The Center for Cistercian and Monastic Studies encourages and facilitates research on all aspects of the Cistercian tradition and in the broader field of religious traditions. It was established in 2010 as a research center under the aegis of the Medieval Institute as the successor to the Institute of Cistercian Studies, which had been founded in 1973 as a cooperative venture between Western Michigan University and Cistercian Publications, Inc. Through the Center, the Medieval Institute offers a Graduate Certificate in the History of Monastic Movements, which is open to students enrolled in a graduate degree program at WMU.
The Center sponsored eleven sessions at the 48th International Congress on Medieval Studies (2013) on a variety of topics pertaining to the medieval history of the Cistercian order, all organized by its director, E. Rozanne Elder. In addition, the Center co-sponsored with the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture of the University of York a panel discussion on teaching monasticism.
Photograph: View of Maulbronn Abbey