Notre Dame, America's top Catholic university, has agreed to create a spiritual centre with the Benedictine community at Kylemore Abbey in Co Galway.
The university said it has formed a partnership to create a centre to advance "shared spiritual, cultural and educational missions".
Kylemore Abbey - which belongs to the Benedictine order and housed a girls' boarding school until 2010 - now looks set to get a new lease of life.
The university said the programmes "will draw both upon the rich tradition of Benedictine spirituality and the academic rigour of Notre Dame" from next year.
The abbess of Kylemore, Maire Hickey, said she has "high hopes that this partnership will yield rich fruits for generations to come".
The partnership is being supported by Martin Naughton, a billionaire Irish businessman who founded consumer electrical goods firm Glen Dimplex. Mr Naughton has already helped fund the university's Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies.
Notre Dame has a partnership in Dublin to provide academic and intellectual hubs where students and leaders from government and business gather to discuss issues.