The Institute for Research on the Signs of the Times is answerable directly to the Archbishop of Malta and is run by a Board of Directors under the chairmanship of the Executive Director.
The Institute is a non-profit organisation, funded primarily by the Archdiocese of Malta without the exclusion of other sources of funding.
The Institute for Research on the Signs of the Times organises a number of think tanks, each of which provides expertise and technical support in important areas of pastoral concern. It seeks to promote collaboration with similar bodies both national and international, especially with the University of Malta. It adheres to a policy of equal opportunity and affirmative action.
DISCERN''s mission is “to promote and undertake research and formation in order to scrutinise the signs of the times and interpret them in the light of the Gospel” (Gaudium et Spes: 4), thus helping the Church''s approach to deal effectively with the expectations, longings, and often dramatic social and religious characteristics in contemporary Malta.
DISCERN seeks to monitor contemporary changes and developments both in the world and in the Church; to help the Maltese ecclesial community to ensure that pastoral decisions and actions it takes will be most relevant to contemporary needs; to initiate and develop research and other services, addressing important pastoral priorities, especially those related to faith and culture; to conduct research and projects to serve various external organizations.
In line with its core mission, the Institute works to enhance public understanding of and access to research and information on the Church''s mission by organising courses, seminars, discussion panels, lectures, internships, training, and policy programs.
The Institute offers consultancy services to Church bodies and other organisations.