of the programme the graduate should be able to:

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

Former students 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 Diploma 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.