Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy

Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy
Type Private
Active 1968–2015
Location Ranelagh, County Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Campus Urban
Affiliations NUI,
HETAC (1989-Present)

The Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy is a Jesuit-run institution of higher education and research, located in Dublin, Ireland. Milltown is located in Ranelagh, County Dublin. Since 1997 it has been a Recognised College of the National University of Ireland, under the 1997 Universities Act, the Irish government removed the ban on the NUI awarding degrees in Theology which had stood since its foundation and its predecessor the Royal University of Ireland. The Milltown Institute was also an Ecclesiastical Faculty until its designation was suspended by the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome in July 2015. The Irish School of Ecumenics used to be located at the Milltown Park site but is now in Trinity College Dublin.

Since November 1989, when it was granted designated status under the National Council for Educational Awards Act 1979, it has developed and offered civil programmes leading to Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral awards. The NCEA became HETAC in 2001.

Since 2011, the future of the Milltown Institute became uncertain and it is currently understood that it will be closed permanently and a new institute, the Loyola Institute, will take its place as part of Trinity College Dublin.

The college entered into negotiations about a possible alliance with University College Dublin in 2008. These talks were unsuccessful and an alliance with the traditionally Protestant Trinity College Dublin took effect in 2012 with the foundation of the Loyola Institute (of Catholic Theology)


Milltown Institute was established as a Pontifical Athenaeum with Faculties of Theology and Philosophy, by a group of religious institutes in 1968. The origins of the institute however can be traced back to the 1880s when the Jesuits established a School of Philosophy and a School of Theology at Milltown. The School of Theology has had an unbroken history at Milltown since 1889, and became a Jesuit Pontifical Faculty in 1932. The School of Philosophy moved from Milltown in 1930 and became a Jesuit Pontifical Faculty in 1948, and returned to Milltown in 1966. 1979 saw the Bachelor of Divinity (BD) programme approved by the Teaching Council of Ireland.

In 1993, the BA programme joined the CAO system for applications to third level courses, from 1994 degree students could apply for Higher Education Grants, and in 1995 students of NCEA courses became eligible for the government free fees initiative.[1] In 1996, the BA was recognised by the Teaching Council of Ireland for the teaching of religion in post-primary/secondary schools.[2]

An undergraduate Bachelor of Theology programme, in conjunction with the University of Wales, Lampeter,[3] was launched in September 2003, the institute also developed a number of post-graduate initiatives with Lampeter.

In 2003 the Kimmage Mission Institute (KMI) Institute of Theology and Cultures moved from Kimmage Manor to Milltown becoming part of the Dept. of Mission Theology and Culture, and from 2006 the alliance was made permanent.[4]

The KMI Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Anthropology degree was also recognised for teaching religion in post-primary schools.[2] From 1 September 2005, Milltown was officially designated a Recognised College of the National University of Ireland (NUI).[3]


The Milltown Institute discontinued their teaching and research programmes and closed at the end of July 2015 in the Spring of 2011. After the Jesuit founded University College Dublin rejected Milltown's approaches[5] it was expected that the institution would negotiate with Trinity College Dublin to continue its existence as the Loyola Institute in a centre of study[5] along with the Irish School of Ecumenics. In this eventuality, the property in Milltown would be sold and a new facility either purchased or purpose-built at Trinity College Dublin's campus in the centre of Dublin. Staff and faculty members who held positions until 2011 would, for the most part, not continue within the new Loyola Institute.[6] The conferring of Ecclesiastical and HETAC awards took place on 2 October 2012, with NUI awards on 3 October 2012.

Spirituality Institute for Research and Education (SpIRE)

Set up in 2016 SpIRE to raise awareness of spirituality as an applied academic discipline.[7] Starting in August 2016, SpIRE in conjunction with the Waterford Institute of Technology delivers an MA in Applied Spirituality from All Hallows, and earlier Milltown Institute.[8]


Coordinates: 53°19′04″N 6°14′42″W / 53.317785°N 6.24509°W / 53.317785; -6.24509

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