Jesuit Studies Certificate program adds courses and flexibility

Casey Beaumier, S.J.

Casey Beaumier, S. J. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

The Certificate in Jesuit Studies program is marking its fifth year this summer with an expansion of course offerings and an increase in flexibility, among other changes.

Organized by the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies, the Certificate in Jesuit Studies combines pilgrimages in Spain and Rome with graduate-level coursework to offer students a deep, informed understanding of the spirituality, history, pedagogy, and leadership methods of the Society of Jesus — a one-of-its-kind program not offered at any other Jesuit college or university, according to IAJS Director Casey Beaumier, S.J.

Having expanded from nine to 15 credits, the Certificate in Jesuit Studies program now offers courses online and throughout the year.

Previously, the certificate program took place only in the summer: Participants spent the first half on an immersion pilgrimage in Spain and Italy and the second half on campus in the classroom.

"It was intense," said Fr. Beaumier, who also is vice president and University secretary at BC. "We found that not everyone interested in our program could commit to six weeks in the summer. This new arrangement is much more accommodating.

"The goal is to maintain depth in Jesuit history, spirituality, and pedagogy, and increase accessibility," he added, "all which makes BC the go-to place for all things related to Jesuit Studies."

Beginning this fall, a new online course on Jesuit pedagogy will be taught by IAJS Research Scholar Cristiano Casalini, a global expert in pedagogy and curriculum.

Casalini has worked closely with the staff of the Center for Teaching Excellence on the creation of the online course.

"The Center for Teaching Excellence has been an outstanding partner," said Fr. Beaumier. "Their operation is impressive and they're designing a course that will keep people really engaged."

An online course in Jesuit history, taught by IAJS Associate Director Seth Meehan, will be offered in the spring of 2019, followed by an on-campus course in Jesuit spirituality in the summer and an online course on the Spiritual Exercises in the fall. Future courses will focus on other topics such as discernment and social justice.


"The goal is to maintain depth in Jesuit history, spirituality, and pedagogy, and increase accessibility," Fr. Beaumier added, "all which makes BC the go-to place for all things related to Jesuit Studies."

The new format also means that the certificate program offerings are available à la carte for those interested in a course or two in a specific subject area.

To earn the Certificate in Jesuit Studies, students are required to complete the immersion course and the leadership seminar.

In the summer immersion course, students trace the early Jesuits' footsteps through Spain and Italy and learn about the foundation of the Society of Jesus through daily readings, presentations, writing assignments and regular seminars.

Open only to those students who have completed four other courses in the program, the leadership seminar is the final requirement for the certificate. It will be a hybrid course incorporating online readings and discussion exploring contemporary leadership theories with a week-long seminar at BC.

To learn more, see the institute's web site at www.bc.edu/iajs

—Kathleen Sullivan | University Communications | May 2018