THE HISTORY OF THE INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF
THEOLOGICAL AND TRIBUNAL STUDIES
On December 15, 2005, the International Institute of Tribunal
Studies was established. The main goal of the Institute was to train
tribunal practitioners who could not avail themselves to a full
program for a license in canon law. It has become clear in many
tribunals that a great amount of tribunal ministry is performed by
“non-canonists” acting as notaries, advocates, assessors and
auditors. It is clear that work experience, in-house training and self-
study have formed many non-canonists into valuable ministers of
This ecclesial reality mirrors the time held American legal concept of
apprenticeship, “reading the law” with an experienced lawyer. This was once the
primary means of obtaining a legal education in the American colonies and in the
early history of the United States. From John Adams to Abraham Lincoln, many
presidents had “read the law” under the tutelage of experienced lawyers.
Because of the widening of the I.I.T.S. mission from solely preparing those in
tribunal ministry to the formation of all of those in ministry, in 2009, the I.I.T.S.
became the International Institute of Theological and Tribunal Studies (I.I.T.T.S.).
In November 2008, I.I.T.T.S. invited the administration of the Pontifical University of
St. Thomas Aquinas to join in a collaborative venture which would allow students the experience of studying
canon law during the summer months in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as part of the process of obtaining
the Licentiate in canon law through the Angelicum.
In 2013, I.I.T.T.S. was invited by the Archdiocese of San Antonio transfer its ministry of education to San
Antonio. In 2014, an agreement was made between the Universidad Pontificia de Mèxico and the
Archdiocese of San Antonio to work together to provide pontifically accredited canon law courses taught in
San Antonio. The agreement between the University and Archdiocese provided that the program be
administered by the International Institute of Theological and Tribunal Studies and located at the historical
campus of the Mexican American Catholic College.
THE HISTORY OF THE I.I.T.T.S. CAMPUSES
Immaculate Heart Retreat House
The first summer semester was held in 2009 at the Immaculate Heart
Retreat House in Los Angeles. The students consisted of one lay
woman, two laymen, one married permanent deacon, one religious
priest and four diocesan priests.The faculty consisted of professors
from Rome, Budapest, Los Angeles, California and cleveland Ohio.
The first experience was
challenging yet manageable
and an opportunity to grow in
faith as well as in the skills
needed to minister in the Church as a canonist.
The students and professors were tremendously grateful to the sisters
and staff of the Immaculate Heart Retreat House. Their care and
Professionalism aided those involved in the program a great deal.
St. John’s Seminary
In 2012, when the Immaculate Heart Retreat House
could no longer accommodate I.I.T.T.S., the summer
Angelicum Canon Law Program moved to St. John’s
Seminary in Camarillo, CA. This change provided
an enhanced academic setting.
Mexican American Catholic College
In 2013, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller
invited the I.I.T.T.S. and the Angelicum to
relocate to the Mexican American Catholic
College in San Antonio, Texas.
History of I.I.T.T.S.