The University College of Barberán and Collán (Colegio Mayor Universitario Barberán y Collán) is connected to the public research institute Complutense University of Madrid, and is also funded by Spain’s Defence Ministry.
But some of its curriculum doesn’t seem quite typical of a publicly-funded institute.
The college is requiring its 196 students – who are all members of military families – to attend a theological conference focused on “the fields related to the devil, exorcisms, being possessed and hell”, according to newspaper El Diario.
A woman who answered the phone at the college told The Local that there was seminar about exorcism, but could not immediately confirm other details.
The seminar called “The Evil” is set to take place on Thursday evening and will be led by Father José Antonio Fortea Cucurull, author of such works as “Summa dæmoniaca” – a treatise on demonology which includes a manual for exorcists.
The session is part of a series of lectures, which fall under organized activities that the students are required to attend, unless they have a valid excuse – as signs announcing the “obligatory” exorcism lecture remind students.
While El DIario writes that the required lecture has caused some outrage among students, no one has yet submitted a formal complaint.
The school does not have to disclose its activities to the Complutense University of Madrid.
The college receives funding in two ways: from monthly fees from the students, and through a subsidy from the Defence Ministry.