The Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI) is a study and research center founded by the Society of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) in 1926 in Tunisia and has been educating students in Rome since 1964. PISAI trains students in the theological, spiritual, and cultural aspects of Islam, equipping them to participate in informed dialogue with Muslims in academic, civil, and religious-pastoral settings. PISAI offers second- and third-cycle degrees, with academic programs leading to an ecclesiastical licentiate and/or a doctorate in Arabic and Islamic Studies. The curriculum is based on the in-depth study of Arabic, a necessary tool in the study of the fundamental texts of Islam. Courses in Islamic sciences seek to present the history and intellectual traditions of Islam, both classical and modern, in an objective, scientific way.
The students at PISAI, both lay and religious, come from all over the world. At the end of their course of study, many become actively involved in promoting positive relations with the Muslim community.