Canonical degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies

Subject: five scholarships for Arabic and Islamic Studies (2023‒2026)

The Dominican Institute of Oriental Studies was founded in 1953 in Cairo in order to study Islam and the Arab Muslim civilization scientifically. Our mission is to study Islam theologically and to engage in theological dialogue with Muslims.

In the current context characterized by the omnipresence of Islam, it seems necessary to us to offer to the provinces who would be interested the opportunity to train a brother in Islamic Studies in order to give him skills on the Islamic heritage in link with contemporary questions. This will enable him to answer to the challenges of our time, whatever the continents.

We are offering a three-year study program to prepare a new generation of Dominicans.

At the end of their training, the brothers who will be entrusted to us will have a canonical degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies of 120 ECTS.

They will be fluent in Arabic and empowered to either teach in our theological faculties or continue their studies for a PhD degree.

Scholarships for the program can be offered. They cover international travel, the tuition fees and full board at our priory of Our Lady of the Rosary in Cairo. For all scholarship applications, each province or vice-province contributes by a minimum of €700 to €1,700 per year to the brother’s health insurance plan, depending on the level of protection desired.

The academic year starts on September 1ˢᵗ, 2023.

Spem Miram Internationalis scholarship applications must be sent before March 1ˢᵗ, 2023 to and to the IDEO’s director on . We are at your disposal to help you with the administrative procedures.

Year 1 and year 2

The first year gives the student the basics of the Arabic language so that he can read and write in Arabic, define the morphology of words, identify the grammatical structure of an Arabic sentence, and begin to deal with Islamic texts.

The texts in their graduation make it possible to save in the memory both the vocabulary and the turns of phrase in Arabic. The brother acquires an understanding of written texts, but also the basic vocabulary of the press, radio and television.

He is accompanied in his learning by a personalized tutor in order to help him assimilate Arabic words according to their roots, to stimulate and check his memory.

At the end of the first year, he should be able to read literary and classical texts and to understand their general meaning. He is able to express himself in Arabic.

The aim of the second year in Cairo is to allow students to immerse themselves in classical Arabic and to acquire the basics of the main Islamic sciences through the study of source texts. We carry out a systematic work on the lexicon, in order to distinguish the different Islamic movements and the particularity of their approaches.

In addition to classical Arabic classes, students receive formation in Christian liturgy and are tutored in reading in order to go through the history of Islamic thought. During this year, students are expected to identify an author or a question raised or addressed by an author that they would like to develop in a MA thesis.

Finally, students receive formation in interreligious dialogue in form of courses or seminars.

Year 3

Year 3 focuses on more systematic work in Islamic theology and philosophy. The number of courses is reduced in order to allow students to define a text, to translate it, to place it in time and in the history of Islamic doctrines, to identify a problematic, in order to write a thesis of 80 pages. The student is accompanied in this exercise by a supervisor. He is invited to participate in the weekly seminars of the IDEO’s research team.

Acquisition of skills

At the end of the three years, the following skills are acquired:

– knowledge of the structure of the written literary Arabic language that allow the student to read and understand, without undue difficulty, complex ancient and contemporary literary and religious texts;

– basic scientific knowledge in the most important Islamic sciences;

– acquisition of a scientific method of comparative study of the Scriptures and the theological thought of Christians and Muslims;

– ability to perform a proper analysis of the complexity of the classical and contemporary Islamic world;

– ability to critically elaborate his own thinking on the Islamic religion and on Muslim-Christian relations;

– ability to act competently in the field of Muslim-Christian dialogue;

– know how to write and discuss in an organized and methodological way a theological thought from an Arabic text;

– be able to do a PhD in Islamic Studies or theology of religions.


The student must hold a canonical bachelor’s degree and have obtained at least the Magna Cum Laude grade.

In the case that he finishes the last year of bachelor study and doesn’t yet hold his certificate, he will present the results of the last year of his schooling when submitting his file.

He must have sufficient knowledge of English or French to follow the courses in Islamic Studies and those on dialogue.

He will write a cover letter.

It is up to the Regent of Studies to include a recommendation letter in his file.

Application file for the Spem Miram Internationalis scholarship

The training program can benefit from a scholarship application to Spem Miram Internationalis. In this case, it should be sent to and before March 1ˢᵗ, 2023.

Application form for the Spem Miram Internationalis scholarship pre-filled in French

Learn about Islamic Studies through an Arabic language course in Cairo?

It is possible this summer 2022 at the IDEO

The IDEO offers to Dominican friars in philosophical or theological formation a one-month course in Cairo to discover Arabic and Islam. This internship should open the brothers in formation to the reality of the Islamic world in its beliefs and its experience.

From a methodological perspective, we propose to start from an introduction to the Arabic language in order to show its own logic and its theological dimension. Thus, we will introduce the history of Islamic thought, a philological approach and the Islamic doctrines through the words of Islam.

The internship lasts four weeks: each week is composed of five days of classes (from Monday to Friday); each day is broken down into five hours of classes: three hours in the classroom and two hours with an individual tutor. During the month, students will visit mosques, museums and al-Azhar University. They will meet with Muslim intellectuals. A weekend in Alexandria will also be organized to visit the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

The session is preceded a month earlier by a Moodle to learn the basics of reading and writing. Passing the Moodle is a prerequisite for attending the Cairo course.

The cost of the training (courses, meals, weekend at Alexandrina, visits to Cairo) is covered by an IDEO scholarship program. The provinces are responsible for the payment of the air ticket and the pocket money of the brothers in Cairo. For the provinces where the price of the ticket would be too expensive, it is possible to ask for an exceptional help from the IDEO (please contact us).

Dates : Arrival on July 16ᵗʰ‒17ᵗʰ, 2022 in Cairo. The course starts on Monday, July 18ᵗʰ, 2022 and finishes on August 12ᵗʰ, 2022.

Application procedures: The application form must be sent to the IDEO’s director before May 15ᵗʰ (). It consists of a cover letter from the student (in German, English, Spanish, French or Italian) and a recommendation letter from the Director of studies or the Regent of studies. The student receives confirmation of his participation in this course by May 20ᵗʰ, 2022. The student is requested to handle the necessary consular arrangements in the case that he needs a visa.

Three-month field scholarships for master’s and PhD students

Students of the Dominican Study Centers

→ Purpose of the scholarship: to support the research of students in theology, history-geography, sociology, philosophy, political science or linguistics and whose study, dealing with Islam or the Islamic world, requires research work in Cairo (bibliographic sources, field survey, etc.).

→ Subject of the scholarship: The scholarship covers the accommodation costs at the Scholars’ House of the IDEO for three months, covers the round trip air ticket up to €500, and provides fund for the research on site (€300 per month). It does not cover the administrative costs of the Visa application and nor the costs of civil and health insurance.

→ Eligibility: be a master or PhD student enrolled in a Dominican University, Faculty or Study Centre.

For further information: contact

Becas de tres meses para estudiantes de máster y doctorado

estudiantes de los Centros de Estudios Dominicanos

→ Finalidad de la beca: apoyar la investigación de estudiantes de teología, historia-geografía, sociología, filosofía, ciencias políticas o lingüística y cuyo estudio, que trate sobre el Islam o el mundo islámico, requiera un trabajo de investigación en El Cairo (fuentes bibliográficas, estudio de campo, etc.).

→ Finalidad de la beca: La beca cubre los gastos de alojamiento en la Villa des chercheurs de l’Idéo durante un periodo de tres meses, cubre el billete de avión de ida y vuelta hasta 500 euros, y proporciona apoyo a la investigación in situ (300 euros al mes). No cubre los gastos administrativos de la solicitud de visado, ni los gastos del seguro civil y sanitario.

→ Requisitos: ser estudiante de maestría o doctorado inscrito en una universidad, facultad o centro de estudios dominicano.

Para más información: contacte con