Scholastic Theologians and Their Doctoral Titles

Today is the feast of St Albert the Great who is known in the scholastic tradition as the “Doctor Magnus” or “Great Doctor.” You may know that Thomas Aquinas is the “Angelic Doctor” or that Bonaventure is the “Seraphic Doctor,” but there are many, many others. Below you’ll find the list of all the Latinate titles for notable Scholastic theologians.

I find Ockham’s title a little over-the-top: Doctor Singularis et Invincibilis. The Singular and Invincible Doctor? What! Who gave him that title? His mother?

It’s also interesting to see that John Duns Scotus (the Subtle Doctor) was one-upped by Peter of Mantua (the Most Subtle Doctor).

An interesting title is the one belonging to Johannes Wallensis: Doctor Vitae Abor (Tree of Life Doctor). Another equally esoteric title is the one for Anthony of Padua: Doctor Arca Testamenti (Ark of the Covenant Doctor).

My personal favorite title: Doctor Mellifluus for St. Bernard meaning “Doctor Who Flows Like Honey”. That title is sweet.

Here’s the list:

Doctor Abstractionum: Francis Mayron, O.F.M., 1325 or 1327.
Doctor Acutissimus: Pope Sixtus IV, 1484.
Doctor Acutus: Gabriel Vasquez, S.J., 1604.
Doctor Amoenus: Robert Cowton, O.F.M., 1340.
Doctor Angelicus: Thomas Aquinas, O.P., 1274.
Doctor Arca testamenti: Anthony of Padua, 1231.
Doctor Authenticus: Gregory of Rimini, O.S.A., 1358.
Doctor Averroista et philosophiae parens: Urbanus, O.S.M., 1403.
Doctor Beatus et fundatissimus: Giles of Rome, O.S.A., 1316.
Doctor Bonus: Walter Brinkley, O.F.M., 1310.
Doctor Christianus: Nicholas of Cusa, 1464.
Doctor Clarus: Louis of Montesinos, 1621.
Doctor Clarus ac subtilis: Denis of Cîteaux, 15th cent.
Doctor Collectivus: Landolfo Caracciolo, O.F.M., 1351.
Doctor Columna doctorum: William of Champeaux, O.S.B., 1121.
Doctor Contradictionum : Johann Wessel, 1489.
Doctor Divinus Ecstaticus: John Ruysbroeck, Can. Reg., 1381.
Doctor Doctor doctorum Scholasticus: Anselm of Laon, 1117.
Doctor Dulcifluus: Antonius Andreas, O.F.M., 1320.
Doctor Ecstaticus: Denys the Carthusian, 1471.
Doctor Eminens: John of Matha, O.Trin., 1213.
Doctor Emporium theologiae: Laurent Gervais, O.P., 1483.
Doctor Excellentissimus: Antonio Corsetti, 1503.
Doctor Eximius: Francisco Suarez, S.J., 1617.
Doctor Facundus: Petrus Aureoli, O.F.M., 1322.
Doctor Famosissimus: Petrus Alberti, O.S.B., 1426.
Doctor Famosus: Bertrand de la Tour, O.F.M., 1334.
Doctor Fertilis: Francis of Candia, O.F.M., 15th cent.
Doctor Flos mundi: Maurice O’Fiehely, O.F.M. Abp of Tuam, 1513.
Doctor Fundamentalis: Joannes Faber of Bordeaux, 1350.
Doctor Fundatissimus: Giles of Rome, 1316; Willem Hessels van Est, 1613.
Doctor Fundatus: William of Ware, O.F.M., 1270.
Doctor Illibatus: Alexander Alamannicus, O.F.M., 15th cent.
Doctor Illuminatus: Francis Mayron, O.F.M., 1325-27; Raymond Lully, O.F.M., 1315.
Doctor Illuminatus et sublimis: Joannes Tauler, O.P., 1361.
Doctor Illustratus: Franciscus Picenus, O.F.M., 14th cent.
Doctor Illustris: Adam of Marisco, O.F.M., 1308.
Doctor Inclytus: William Mackelfield, O.P., 1300.
Doctor Ingeniosissimus: Andrew of Newcastle, O.F.M., 1300.
Doctor Inter Aristotelicos Aristotelicissimus: Haymo of Faversham, O.F.M., 1244.
Doctor Invincibilis: Petrus Thomas, O.F.M., 14th cent.
Doctor Irrefragibilis: Alexander of Hales, O.F.M., 1245.
Doctor Magister Sententiarum: Peter Lombard, 1164.
Doctor Magnus: Albertus Magnus, O.P., 1280; Gilbert of Citeaux, O.Cist, 1280.
Doctor Marianus: Anselm of Canterbury, O.S.B., 1109.
Doctor Mellifluus: Bernard of Clairvaux, O.Cist, 1153.
Doctor Mirabilis: Roger Bacon, O.F.M., 1294.
Doctor Moralis: Gerard Eudo, O.F.M., 1349.
Doctor Notabilis: Pierre de l’Ile, O.F.M., 14th cent.
Doctor Ordinatissimus: Johannes de Bassolis, O.F.M., c. 1347.
Doctor Ornatissimus et sufficiens: Petrus de Aquila, O.F.M., 1344.
Doctor Parisiensis: Guy de Perpignan, O.Carm, 1342.
Doctor Planus et utilis: Nicolas de Lyre, O.F.M., 1340.
Doctor Praeclarus: Peter of Kaiserslautern, O.Praem, 1330.
Doctor Praestantissimus: Thomas Netter of Walden, O.Carm, 1431.
Doctor Profundissimus: Paul of Venice, O.S.A., 1428; Gabriel Biel, Can. Reg., 1495; Juan Alfonso Curiel, O.S.B., 1609.
Doctor Profundus: Thomas Bradwardine, 1349.
Doctor Rarus: Hervaeus Natalis.
Doctor Refulgidus: Pope Alexander V, 1410.
Doctor Resolutissimus: Durandus of Saint-Pourcain, O.P., 1334.
Doctor Resolutus: John Bacon, O.Carm., 1346.
Doctor Scholasticus: Peter Abelard, 1142; Gilbert de la Porree, 1154; Peter Lombard, 1164; Peter of Poitiers, 1205; Hugh of Newcastle, O.F.M., 1322.
Doctor Seraphicus: Bonaventure, O.F.M., 1274.
Doctor Singularis et Invincibilis: William of Occam, O.F.M., 1347 or 1359.
Doctor Solemnis: Henry of Ghent, 1293.
Doctor Solidus Copiosus: Richard of Middleton, O.F.M., 1300.
Doctor Speculativus: James of Viterbo, O.S.A., 1307.
Doctor Sublimis: Francis de Bachone, O.Carm., 1372; Jean Courte-Cuisse, 1425.
Doctor Subtilis: Duns Scotus, O.F.M., 1308.
Doctor Subtilissimus: Peter of Mantua, 14th cent.
Doctor Succinctus: Francis of Ascoli, c. 1344.
Doctor Universalis: Alanus of Lille, 1202; Gilbert, Bishop of London, 1134.
Doctor Venerabilis et Christianissimus: Jean Gerson, 1429.
Doctor Venerandus: Geoffroy de Fontibus, O.F.M., 1240.
Doctor Vitae Arbor: Johannes Wallensis, O.F.M., 1300.

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  • Christopher Stainbrook

    My good friend Taylor Marshall has written this fine article about today’s saint — St. Albert the Great

  • stefano

    John Duns Scotus — whom you like to put down — is in fact BLESSED John Duns Scotus

  • Lee faber

    Petrus Thomae is also known as “strenuus” but was actually not a doctor, just a bachelor.  John of Ripa was known as the ‘doctor supersubtilis” Most scholars today contest that f. de Mayronis is the magister abstractionum.  I suspect your list comes from Cardinal Ehrle.

  • Benedict

    It’s always good to point out that the title of Marian Doctor, given at whim by so many Catholics to many different saints, was already historically given to St. Anselm of Canterbury, and deservedly so.

  • Taylor Marshall

    Dear Stefano,

    I don’t “put down” Blessed John Duns Scotus. I pray to him regularly. I encourage others to have devotion to him (I guess you missed the post on that last week). I read his works. I love him. I think that he should be canonized as a saint – as the great defender of our Lady as the Immaculate.

    Please let me kindly suggest that you be more careful with your comments. You seem to pop in regularly and lash out at me. I don’t know why you are so keen to defame me and put me in my place. Do you see me as your enemy? Why the aggression?

    I’m happy to have you comment here, but if you’re going to accuse me and others of things that are false, then I may have to ask you to cease from posting comments. Otherwise, please continue to contribute.

    May Christ and our Immaculate Lady bless you.