The University will launch a new yearlong immersive education program for adults seeking academic study, reflection, and the opportunity to consider the next chapter in their life’s journey.
The program, called Boston College Companions, will provide a distinctive formative learning experience for 15 to 20 individuals, called Fellows, when it begins in January 2024. The Fellows will audit undergraduate and graduate courses across the University’s eight schools and colleges, and have access to campus offerings, including lectures, art exhibits, athletic events, and academic symposia. They will also have opportunities to meet with senior administrators, deans, and faculty, and will be paired with a faculty advisor to help shape their future goals beyond the year in Chestnut Hill.
“The goal of the Boston College Companions program is to welcome a small cohort of accomplished professionals into our community to learn, reflect, and discern what the future holds for them through courses, meetings, and conversations with faculty, the larger campus community, and their peers,” said Provost and Dean of Faculties David Quigley. “This program is a powerful expression of Boston College’s commitment to formative education—in this case focusing on lifelong learning and dialogue.“
Boston College Companions builds on established adult learning programs at other leading colleges and universities, including Harvard, Stanford, and Notre Dame, by offering distinctive components of Jesuit spirituality and pedagogy that will help participants grow in discernment and sense of purpose. In addition to academic courses, weekly group discussions, guest lectures, and social gatherings, the program will provide opportunities for retreats, service learning, guided conversations, and spiritual direction, including a pilgrimage to Spain and Italy to learn more about the life of Jesuit founder St. Ignatius of Loyola, and an optional five-day silent retreat.
With an emphasis on building community and lasting relationships, the Companions program will encourage individuals to share their life stories and engage with fellow participants in mutually enriching conversations that include reflecting on their lives and planning for a meaningful future. Fellows will also benefit from classroom interactions with current students, creating intergenerational dialogue that will enrich all members of the BC community.
“This new program is intended to assist adults who are entering the next phase of their lives and looking to renew themselves through coursework, reflection, and spiritual engagement, said Haub Vice President for University Mission and Ministry Jack Butler, S.J. “It combines the best of what Boston College offers as a Jesuit, Catholic university committed to formative education, and makes it accessible to individuals searching for a transformative experience.”
More information about the Boston College Companions program is available at bc.edu/companions.
Jack Dunn | University Communications | February 2023