John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

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(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
Rector Antoni Debinski
Students 19 000
Address Al. Racławickie 14, 20–950, Lublin, Poland
Affiliations EUA

Catholic University of Lublin (in Polish Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II, or KUL) is located in Lublin, Poland. Presently it has an enrollment of over 19,000 students. It has eight faculties: Theology, Philosophy, Law, Canon Law and Administration, Social Sciences, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Humanities, Legal and Economic Sciences in Tomaszów Lubelski, Social Sciences in Stalowa Wola. 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 Polish society.[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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed] 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.[4]

Celtic studies[edit]

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).


In 2006 Newsweek Polska ranked the university 54th[5] among all Polish universities. Another magazine, Wprost, ranked it 15th[6] among humanity universities. In 2011, it placed 8th among all Polish universities.[7]

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[edit]

  • Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyła), the most famous person associated with the university. Wojtyła earned a licentiate in theology in July 1947, and successfully defended his doctoral thesis entitled Doctrina de fide apud S. Ioannem a Cruce (Doctrine of Faith in St. John of the Cross) in philosophy on 19 June 1948 at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum in Rome.[8] Although his doctoral work was unanimously approved in June 1948, he was denied the degree because he could not afford to print the text of his dissertation (an Angelicum rule). In December of that year, a revised text of his dissertation was approved by the theological faculty of Jagiellonian University in Kraków, and Wojtyła was finally awarded the degree. He became a part-time teacher of philosophy at KUL starting in 1954, sharing his time between teaching in Lublin and doing his pastoral work in Kraków. After he became archbishop of Kraków in 1963 and a cardinal in 1967, his duties limited the time he was able to spend teaching in Lublin, and his students often commuted to his lectures in Kraków. His involvement with the university continued until he was elected pope in 1978. All of his philosophical works were published in Lublin.
  • Stefan Wyszyński, Cardinal Primate of Poland
  • Servant of God Jacek Woroniecki (1878-1949), theologian, philosopher, Dominican lecturer at the University of Lublin in moral theology, rector of the university from 1922 to 1924. Woroniecki was the author of more than 70 works in moral theology and pedagogy. 22 August 1929 he was appointed professor of moral theology and pedagogy at the Pontifical Angelicum University in Rome Dominican, the future Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum.
  • Mieczysław Albert Krąpiec, the leading exponent of the Lublin School of Philosophy. Krąpiec received a Doctorate in philosophy under Jacek Woroniecki OP entitled De naturali amore Dei super omnia in creatura from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum in Rome in 1946, and a doctorate in theology De amore hypostatico in Sanctissima Trinitate secundum Thomam Aquinatem, Catholic University of Lublin, 1948.[9] He served as professor of philosophy at Lublin, and was Rector Magnificus of the university from 1970 to 1983.
  • Michał Heller, priest, academic
  • Józef Życiński, priest, academic

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Weigel, George (2001). Witness of Hope – The Biography of Pope John Paul II. HarperCollins. 
  2. ^ Adam Redzik. "Polish Universities During the Second World War". Encuentros de Historia Comparada Hispano-Polaca Conference. 2004.
  3. ^ R. Sikorski, L. Kowieski. "Reception and Assimilation of Innovative Medical Ideas in Poland in the 19th and early 20th Centuries". Clinical Teaching, Past and Present. Vol. 21. No. 1/4. 1987-88, pg. 101.
  4. ^ "Czy wydział KUL umie liczyć do dziesięciu?",; retrieved 12 October 2011.(Polish)
  5. ^ "Ranking uczelni wg Newsweeka (Polish)". Retrieved on 12 October 2011.
  6. ^ "Studia w Polsce B, Potęga statystyk",; retrieved 12 October 2011.(Polish)
  7. ^ "Ranking Szkół Wyższych – edycja 2011",; retrieved 12 October 2011.(Polish)
  8. ^ Doctrina de fide apud S. Ioannem a Cruce,; accessed 6 October 2012.
  9. ^ "Praeambula Fidei" e nuova apologetica", Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor Communis, fasc. 1-2, 18-19 (2008); accessed 24 February 2016.(Italian)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°14′52″N 22°32′41″E / 51.24778°N 22.54472°E / 51.24778; 22.54472