The Institute of Religion (UST-IR) was established in June 1933 when a reorganization of all Religion classes in the University of Santo Tomas took place.
From the foundation of the University in 1611 up to close of the 19th century, the administration could not see the need of a department specifically dedicated to the task of coordinating the formal and practical religious instruction of the University students. Religion, then, was the very core of the education of the youth within or outside the campus. It was an important part of the curriculum required by the education authorities of the country.
The Institute was organized and headed by the Very Rev. Fr. Francisco del Rio, O.P. in 1933. The task of appointing and forming faculty members teaching Religion as well as the preparation of the curriculum and coordination of the religious projects and activities constituted its basic functions.
After the war, like the University, the Institute resumed full operations.
Presently, the Institute of Religion is entrusted with the responsibility of providing the students with a Catholic education through academic instruction in the different curricular offerings of Theology in the civil faculties and colleges. There are currently five course offerings:
Theology 1 (THY 1) Salvation History
Theology 2 (THY2) Church and Sacraments
Philosophy 5 (PHL5) Christian Ethics
Sociology 3 (SCL3) The Social Teachings of the Church
Sociology 9 (SCL9) Marriage and Family.
This education is founded in the Scriptures, Church teachings and Thomistic tradition. As an integral element of its mission-vision statement, the Institute of Religion endeavors to form young Christian professionals who are inspired by the values of the Gospel and are committed to bring about meaningful changes in society.
The Institute of Religion is under the Vice-Rector for Religious Affairs (VRRA), working in collaboration with other offices under the VRRA, namely, the Center for Campus Ministry (CCM) and the Office for Community Development (OCD).