General overview

In 2011 SIMI has launched the Graduate Diploma in Pastoral Care of Human Mobility as a new annual online training programme. The course is available in five languages (Italian, English, Spanish, Portuguese and German). The program is an initiative of the Scalabrini International Migration Institute, under the patronage of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and benefit of special recognition from the Fondazione Migrantes (Italia), the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO), the Fundación Comisión Católica de Migraciones (Argentina) and others academic institutions and research institutes.

The Online Diploma is a single-cycle programme consisting of six courses. All courses are offered in three languages: Italian, Spanish and English. Each course consists of ten virtual lessons, held every fortnight. For all the courses offered, the “reading course” mode is adopted, which involves the delivery of a summary or answer to some questions on the material read. A final examination is scheduled at the end of each course. The Diploma is obtained
after passing all the final examinations.

For more information:


The Diploma is offered to the following candidates:

Religious women and men, priests, seminarians and lay people already working, or preparing to work, in pastoral care with migrants, refugees, displaced persons, victims of trafficking, seafarers, itinerants and their families.

The programme is also open to those interested to work in this specific area of pastoral care.


The pre-requisites to apply for the SIMI Graduate Diploma Program are the following:

  • Age of consent (18 years);
  • High School Diploma or equivalent;
  • Sufficient pastoral experience (at least two years).

Exceptions to the above pre-requisite may be considered on specific request of the candidates and have to be explicitly mentioned in the Bishop/religious superior/parish’s presentation letter.

Description of the Program

The Online Diploma is a single-cycle programme consisting of six courses. All courses are offered in three languages: Italian, Spanish and English.

All courses are “reading courses” where face-to-face lessons are substituted by the individual reading of reference materials prepared by the professor every fortnight. This online reading course is delivered through the SIMI e-learning platform. Students will be required to show the completion of the assignment by summarising readings or by providing written answers to questions prepared by the professor. The successful completion will be determined by the passing of exams of all the courses and the final exam.

Courses are divided into common courses and elective courses.

Common courses:

Introduction to the Migration Phenomenon – F. Baggio

The Teaching of the Church and the Pastoral Care of Human Mobility – G. Campese

Pastoral Work in Migratory Contexts: Foundations and Methodologies – A. Skoda

Elective courses:

Communicating Human Migration: socio-pastoral Challenges and Perspectives – G. Beltrami

A theological Reading of the Migration Phenomenon – G. Campese

Migrations and Ethical Issues – F. Baggio

Migrations in the Bible: Human Experience and God’s Design – E. Chavez Dias

Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in the Context of Migration – C. Boca

Pastoral Care in an Inclusive and Intercultural Perspective – A. Skoda



The current edition has over 100 students, including around 80 religious sisters who are training to assist migrants, refugees, and their families, as well as victims of trafficking and seafarers. The countries represented in the program include Germany, Argentina, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Spain, the Philippines, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Uganda, and Venezuela.


The current edition has 72 students enrolled, residing in 17 different countries (Argentina, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Philippines, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, United Kingdom, Spain, Taiwan, Uganda, Venezuela).


The tenth edition counted 58 students enrolled, residing in 10 different countries (Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Philippines, Italy, Switzerland, Tasmania, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Venezuela).


The ninth edition of the Diploma counted 51 students enrolled, residing in 16 different countries (Albania, Argentina, Antilles, Cameroon, Colombia, Philippines, Italy, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, United States, South Africa, Switzerland, Ukraine).


The eighth edition of the Diploma counted 67 students enrolled, residing in 14 different countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ivory Coast, Philippines, India, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, Uganda, United States).


There are several enrolment modes:

Ordinary – is the normal mode of enrolment and provides for the awarding of the Diploma upon successful completion of all courses;

Guest – allows you to follow the courses without carrying out the required tasks and final examinations with a simple certificate of attendance.

Exceptionally, it is also possible to attend one or two courses at will, with a certificate of attendance.

Students are requested to pay a tuition fees, which includes the academic taxes, access to the e-learning platform, reading materials in PDF and the official diploma. Tuition fees would vary depending on the country where the applicant is based. For emerging countries there are scholarships available.

In order to asses properly all the enrollment requests, SIMI requires candidates to duly complete the form in the box below.

The courses take place from October to June.

Enrolment closes in October.


Missionary priest of the Scalabrinian Congregation, under-secretary of the Section for Migrants and Refugees of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
Professor at Pontifical Urbaniana University, Caterina Boca collaborate with Caritas Italy and Fondazione Migrantes
Gioacchino Campese Scalabrinian missionary and professor of Theology of Human Mobility at Pontifical Urbaniana University
Scalabrinian Missionary, responsabile dell’Ufficio Comunicazione dei missionari Scalabriniani (UCoS)
Cavez Missionary Sister, professor of Biblical Theology and Human Mobility at Pontifical Urbaniana University
Scalabrinian missionary, professor of Pastoral Theology of Human Mobility at Pontifical Urbaniana University