Faculty of Canon Law


The Faculty of Canon Law is an academic entity that pertains to “SagesseUniversity” in Beirut – Lebanon.

 This faculty is affiliated to the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, it is therefore considered as the unique Canon law faculty to deliver its teachings to students in Lebanon and neighbouring countries.

 It delivers a canonical formation destined to clergy as well as to non-religious students, in view of a juridical and jurisdictional mission within the Church.


 Through its affiliation with the Pontifical Lateran University, the graduate from this faculty can, among other things, occupy the function of judge or juridical counsellor within the ecclesiastic catholic tribunals around the world.




Since its foundation in 1875, the Sagesse Superior Institute for law has been faithful to the mission of the Catholic Church, as well as to the spirit of research undertaken, in an era of openness and dialogue. A mission wanted and defended by Mgr. Youssef Debs, Maronite Archbishop of Beirut at the time, and founder of the Institute.


Since then, the Superior Institute of La Sagesse has become “Université la Sagesse”; and given the Lebanese context and the multiplicity of personal status and religious tribunals, the Chancellor of La Sagesse, Mgr. Paul Matar, actual Archbishop of Beirut, judged that one of the duties of his Institute was to deliver the teaching of canon law, a teaching highly claimed by the pastors of the church. This decision followed the promulgation by Pope Jean Paul II, in October 1990, of the new Code of Canon law for the oriental Churches.

Through this constitution, our archbishop evokes “the faithfulness” of La Sagesse to the first teachings of Christian law, as well as Muslim law that has been provided and renowned since the beginning. And if it is true that an academic institution can only gain consistence through a well established academic tradition, then the teaching of canon law at La Sagesse is inscribed in the secular tradition and is therefore rightly at its place.

It is in a context of openness and cooperation with the Universal Church that the connection with the Pontifical Lateran University gave to Sagesse University a new dimension. 
Indeed, the affiliation was acquired on January 3rd, 2000, in virtue of a decree of the congregation for Catholic education. This affiliation with the University of the Pope carries at the same time an “honour and a burden, responsibilities”.
Therefore, this faculty is considered as the unique Canon Law Faculty in the region, delivering teachings to students in Lebanon and the Middle-East.

Motifs et Objectifs

The existence of a Faculty of Canon Law in a country like Lebanon carries a particular importance in view of the multiplicity of personal status and religious jurisdictions. The latter, in each community, occupy a central place in the religious practice of the faithful, and more importantly in the civil life of the citizens.
This particular context makes indispensable an academic formation of generations of canonists, based on a master of the Church, an engagement to serve the people of God, and motivated by the promulgation in October 1990 of the new Code of Canon Law for the oriental Churches.
All those elements have imposed the creation of a faculty, delivering these teachings; a faculty proclaimed by the fathers of the Church, in an oriental context, open to the mutations and to modernity.