John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II
Latin: Universitas Catholica Lublinensis Ioannis Pauli II
Type Private Catholic university
Established 27 July 1918
Religious affiliation
Catholic Church
Rector Miroslaw Kalinowski
Students 19 000
Al. Racławickie 14, 20–950
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Affiliations EUA

John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (Polish: Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II, Latin: Universitas Catholica Lublinensis Ioannis Pauli II), established in 1918, is the third oldest functioning university in Poland. It is the only private college in Poland with the status of a "university".


Father Idzi Radziszewski founded the university in 1918. Vladimir Lenin allowed the priest to take the library and equipment of the Saint Petersburg Roman Catholic Theological Academy to Poland to launch the university just as Poland regained its independence.[1]

The aim of the university was to be a modern place of higher education which would conduct research in the spirit of harmony between science and faith. The university sought to produce a new Catholic intelligentsia which would play a leading role in .[citation needed]

The number of students increased from 399 in 1918–1919 to 1440 in 1937–1938.[citation needed] This growth was interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War and Nazi Germany's occupation of Poland. Of all the universities located in the German occupied territory, the University of Lublin was the only one to resume work in October 1939. On 23 November 1939, the Nazis executed a number of academic workers, among others, professors Michał Niechaj and Czesław Martyniak.[2]

The university was ordered shut down and its buildings were converted into a military hospital.[3] Nevertheless, the university carried on its teaching activities in secret. After the invasion of Lublin in July 1944 by the Red Army, the university reopened on 21 August 1944.[citation needed]

Since then the university has functioned without interruption. The university stayed open during the years Poland was under Communist control between 1944 and 1989, though some of its faculties did not. The faculties of law, social science and education were shut down between 1953 and 1956.[1] It was the only independent, Catholic university in existence in the entire Soviet bloc. Given that the Communist governments all insisted on having a total monopoly of control over educational institutions, the preservation of its independence was a great achievement.[4]

The university was often harassed in various ways by the Communist authorities, especially in the 1950s and the 1960s. The university faculty were under frequent surveillance by the secret police. Periodically some faculties were denied by the state the right to grant graduate degrees. The employment prospects of its graduates were limited.[citation needed]

Despite the difficulties, the university's independence was maintained and it never adopted Marxist dogmas taught at all the other state universities. It served as a haven for students who were expelled from state universities for political reasons.[4]

After the fall of Communism in Poland in 1989 the university has flourished, quadrupling its student population and greatly expanding its campus. In 2010 the university was involved in a scandal concerning the granting of PhDs by departments which were not allowed to grant them, due to not having the sufficient number of academic staff.[5]

In October, Professor Fr. Andrzej Szostek, a Marian order priest who studied with the future Pope John Paul II, resigned from the University in protest to the University's decision to reprimand fellow-priest and ethics professor Alfred Wierzbicki for publicly questioning a recent Bishops’ Conference statement on LBGT issues.[6] Szostek had also served as the University's rector between 1998 and 2004, while Wierzbicki served as head of the University's John Paul II Institute.[6]

Celtic studies

University Library

The Institute of English Studies at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin offers courses connected with Celtic cultures and languages as part of BA and MA courses in the Department of Celtic Studies. The Department was founded in 1989.

A student of Celtic Studies can choose between courses in Old English, Celtic History and Culture, Celtic Linguistics, and Irish and Welsh Literatures. BA students may opt for learning Irish and Welsh. There are also Celtic Days that have been taking place since 2004. The event has two parts, namely the academic (lectures, presentations, language workshops), and the artistic one (dance workshops, concerts).


The University has had a steady advance in University rankings. In 2011, it was placed 8th among all Polish universities.[7] Also in 2011, Wprost magazine ranked it 15th[8] among humanity universities. Before that, in 2006 Newsweek Polska ranked the university 54th[9] among all Polish universities.

In 2011–12, the university's philosophy program was ranked first in Poland by the Polish Accreditation Agency, distinguished twice, receiving 9 million PLN total in grants that year as a result.[citation needed]

Notable alumni and professors

See also