As part of STM's strategic planning process and in line with the vision of STM for the next 10 years, committees comprised of students, faculty, and staff articulated a set of core values. Inspired by the vision and practice of Jesus Christ and grounded in the Ignatian tradition, STM will educate a generation of theological and ministerial leaders who embody these values:
Forming Christian leaders for a variety of academic and ecclesial contexts and for faith-based service
Engaging in scholarship, critical thinking, and the practices of prayer and discernment
Forging collaborative communities of learning and worship
Making accessible the richness of the Catholic and Jesuit theological and spiritual traditions
Celebrating inclusivity and respect for difference, and constructive engagement with diversity, including interreligious and ecumenical encounters
At the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, students, faculty and staff share in the privilege of engaging in whole-person formation for ministry, teaching, and service rooted in faith. Drawing on the Ignatian spiritual and educational tradition assists us in meeting the challenge of the Magis: to be ever more attentive, reflective, and loving women and men for others as we engage in the serious study of theology--understood as “faith seeking understanding” (St. Anselm).
To meet the challenges of graduate theological and ministerial studies in such a formational context, we offer an approach to study that draws on significant themes in the Ignatian tradition.
The goal of our life is to live with God forever. God, who loves us, gave us life. Our own response of love allows God’s life to flow into us without limit. All the things in this world are gifts of God, presented to us so that we can know God more easily and make a return of love more readily. As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts of God insofar as they help us develop as loving persons....Our only desire and our one choice should be this: I want and I choose what better leads to the deepening of God’s life in me.
—St. Ignatius of Loyola, “Principle and Foundation,” Spiritual Exercises #23 (translation by David Fleming, S.J.)
“Presupposition: That both the giver and the maker of the Spiritual Exercises may be of greater help and bene t to each other, it should be presupposed that every good Christian ought to be more eager to put a good interpretation on a neighbor’s statement than to condemn it. Further, if one cannot interpret it favorably, one should ask how the other means it.”
—St. Ignatius of Loyola, “Presupposition,” Spiritual Exercises #22 (translation by George E. Ganss, S.J.)
To “provide for the edifice of learning, and of skill in employing it so as to help make God our Creator and Lord better known and served.”
—Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, par. 307, quoted in Kolvenbach, “Jesuit University in the Light of the Ignatian Charism,” in Ignatian Pedagogy: Classic and Contemporary Texts on Jesuit Education from St. Ignatius to Today (Chicago: Loyola Press, 2017), paragraph 7.
“A long, loving look at the real. From such contemplation comes communion. I mean the discovery of the Holy in deep, thoughtful encounters—with God’s creation, with God’s people, with God’s self.”
—Walter Burghardt, S.J., “Contemplation: A Long, Loving Look at the Real,” in An Ignatian Spirituality Reader, ed. George W. Traub, S.J. (Loyola: 2008), 93 (originally published in Church in 1989).
“As Ignatius came to know the love of God...he attracted companions who became his ‘friends in the Lord’ for the service of others. The strength of community working in service of the Kingdom is greater than that of any individual or group of individuals.”
—Society of Jesus, “The Characteristics of Jesuit Education, 1986,” in Ignatian Pedagogy: Classic and Contemporary Texts on Jesuit Education from St. Ignatius to Today (Chicago: Loyola Press, 2017), section 8, paragraph 116.