Even by Ukrainian standards, the history of the Ukrainian Catholic University is complicated.
The university’s predecessor, the Greek Catholic Theological Academy, was founded in Lviv, Ukraine, in 1928-9 to provide a good spiritual and intellectual basis for young men studying for the priesthood.
The Soviets closed the academy in 1944 and many of its students and staff were persecuted. Some were martyred.
After spending 18 years in Soviet prison camps, Patriarch Josyf Slipyj, head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, was banished from the Soviet Union. In 1963 he founded a prototype Ukrainian Catholic University in Rome.
In 1994, former students of Patriarch Josyf traveled to Ukraine and helped revive the Lviv Theological Academy, which now also educated nuns and lay people. This was the first time lay women were able to study theology in Ukraine.
In 2002, the academy became the Ukrainian Catholic University, adding graduate-level programs and a major in history.
The university continues to expand its programs.