Welcome! I am new to the blogging world, so I hope you will help me out.
I am an alumnus of the International Theological Institute, now located in Trumau, Austria (formerly, it was in beautiful Gaming, where it shared a campus with Franciscan University and Ave Maria). The ITI has an excellent reputation and is renowned for its theological programs, which have an emphasis on marriage and family, as well as Eastern Catholicism. Historically, it has had some of the best theological faculty in the English speaking world who are known for their fidelity to the Church and the magisterium. It is a place that I loved to be at during my time there, and was instrumental in my formation as a Catholic (especially divine liturgy in the beautiful byzantine chapel). The people I met at the ITI are lifelong friends, and, many of those who continue to work there are truly faithful Catholics who are trying to make the ITI a wonderful place.
However, things have been “rotten in the state of Austria” for some time now, owing to drastic changes in the leadership of the Institute, at the behest of Cardinal Schönborn. The ITI has managed to keep up the appearance of growth and continued excellence, while (from the reports I have been receiving) things have never been worse. An example is the recent listing of the ITI on Cardinal Newman Society’s “Newman Guide”, while at the same time the new president has been laying off core faculty systematically since his appointment in January of 2014. It does make one wonder whether the Newman Guide has any due diligence in their selection of colleges for their Guide! The report I hear is that many students are very unhappy and thinking of leaving.
This blog will be an effort to inform those people considering going to the ITI the truth about the Institute as it is currently, as well as historically, both the good and the bad, so that you might make an informed decision before going to the Institute expecting one thing, only to be surprised to find it is nothing like the place which has been described to you. Reports come from current and former students who share information with me about their time at the ITI, both the good and the bad.
If you are considering going to the ITI and have questions, or if you went to the ITI (or currently attend) and would like to contribute stories or details, please write me. I will try to ensure that what is put on this blog is the truth about the ITI, and the people involved in its running. For the sake of protecting current and former students, I will not mention them by name.
In order to preserve anonymnity, all posts are scheduled and in GMT, so that the various contributors’ locations might not be ascertained.