Mission & History

Mission Statement

The Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (STM) is an international theological center that serves the Church’s mission in the world as part of a Catholic and Jesuit university. STM is committed to the Catholic theological tradition, which encompasses academic inquiry, interdisciplinary study, ecumenical dialogue, interreligious encounter, and the engagement of faith and culture.

STM prepares its students for leadership in lay and ordained ministries and for service rooted in faith—in increasingly multicultural contexts. Theological research and reflection, spirituality, and pastoral practice are integral to the School’s life and mission.

STM offers graduate programs, including civil and ecclesiastical degrees in theology and ministry, that integrate intellectual, spiritual, pastoral, and personal formation. Drawing on the Ignatian tradition and rich diversity of its students, faculty, and staff, STM fosters a community that is contemplative, critical, and collaborative. The School reaches out to larger theological and ecclesial communities through scholarly research, timely publications, ministerial practice, and continuing education programs.

Boston College Seal

STM Tenth Anniversary

On June 1, 2018, the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry celebrated its 10th anniversary. The rich histories of both the Weston Jesuit School of Theology and the Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry at BC have provided a foundation upon which STM continues to flourish. Since its founding in 2008, STM has graduated ministers, scholars, and teachers, all of whom have left Boston College empowered to be leaders for the Church and the world.

STM will mark its 10th anniversary throughout the 2018–19 academic year.

Rigor Across Formation

The heart of the STM experience is not simply education, but formation—the honing and flourishing of one's intellectual, spiritual, ministerial, and human facets of self. These dimensions of formation are the foundation of life and culture here, and their integration and synthesis here make STM a truly unique place to study.

Academic Formation

Rooted in the Catholic and Jesuit theological traditions, rigorous scholarship is central to our mission. At STM, this intellectual formation does not occur in a vacuum—students are academically prepared with a view that what they are learning has an impact on/implications for the rest of the world. Our faculty engages students in theological scholarship that encourages both dialogue and collaboration.

Ministerial Formation

STM students are challenged to refine their ministry skills and to grow through new pastoral experiences. They serve as mentors and leaders on campus for a variety of undergraduate programs, and beyond BC in parishes across Boston, leading Confirmation, RCIA, and other faith formation programs. Students bring diverse experiences, interests, and degrees into the classroom, which shape and inform their conversations. Future pastoral ministers are invited to delve more deeply into the theology behind the ministry they hope to provide, while pre-doctoral and doctoral students are challenged to connect their research and scholarship to real concerns facing people and communities of faith.

Spiritual Formation

Theology is not just an academic study—it's a personal, spiritual pursuit that concerns one's whole being. Within STM, to support our students in their spiritual growth, opportunities for growth and reflection through prayer, worship, retreats, and spiritual direction are offered for all students. Additionally, many degree programs include an intentional spiritual formation component. Students join faith communities at parishes across the Boston area and serve with their many ministries. Additionally, 20 percent of our students are not Catholic, and we invite these integral members of our community to continue growing in their own faith traditions and to share that faith with the larger community.

Human Formation

At STM, there is also a focus on how our students grow as people. Questions like “how do you want to serve?” “how do you wish to lead?” and “who do you want to become?” pervade the culture here. There is an attentiveness to how students balance their vocational responsibilities. Professors, administrators, and peers know that students are serving, working, and invested in life beyond STM—the hope is that they will bring those experiences back to inform classroom dialogue.

Ten Historical Points in STM History