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    • Matinabad, Iran
    • University of Religions and Denominations
      Qom, Iran
    • Nature Bridge
      Tehran, Iran
    • Shi'ite Ayatollah
    • Shi'a Studies Course
    • 2nd International Intensive Course on Shi'a Studies
      URD, Qom

    Shi’a Islam, with its rich and extensive history, has played a crucial role in the evolution of Islam as both a major faith and a civilization. Shi’a Muslims account for approximately 15 percent of the total Muslim population in the world; Shi’ism has the greatest influence in the contemporary Iran where the Shia Islam is the official state religion, to which more than 90 percent of the population adhere.

    Organized by the University of Religions and Denominations, the Shi’a Intensive Course endeavors to enhance scholarly attention to Shi’a Islam and offer an original and insightful understanding of its history, doctrines, and practices. Combining the classical Shi’ite thought and the current political, social and religious concerns of Shi’ite society in Iran, this program aims to offer scholarly perspectives on challenging issues that affect contemporary Iran. 

    After eight general courses of Shi’a Studies, in the 9th International Course, we have decided to focus specifically on the Status of the Shi’a Seminaries and address topics such as: the history of formation and the course of changes in the seminary; seminary schools of thought; educational, teaching and propagational systems; the place of ethics and spirituality; characteristics of women’s seminaries; the status of Marja’iyyah (religious authority) and its socio-political status in the world. 

    The Shiʿa Intensive Course gives you the chance to develop your knowledge, expand your international experience, and study unique and interesting subjects focusing on Shi’ism, Islam, and Iran. The course provides 26 hours of specialized lectures by experts of the field (along with Q & A sessions and free discussion) per week.

    Taking part in URD’s Shiʿa Intensive Course is the perfect way to enjoy one of the world’s most unique cities, Qom. Our social programs let you experience the best of the city, while our class schedule provides plenty of opportunities to explore Shi’a Islam in Iran. You could even opt for an extra 4-day cultural tour to truly immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere that Iran has to offer.

    This program is accredited by the University of Religions and Denominations. Participants will attend pre-planned workshops and lectures presented in English, and a special certificate will be awarded to each participant upon successful completion and meeting program requirements.


    Program at a Glance




    Academic Program

    Cultural Program








    Opening Ceremony

    Doctrine of Imamate

    The Formation of the Shi’a and Shi’ite Sects

    Visit to the Holy Shrine and Meeting with a Scholar




    Mahdism Doctrine

    Shi’ite Ethics and Spirituality

    The Sources of Shi’ite Thought

    Visiting Carpet Museum and Qom’s Ancient Bazar




    The Shi’a in the Contemporary World (Geography, Statistics, Interactions)

    Shi’ite  Practices and Rituals

    Shi’a and the Spread of Islamic Knowledge and Civilization

    Visiiting Khizr Mountain and Jamkaran Mosque




    The Teaching and Education System in the Seminary

    Jurisprudence and Ruling (fatwa)

    The Structure of Women’s Seminaries

    Visiting the Women’s Seminary and an Arts Center




    The Seminary’s Political Thought

    Schools of Thought in the Seminary

    Social Functions of the Clergy



    Other Programs