Rome & Assisi

When it comes to history and religious studies, Rome is like no other. From the Colosseum to the Vatican Museum, this city offers something new (yet old) around every corner. With multi-day trips to both Florence and Assisi, you are bound to gain a great sense of the foundations and tribulations of both ancient and modern Roman Catholicism during this Summer A program.

This program is offered in partnership with the Australian Catholic University - Rome campus, which will serve as the base of operations and is where our group will stay. This partnership with ACU-Rome will provide a number of opportunities for our group to meet students on campus, and learn from faculty and scholars from around the globe.

Program Highlights:

  • Get to know the historic city of Rome while exploring the complexity of global Catholicism.
  • Take educational day trips to Florence and Pitigliano
  • Spend time in Assisi delving into the history of this holy location on a multi-day trip.
  • Stay on campus at Australian Catholic University - Rome and meet other students and scholars based in Rome.
  • Visit sites of religious and historic significance including Vatican City, the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, and the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.

Program Details

Program Prerequisites

Program Prerequisite: RES 345

RES 345 - Global Catholicism: Pursing Justice, Seeking Holiness, Building Community will be offered in the Spring 2025 semester, and will directly tie into this program. Undergraduate students who have previously completed this course are also eligible to participate in this program. The Summer A program itself is a zero credit lab, associated with this course, meaning this is a non-credit bearing program.

Course description: This course invites you to explore the cutting-edge questions of our time through the rich cultural and intellectual legacy of Catholicism. We will focus on Catholic thinkers and activists from around the globe who are reimagining this legacy as they respond to the opportunities and crises of our time. Why do they engage our environmental crisis, issues of race, ethnicity, and gender, the reality of poverty, homelessness, and mass incarceration through Catholic social teachings? What have they to teach us about the significant relationship between science and faith? How does the “Catholic imagination” inspire artists, musicians, and authors to express the joys and anxieties of our time? What can we learn about the power of dialogue between persons of different spiritual traditions who share a commitment to justice and peace? The course takes us Rome and Assisi to continue our study in two cities that offer unique insights into the meaning and significance of Catholicism today.

NOTE: This program is a 0-credit lab associated with the RES.345 course. To participate in this program, you must enroll in RES.345 for the Spring 2025 semester. By enrolling in the course, you are not required to participate nor guaranteed a spot on the trip.

Program Dates

This program will run during Summer A in 2025

Program Itinerary

This itinerary is a sample from our trip in 2023.

Departure : Departure from Nazareth via campus vans mid-day 

Day 1: Arrival in Rome around noon. Get settled, eat food, drink espresso, and have lots of gelato! Orientation. Angelus with Pope Francis (Noon).  Night walk of Rome.

Day 2: St. Peters Basilica at 7:00 AM - John XXIII tomb, Scavi Tour to the Tomb of St. Peter's, etc.

Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy ("Sacrosanctum Concilium"), Dec. 4, 1963. It ordered an extensive revision of worship so that people would have a clearer sense of their own involvement in the Mass and other rites.

Day 3: Thomas Merton in Rome w/ Dr. Christine Bochen - visits to the Pantheon, St. Ignatius Sites, and the Trevi Fountain 

Decree on the Instruments of Social Communication ("Inter Mirifica"), Dec. 4, 1963. It called on church members, especially the laity, to instill "a human and Christian spirit" into newspapers, magazines, books, films, radio, and television. 

Day 4: Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums - Papal Audience

Dogmatic Constitution on the Church ("Lumen Gentium"), Nov. 21, 1964. It presented the church as a mystery, as a communion of baptized believers, as the people of God, as the body of Christ and as a pilgrim moving toward fulfillment in heaven but marked on earth with "a sanctity that is real, although imperfect."

Day 5:  Departure from Rome to Florence by train. Visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery, view Michelangelo's David, and stop at many other famous sites throughout the city. Overnight in Florence.

Day 6:: Continuation of full tour of Florence. Back to Rome via train in the late afternoon/early evening.

Day 7: Islam and Catholicism

Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions ("Nostra Aetate"), Oct. 28, 1965. It said the Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in non-Christian religions, called for an end to anti-Semitism, and said any discrimination based on race, color, religion or condition of life is foreign to the mind of Christ.

Day 8: Catholic Mass in the morning. Pope's Angelus Address at noon. Visit to the Colosseum in the afternoon.

Declaration on Religious Freedom ("Dignitatis Humanae"), Dec. 7, 1965. It said that religious liberty is a right found in the dignity of each person and that no one should be forced to act in a way contrary to his or her own beliefs.

Day 9: Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation ("Dei Verbum"), Nov. 18, 1965. It said the church depends on Scripture and tradition as the one deposit of God's word and commended the use of modern scientific scholarship in studying Scripture. Visit Vatican Observatory at Castel Gandolfo via train to discuss faith and science.

Day 10: Judaism and Catholicism 

Walking tour of Old Jewish Quarter in Rome and the Rome Ghetto. Visit the town of Pitigliano or "Little Jerusalem" via train. Discuss Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust in Italy.

Day 11: Departure from Rome to Assisi.

Visit Basilica di S. Maria degli Angeli on the way to Assisi. Visit Oratorio dei Pellegrini. Overnight in Istituto Beata Angelina Monastery.

Day 12: Full day spent exploring Assisi.

Nostra Aetate Part II & Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World ("Gaudium et Spes"), Dec. 7, 1965. It said the church must talk to atheists, a continual campaign must be waged for peace, nuclear war is unthinkable, and aid to underdeveloped nations is urgent. It said marriage was not just for procreation and urged science to find an acceptable means of birth regulation.

Visits to St. Francis Basilica, Oratorio dei Pellegrini, Basilica of St. Clare, San Damiano Convent, Eremo delle Carcer (Francis' hermitage), Sacro Speco di San Francesco - Narni 

 Day 13: Early morning departure from Assisi directly to Rome airport for departure flight back to Toronto at 12:15PM. Drive back to Nazareth campus using campus vans.


Students will be housed on the Australian Catholic University - Rome campus for a majority of the program. This location will serve as the base of operations for the program. Accommodations for the multi-day trip to Assisi will also be arranged as part of the program.

Program Costs

Program Fee: $2,700

Please note that the exact cost per student will be published well in advance of the first deposit.

Program Fee Includes:

  • Round trip airfare
  • All hotels and accommodation
  • All meals part of the itinerary
  • All in-country transportation
  • All projects, activities, workshops, tours, museum entry, etc.
  • Travel Insurance

Not Included:

  • Passport (must be valid at least 6 months past the return date of the program). Contact Josh Fess as soon as possible for assistance with applying for or renewing your passport.
  • Additional meals (meals not in the itinerary)
  • Miscellaneous expenses (such as souvenirs, personal care items, etc.)

Program Payment Dates:

January 2024: $500 Deposit

March 2025 $1,100

April 2025 $1,100

Please note that SPARK Grant funds will be distributed 10 days before your departure as a reimbursement. SPARK students will need to pay the full program cost up front per the payment dates above. For non-SPARK students, please contact Jamie Fazio to learn about other funding options.

Sources of Funding

Students who are SPARK eligible will receive the full $1,500 check 10 days prior to the departure of the program. With the SPARK Grant funds, the total out-of-pocket cost of this program is $1,200.

Students who are not SPARK eligible will receive a $550 scholarship from the Center for International Education, making the final out-of-pocket cost $2,150.


Qualifying freshman, sophomore, and transfer students can use their SPARK Grant for this short-term study abroad program.

Naz in Rome:

    Views from Abroad:

      The Roman Forum
      View of Vatican City
      Inside the Colosseum
      The Bramante Staircase in the Vatican Museum

      At A Glance

      Term: Summer A 2025

      Program Level: Undergraduate

      Program Types: Academic (0-credit lab associated with RES.345 course)

      Major(s): Open to all majors, and of particular interest to the following majors:

      • Anthropology
      • Art History
      • International & Global Studies
      • History
      • Legal Studies
      • Museums, Archives & Public History
      • Political Science
      • Psychology
      • Religious Studies
      • Sociology

      Language Requirement: None

      Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.5