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From its beginning the Santa Sabina studium played the special role of frequently providing papal theologians from among its members.The office of Master of the Sacred Palace has always been entrusted to a Friar of the Order of Preachers since its institution with Saint Dominic by Pope Honorius III in 1218."In the early days there was no need to study philosophy or the arts in the Order; young men entered already trained in the humanities at the university. By 1259, however, it became evident that youths entering the Order were not sufficiently trained; the new ratio studiorum of 1259 established studia philosophiae in certain provinces corresponding to the university faculty of arts." With this assignment the studium at Santa Sabina, which had been founded in 1222, was transformed into the Order's first studium provinciale with courses under Aquinas' direction beginning September 8, 1265 and featuring studia philosophiae as prescribed by Aquinas and others at the 1259 chapter of Valenciennes.This studium was an intermediate school between the studium conventuale and the studium generale.The Angelicum is administered by the Catholic Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominican Order, and is a central locus of traditional Dominican Thomist theology and philosophy.The Angelicum is coeducational and offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in theology, philosophy, canon law, and social sciences, as well as certificates and diplomas in related areas.Courses are offered in Italian and for some programs in English.
The official foundation of the Dominican studium conventuale at Rome, which would grow into the Angelicum, occurred with the legal transfer of the Santa Sabina complex from Pope Honorius III to the Order of Preachers on June 5, 1222.In 1288 the theology component of the provincial curriculum was relocated from the Santa Sabina studium provinciale to the studium conventuale at Santa Maria sopra Minerva which was redesignated as a studium particularis theologiae.