Boston College is ranked fifth among the world's top universities—and first among Catholic institutions—in Theology, Divinity & Religious Studies, a subject area of the 2017 QS World University Rankings, which were released on March 7.

Theology, Divinity & Religious Studies is one of four subjects making a first appearance this year in the QS World Rankings, which aim to help prospective students identify the world’s leading schools in their chosen field. Rankings are based on academic reputation, employer reputation, and research impact.

Rounding out the top 10 are Harvard University, Oxford, Durham and Cambridge universities in Great Britain, Boston College, Yale University,  Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, Duke University,  KU Leuven in Belgium, Princeton University and the University of Toronto.

Provost and Dean of Faculties David Quigley said the recognition is a testament to the University's well- earned reputation as a world leader in theological studies.

"Our 2006 Strategic Plan committed Boston College to becoming the world’s leading Catholic university and theological center,” said Quigley. “The QS World Rankings in Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies offer powerful evidence of the quality and impact of our world-class programs in the Morrissey College and in the School of Theology and Ministry.”

“I'm delighted, though not entirely surprised, to learn of this ranking,” said School of Theology and Ministry Dean Thomas Stegman, S.J.  “The School of Theology and Ministry takes learned ministry most seriously. Good theology undergirds effective ministry, which is reflected in this global ranking.”

Theology Department chair Richard Gaillardetz, holder of the University's Joseph Chair in Catholic Systematic Theology, offered a similar assessment.

"Our ranking as the fifth-best university in the world for the study of theology, divinity and religious studies, and our status as the number one-ranked Catholic institution, offers a welcome recognition of the extraordinary faculty, students, academic programs and resources that we have gathered together here at Boston College," said Gaillardetz.

The School of Theology and Ministry prepares lay and religious graduate students from all over the world for careers and vocations within the Church and beyond. Its graduates pursue leadership positions where their strong theological foundation and professional preparation support mission-based careers. The STM enjoys a 95 percent job placement rate for all graduates within six months of graduation. Its faculty, with the faculty of Boston College's Theology Department, together make up the largest faculty at a Catholic theological school in North America.

Both the STM faculty and that of the Theology Department are widely recognized for their research and scholarship.

The Theology Department, within the University's Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, provides undergraduate and graduate students with the knowledge and skills necessary for reasoned reflection on their own values, faith and tradition, as well as on the religious forces that shape today's society and world. The department’s five primary areas of research include biblical studies, historical theology/history of Christianity, comparative theology, systematic theology, and theological ethics.

QS rankings are prepared by British firm Quacquarelli Symonds, considered to be among the most influential providers of international university rankings.

—University Communications