Bachelor in Sacred Theology (S.T.B.)

Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.)

The Bachelor in Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) is a first level, three-year ecclesiastical degree granted in the name of the Holy See through the Ecclesiastical Faculty of the School of Theology and Ministry (STM), by virtue of its status as an ecclesiastical faculty accredited by the Vatican Congregation of Catholic Education. The STM now offers a newly revised curriculum for the Bachelor of Sacred Theology, designed in accord with the most recent requirements set forth by Pope Francis in the 2018 Apostolic Constitution Veritatis Gaudium.

The S.T.B. prepares one to pursue the second-level Licentiate of Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) and the third-level Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.), both of which are research-oriented ecclesiastical degree also offered by the STM. The S.T.B. can be particularly useful for those who intend to apply for admission to S.T.L. programs abroad, where the S.T.B. and not an equivalent course of studies, is often required for application and admission.

Degree Requirements

 
  • Proficiency in Latin, demonstrated either through recent successful coursework or by passing a translation examination
  • S.T.B. comprehensive examination, given in the final semester of the program
     

Program of Study – Lay

Program of Study – Ordination Candidates

Prerequisites for Admission

 
  • 30 credit hours of philosophy. This requirement must be fulfilled prior to beginning the degree. Required areas of philosophy: logic, epistemology, philosophy of nature, metaphysics, natural theology, anthropology, ethics, and history of philosophy (ancient, medieval, modern, contemporary). We are happy to assist you in determining whether you meet this requirement.
  • Applicants are able to complete this philosophy requirement at Boston College through a partnership with the Woods College of Advancing Studies and the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences. Email us for more information. 

Our Faculty

Common Career Paths


Ecclesial ministry in a parish, high school, university, or diocese

Social justice agencies

Religious and other nonprofit organizations

Doctoral work

Hospital chaplaincy

High school teaching

Prison Ministry

 


Application Information

Print

Deadlines

Spring 2022:
November 15, 2021
Fall 2022 Priority Scholarship Deadline:
January 15, 2022. We will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis after this date
Summer 2022:
Summer applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Application Form

The application to STM must be completed online.

Application Form

Admission Prerequisites for the S.T.B.:  30 credit hours in philosophy.

Please note you can submit your application form once it is completed; you do not need to wait for all of your supplemental materials to arrive. We are able to schedule your interview once we have received your submitted application.

Since the S.T.B. is granted through the Holy See, S.T.B. students are not eligible for federal loans through the U.S. government. S.T.B. students are still eligible for STM scholarships, which are awarded at the time of admission.


Additional Requirements:

International applicants

Religious applicants

Application Fee

A non-refundable fee of $75 is required for every degree and non-degree application submitted.

Payment Options

  • Pay by credit or debit card via the web; You can pay the application fee at the same time your submit your application form.  However, if you do not pay the fee at the same time you submit your application, you can pay online at a later date through the Agora Portal. You must use your BC Username and password to log in.

  • Pay by check or money order made payable to Boston College, via regular mail.  Please include your check with a copy of your application form submission confirmation page and include your name and intended degree program.


Please note: The application fee cannot be refunded for any reason. If you qualify for a fee waiver, you should not pay the fee when you submit the application form. Fee waivers are automatically granted to the following applicants: Jesuits, applicants currently completing a year of service, and current STM students. We do not waive the application fee for other reasons.

Standardized Tests

The GRE is optional, but preferred. We especially recommend applicants submit scores if 1) they feel their undergraduate transcript is not indicative of their capacity for success in graduate studies, OR 2) they do not have a strong background in the humanities. We review all applications holistically. Applicants who choose not to submit GRE scores will not be penalized in the admissions process.

Applicants who do send GRE scores should have them sent directly from ETS. Our GRE code is 2508.

English Proficiency Exam

All applicants for whom English is not their native language must also provide TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo test score results. Read more about special instructions for international applicants here. This webpage will also indicate under with criteria a waiver may be granted. Waivers must be approved in writing by the admissions office.

Transcripts

We require transcripts from all colleges, universities, seminaries, or theological schools that you have attended. Each transcript should contain a list of all coursework taken, grades/marks received, and, if applicable, degree granted and date of degree confirmation. If your college or university will send official transcripts electronically, they can be emailed to stmadm@bc.edu.  Otherwise, transcripts must be mailed and be contained in a sealed, signed envelope. If the official transcript is not English, a translation should be provided with the official document. Please alert us if your transcript will be arriving with a different name than the one you are using on your application (e.g. your maiden name).

Please note that your application may be reviewed with unofficial copies of your transcripts, though we prefer official copies at the time of application. If you send unofficial copies, please note that if admitted, you must sent official copies before you begin coursework. In addition, if you are currently finishing a degree, you must send a final, official version of the transcript upon graduating, and before beginning coursework at STM.

Mailing Addresses
For applicants using the U.S. Postal Service:
Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
Simboli Hall
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

For applicants using FedEx or UPS, please use this address:
Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
Simboli Hall
9 Lake Street
Brighton, MA 02135-3841

Recommendations

S.T.B. applicants are required to submit three recommendations using the online application system. 

Each recommender should be familiar with the applicant’s academic competence. For applicants who have been out of school for a significant amount of time, recommenders should be familiar with the applicant's professional competence. One recommender should be familiar with the applicant's ministerial potential and experience. Please be sure that your recommenders are aware of the application deadlines and online process, and choose them carefully to ensure that they can write on your behalf in a timely manner.

Interview

The admissions office interviews all applicants to the S.T.B. program. All interviews take place remotely.

Résumé

The resume must be uploaded as part of the application.  It is helpful if you highlight relevant ministry, service, and leadership positions you have held.

Personal Statement

The personal statement must be uploaded as part of the application.  The personal statement should be three pages in length, double-spaced.

Your statement should address the following:

  • The academic, professional, and personal development that has motivated you to apply to STM. Include a sketch of your educational background and interests, any experience you have in ministry and/or religious education, and any other relevant professional and volunteer experience
  • Your understanding of theological education and/or ministry in the context of the Church’s mission
  • How you plan to apply your theological education
  • Given your experience, how you assess your principal strengths for theological education and/or ministry as well as your areas of needed development