In 1954 the Department of History of a Sacred Art was founded within the Warsaw Theological Academy. The priest, prof. dr hab. Janusz Stanislaw Pasierb was the department director for many years. In the 60s, the department was redefined - first a History of Sacred Art specialization, and next it became History of Sacred Art at the Faculty of Church Historical and Social Science ATK. In 1999 Theological Academy became the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw
In 2002 an Art History Institute was founded as an independent research and didactic unit. It has become a leader in its category of academic centers. An Art History Institute was awarded the prestigious Quality of Education Certificate, issued by the Conference of Rectors of Universities in Poland. This Certificate confirms the high quality of a didactic offer. The Institute also received a positive grade of a National Accreditation Commission.
Since the academic year 2012/2013 Art History Institute has been conducting studies regarding Cultural Heritage and Environment Protection. Professors of an Art History Institute are well known specialists, on both national and international level. Besides their usual didactic mission, they realize a lot of Academic programs, which are sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, along with the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. These days a didactic offer of an Institute covers two fields of study - an Art History (full-time and part-time program) and Cultural Heritage and Environment Protection (full-time program). There is both bachelor and master degree of those faculties. The program of both fields is strictly monitored by an Art History Institute Council and by Stakeholders. There is also a specialist magazine published under the auspices of the Institute - „Series Byzantina. Studies on Byzantine and Post-ByzantineArt”. In 2015 there was a new magazine founded - „Novus Artifex. Magazine of IHS UKSW".
Thanks to the MOST program, the students of an Art History Institute have the opportunity to study also on other universities (Jagiellonian University, Catholic University of Lublin). Also, thanks to ERASMUS scholarship they are given a chance to study in the foreign countries, such as Greece, Netherlands, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Slovakia, Romania, Switzerland and England.
Students can enrich their academic activity through academic groups. Academic groups are dedicated to lecture organizing, as well as field events (regarding - among others - historical and modern architecture of Warsaw, Lodz, Mazowsze, Lviv, modern Orthodox Church architecture), academic trips (Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia) and exhibitions in "Przy Automacie Galley". The academic group of an Art History Institute has been publishing "Artifex" magazine since 1999, in which, students and doctoral candidates publish their own papers on the historical art. Since 1998 there are academic camps, during which students do the inventory work on the national heritage sites on Podole and Lithuania.