“What is most deeply human is the search for truth, the insatiable need for the good, hunger for freedom, nostalgia for the beautiful, and the voice of conscience.”

-JPII, Redeemer of Man


“They called him from a far‐away country… far, but always near in the communion of faith and the Christian tradition.”

- Pope John Paul II, first public speech upon becoming Pope, October 16, 1978

Why John Paul II Studies and Polish Studies?

Saint John Paul II developed a profound vision of the dignity of the human person, and he traveled around the globe to promote the respect for human rights especially freedom of conscience and religion.

His signature phrases, such as “Be not afraid,” and “Cross the threshold of hope,” changed the hearts and minds of believers and non‐believers alike.

The achievement and legacy of John Paul II inevitably bring us to Polish culture and history. St. John Paul II’s integral vision of the human person was formed and tested in the crucible of the centuries of oppression and triumphs in the 20th century.

“I am the son of a Nation which its neighbors have condemned to death several times, but which has survived and remained itself,” John Paul II said at an address to UNESCO; “it has kept its identity in spite of partitions and foreign occupations by relying on its culture. This culture turned out in the circumstances to be more powerful than all other forces."

John Paul II understood the importance of culture and its primacy over politics and economics. Thus, the story of Poland and the story of Saint John Paul II are deeply intertwined. To pursue one is to discover the other!

Saint John Paul II

John Paul II’s message concerning the dignity of the person is needed more than ever. You’ll gain a comprehensive education in his unique insights.


Aside from the capstone course including travel to Poland, the program is offered entirely online, letting you study from anywhere, anytime.

Study Abroad

Learn about our study abroad and Pilgrimage in Poland.

About the Institute Director

Dr. John Hittinger, Director of the Saint John Paul II Institute at the University of St. Thomas, shares a wealth of education and experience in John Paul II studies

QuoteModule_250X300_Daniel Cardinal Dinardo

Daniel Cardinal Dinardo

Archbishop Of Galveston – Houston

This program provides a wonderful opportunity to study the legacy of St. John Paul II, his defense of the dignity of the human person and the centrality of religious freedom.


Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput

Order of Friars Minor Capuchin - Archbishop of Philadelphia

I'm happy to endorse this Institute for the study of Saint John Paul II, at a time when his message concerning the dignity of the person, rooted in the redemption of Christ, is more needed than ever. Throughout his work we find a depth of faith and the vigor of reason in a perfect combination for a full and authentic education. The Saint John Paul II Institute at the University of St Thomas in Houston, Texas, promises a great opportunity for such an education.


George Weigel

Distinguished Senior Fellow and William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies Ethics and Public Policy Center

The thought of Pope St. John Paul II is a great gift to the Church throughout the world. So is the St. John Paul II Institute at the University of St. Thomas in Houston. The Institute's work will help ensure that John Paul II's penetrating insights into the human condition reach the broad audience they deserve.

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