The School of Theology and Ministry, which marks the end of its first decade having established itself among the world’s leaders in theology, divinity, and religious studies, will formally celebrate its 10th anniversary on Sept. 20 with a Mass and an address by best-selling author James Martin, S.J.

The anniversary celebration will begin at 12:15 p.m. with a Mass at St. Ignatius Church. University President William P. Leahy, S.J., will preside and Timothy P. Kesicki, S.J., president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the U.S., will deliver the homily. All members of the University community are welcome to attend.

Fr. James Martin

Fr. James Martin (Jean Chisser)

That evening, best-selling author James Martin, S.J., editor-at-large for America magazine and a frequent media commentator, will be presented with STM’s first-ever Alumni Distinguished Service Award. Fr. Martin, who recently marked 30 years in the Society of Jesus, is the author of several books, including The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, My Life with the Saints, and Between Heaven and Mirth. Last month, Fr. Martin gave a talk at the Vatican’s World Meeting of Families in Dublin. 

Immediately preceding the award presentation, Fr. Martin will deliver the inaugural Daniel J. Harrington, S.J., Alumni Lecture at Robsham Theater at 7 p.m. Fr. Martin is expected to discuss his theological education and formation, how it has shaped his ministry, and what he sees as the most pressing needs for ministry in the world today. [Note: This event has reached capacity but will stream live on facebook.]

The lecture’s namesake is the renowned New Testament scholar and STM professor Daniel J. Harrington, S.J., who died in 2014. Fr. Martin was a student of Fr. Harrington’s, and dedicated his book, Jesus: A Pilgrimage, to his friend and mentor.

Since its founding in 2008, STM has developed into an internationally respected center of Catholic theological and ministerial education, noted STM Dean Thomas D. Stegman, S.J. “STM is now mentioned in the same conversation as schools that have been around for hundreds of years, like Harvard and Yale. Being in that company—within such a relatively short amount of time—speaks volumes about the quality of the education and the people at STM.”

STM is a key element in advancing Boston College toward its goal of becoming the world’s leading Catholic university and theological center. The 2018 QS World University Rankings placed Boston College sixth among the world’s top universities in theology, divinity, and religious studies. It is the highest-ranked Catholic institution.

The rapid ascension of STM into the ranks of top-tier theological schools is due in large part to its distinguished faculty, whose quality is evident not only in their individual scholarship in fields such as Biblical studies, Church history, systematics, moral theology, religious education, and pastoral studies, but also in the two all-faculty book projects, Hope: Promise, Possibility, and Fulfillment and The Holy Spirit: Setting the World on Fire.

Community is a distinctive characteristic of STM. Students work together to engage theological and pastoral questions in the classroom and beyond. The entire STM community gathers together every Thursday for liturgy and a shared lunch. These opportunities create a welcoming, closely-knit community that celebrates its diversity and its shared commitment to faith and service.

STM’s dedicated, holistic approach to formation, rooted in the Jesuit ideal of cura personalis (care for the whole person), was recognized as a model program by the Association of Theological Schools during STM’s accreditation.

“We want our graduates to be leaders and agents of transformation in the Church and in the world,” noted Fr. Stegman. “Therefore, we are very intentional about all aspects of our students’ formation, including intellectual, pastoral, spiritual, and personal.” 

STM is highlighting the work of Fr. Martin all semester, including through a four-week online course via its Crossroads program titled “The Best of James Martin, S.J. in America.” The course provides participants with an opportunity to discuss America articles by Fr. Martin and how his reflections and commentary might shape an idea of Christian living in today’s world.

Next month, Crossroads will launch a five-week online book club focused on Fr. Martin’s most recent book, Building a Bridge.

“This year will be an exciting one for the School of Theology and Ministry as we celebrate the accomplishments of our first 10 years,” added Fr. Stegman. “We also look forward to creating new ways to live out Boston College’s strategic directions—especially in the areas of formation and of service to the Church locally, nationally, and globally.”


--Kathleen Sullivan | University Communications