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Welcome to the
Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies

Kesicki
Stained glass
IAJS class presentation
Certificate Classroom
Ganss Award
Jesuit Sources

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the website of the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College.

Founded in 2014, the Institute seeks to deepen understanding and appreciation for the history, spirituality, educational heritage, and pedagogical approaches of the Society of Jesus. We hope to serve as a dynamic and collaborative scholarly resource—both on and off the campus of Boston College—for important coursework, publications, symposia, online materials, and other programs that convey the distinctive character of the Jesuit mission.

The Institute brings to Boston College the world’s most preeminent scholars in the burgeoning field of Jesuit Studies. The Lecture Series on Jesuit Studies, which we cosponsor with the Institute for Liberal Arts, gives visiting historians, theologians, and other experts the opportunity to engage with the University’s community and the general public. We collaborate with other academic departments and programs at Boston College to host additional presentations by emerging and distinguished scholars, all of which are open to the public. Lastly, the Institute’s in-residence fellowship program facilitates the completion of academic work related to the Society of Jesus by providing scholars the necessary resources to research and publish, including access to the rich Jesuitica holdings at the University’s libraries. These distinguished scholars regularly present their findings, including to undergraduate classes, during their fellowships at Boston College.

Our Institute devotes particular attention to classwork at Boston College. Staff members teach a variety of undergraduate courses during the academic year. We offer a Certificate in Jesuit Studies each summer, a nine-credit scholarly program that utilizes travel in Europe and graduate-level coursework at Boston College as unique means for participants to critically examine the history, spirituality, and leadership methods associated with the Jesuits and their apostolates. Alumni of the certificate program include university officials, high school teachers and administrators, and Jesuit scholastics, coming from from Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Weekly seminars introduce certificate participants to some of the most important leaders of Jesuit works, to the contemporary challenges they face, and to the future opportunities they see.

The Institute’s global contributions include its International Symposia on Jesuit Studies. These scholarly conferences occur annually, alternating between Boston College and other national or international locations. They offer settings for vibrant exchanges within the global community of scholars in Jesuit Studies, crossing thematic, chronological, and disciplinary boundaries. Selected presentations from each symposium are edited and published as a volume, which we make fully available online in Open Access through Brill Academic Publishers.

The Institute, to fulfill our broad mission, is committed firmly to the policy of Open Access, thereby ensuring important scholarly materials are freely available online to everyone. The Institute is proud to sponsor such access for the Journal of Jesuit Studies, a peer-reviewed quarterly dedicated to the study of Jesuit history from the 16th to the 21st century. After its first year in Open Access, the Journal’s readership expanded significantly, increasing more than 400% from 2,575 article downloads in 2014 to 11,611 downloads in 2015.

Another substantial online initiative, also freely accessible worldwide in Open Access, is the Boston College Bibliography: The New Sommervogel. The bibliography is a database that encompasses comprehensive bibliographical information on books, chapters, articles, reviews, dissertation, and others materials related to the history of the Jesuit order.

We also strive to assist the important work done by the Jesuit networks of secondary schools and retreat programs, both in the United States and abroad. The Summer List is a guided reading program for first-year college students and high school programs that presents supplementary materials to selected Jesuit texts. A free companion guide provides a brief synopsis of the selected book, themes to consider, and questions for discussions, all of which is complemented by a variety of free online resources. Our Ever to Excel program gives high school students with the unique opportunity to visit Boston College for one week in the summer in order to learn more about Jesuit spirituality, history, and education and to deepen their faith. The Institute also offers supervised training to Boston College graduate students interested to deliver a preached retreat or to conduct group direction on themes in the Spiritual Exercises.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, the Institute is the proud home to Jesuit Sources. Founded in St. Louis in 1961, this publishing house specializes in preserving and making available to scholars around the world important texts in Jesuit history, spirituality, and pedagogy. Jesuit Sources publishes translations of both primary and secondary sources into English, and, since its inception, more than 100 volumes have seen the light of day. We recognize the historical significance of the Institute of Jesuit Sources by presenting speakers in our Lecture Series with the George E. Ganss, S.J., Award in Jesuit Studies, named in honor of its founder. In 2016, Jesuit Sources published it first volume at Boston College, Jesuit Pedagogy, 1540–1616: A Reader.

I hope you find the various emerging resources of this website and of the Institute in general of great benefit to your scholarly and personal endeavors. Please do contact our office if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Casey Beaumier, S.J.

Director, Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies