The Kusenberger Chair of Oblate Studies (at Oblate School of Theology) was established in January 2017 to conclude the celebration of the 200 years of existence of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. The Chair is the first of its kind and is dedicated to the study and dissemination of the history, charism, spirituality and mission of the Missionary Oblates through teaching and research, academic and enrichment programs, an annual Kusenberger Chair of Oblate Studies Lecture, and cooperation with the other Institutes of higher learning – at the service of the Oblate General Administration and all connected with the charism of Saint Eugene de Mazenod throughout the world.

Initially the Chair will offer an online asynchronous Certificate in Oblate Studies. The next step will be to offer an M.A. Spirituality degree, with a concentration in Oblate Studies. Finally, the certificate will be made available in English, French and Spanish.

This certificate program is available online.

Certificate Overview

Those who complete the certificate will be able to:

  • Acquire in-depth knowledge of the constitutive elements of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate: the founder, history, Constitutions and Rules, spirituality and mission.
  • Understand the historical foundation and comprehend the theological development of the Oblate charism, spirituality and mission, so as to deepen their sense of participation.
  • Critically reflect upon the contemporary mission of the Oblates in the Church.

Students who successfully complete the program requirements of 12-credit hours will be awarded a certificate.

Those who take the program at the graduate level, fulfilling the appropriate additional requirements, earn credits applicable toward the M.A. Spirituality or Theology or M. Div. program, with the appropriate differences and requirements.

The courses are also open to any qualified students who wish to register for enrichment non-academic purposes. They will be expected to do the reading required to participate in the classes.


Two-hour courses will be offered in the following areas:

1. Saint Eugene de Mazenod. Historical Background, Life, and Key Aspects of His Spirituality, Charism and Mission (2 Credit Hours spread over two semesters) (Fall 2017; Fall 2018)

  • 1.1 Eugene de Mazenod, Founder of the OMI, 1782 – 1837
  • 1.2 Eugene de Mazenod, Superior General of an expanding missionary congregation, and Bishop of Marseilles (1837 – 1861)

2. Historical Expansion and Development of the Mission of the Oblate Congregation from 1816 to Present  (2 Credit Hours spread over two semesters) (Spring 2018)

  • 2.1 Europe and the Americas
  • 2.2 Asia-Oceania and Africa-Madagascar

3. Founders, Charisms and their Expression in Constitutions and Rules (2 Credit Hours)

  • The charism of a founder and the charism of a Congregation.
  • The role of a Rule as the expression of charism in a religious congregation.
  • The contents and the spirit of the Rule of 1818 and 1826.
  • How the General Chapters have shaped the Oblate Rule over the years in response to the changing needs of the world.
  • A detailed study of the present CC&RR.

4. Oblate Religious Life and Spirituality (2 Credit Hours) (Fall 2018)

Identifying and defining Oblate values and spirituality in the history of the Congregation. Its expressions today in apostolic religious community, in the people served by the Oblates, and our lay associates.

5. Oblate Mission Today (2 Credit Hours) (Spring 2019)

  • Course 5.1 The goal of Oblate evangelization. How mission is expressed in different countries and cultures.
  • Course 5.2 Contemporary questions and challenges.

6. Research Project (2 Credit Hours) (Fall 2019)

  • A research paper that makes a contribution to Oblate Studies, and which will be published in an OMI periodical or in the Oblate Historical Dictionary.

Method of Presentation

Initially offered asynchronously, the courses will consist of lectures, reading, assignments and the opportunity for group interaction.

To facilitate the use of these offerings by various constituencies – academicians, formators, those in first formation, those in continuing formation, Oblate communities. Oblate Associates, etc. – each course will be offered in segments, each segment for two hours per week for seven weeks.

The entire certificate may be completed in four semesters, or it may be taken in either a more intensive or more relaxed manner.

For information regarding any program, please contact the Registrar’s Office
(210) 341-1366 EXT 226