The Faculty of Sacred Theology is as old as the University itself because the Foundational Act of the University on April 28, 1611 stated the establishment of a colegio-seminario (Villaroel 2012, p.37). The permission to confer academic degrees was granted in 1619 and the first graduates were given their academic degrees in 1629 or 1630 (Villaroel 2012, p. 52). The Brief In Supereminenti, given on November 20, 1645 during the Pontificate of Innocent X, elevated the Colegio into a University whose granted degrees are to be recognized as valid anywhere. This recognition also allows those who are not pursuing an ecclesiastical career to apply for degrees in the University of Santo Tomas.
Throughout centuries, the Ecclesiastical Faculty of Sacred Theology has produced prominent personalities including martyrs, saints and heroes. Among the Thomasian martyrs who died during the persecution of the Christians in Japan and Vietnam, and during the civil war in Spain, were professors and graduates of the Faculty.
Being one of the only two Ecclesiastical Faculties of Theology in the Philippines, the UST Faculty of Sacred Theology assists other institutes, schools or seminaries through the process of Affiliation, Aggregation or Incorporation that allows these non-Pontifical schools / seminaries / institutes to offer Ecclesiastical degrees in Theology. Currently, the Faculty of Sacred Theology has four Affiliated schools/seminaries (Holy Rosary Major Seminary of the Archdiocese of Caceres, Immaculate Conception School of Theology of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia, Recoletos School of Theology of the Augustinian Recollects, and the Dominican Center of Studies of the Dominicans in Vietnam). It also has one Aggregated Institute, the College of Theology of the Catholic University of Korea (Seoul, South Korea), and one Incorporated Institute (Institute for Consecrated Life in Asia of the Claretian Missionaries in Quezon City, Philippines).
Together with the other two Ecclesiastical Faculties of the University of Santo Tomas, the Faculty of Sacred Theology has contributed to the intellectual formation of the members of the present-day Catholic hierarchy and clergy in the Local Church of the Philippines and other Asian countries particularly Bangladesh, China, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. Some countries from Africa (Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zimbabwe) and Oceania (particularly Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu) also send their seminarians and priests to complete their degrees in the Philippines’ oldest existing Ecclesiastical Faculties.
The Faculty of Sacred Theology is an integral part of the University of Santo Tomas. Other specialized Institutes may be established under the jurisdiction of the Dean.
The Faculty of Sacred Theology aims to:
The Faculty of Sacred Theology is governed by the following laws:
In addition, the Faculty is governed by the following regulations:
The Faculty is under the patronage of Saint Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican priest and doctor of the Church. A renowned philosopher and theologian, he is the patron of the University of Santo Tomas itself and of all Catholic students and universities. His feastday is observed every January 28.