Considering a career change, graduate program, or a return to campus? Or want to further your educational and professional development? Explore a path before committing to a master's or hone your skills through our certificate programs. Our courses are also able to be taken for credit even if you're not enrolled in a degree program. You can explore our certificate and non-degree options below.
Explore a specific area of ministry or an expansive range of theological and pastoral areas through this flexible 18-credit certificate. Of the six courses required for this Certificate, three should be in theology and three in pastoral/ministerial studies. At least 50% of the courses must be taken at the STM. Complete the program through a combination of academic year, summer, or online offerings. This certificate can also be completed fully online.
This six-course certificate includes spiritual enrichment opportunities for those looking to further their academic or personal development. If you decide to continue into an M.A. degree program after you complete this program, you can use the courses toward the degree. You work with a faculty advisor to choose courses that fit your goal—either focusing on a specific theological area or gaining broad exposure to what STM offers. Certificate students are eligible for STM’s tuition scholarships.
Are you already enriching Hispanic communities—or interested in doing so in the future? This program is perfect for students and professionals, with graduate degrees and without, who wish to focus their service on Hispanic ministry.
In addition to ongoing professional development, the program provides a nurturing environment for spiritual enrichment and renewal. Coursework is chosen in consultation with your academic advisor.
A limited number of applicants who do not have a bachelor’s degree may be admitted to the program under certain conditions.
Intended for educators in Catholic high schools and catechists in parishes who want to concentrate their knowledge, this certificate program is designed to adapt to students' needs. Benefit from STM’s tradition of expertise in religious education and four dedicated faculty experts. Of the six courses required for this Certificate, at least three should be in religious education, one of which must be a foundational course to the field. At least 50% of the courses must be taken at the STM.
This program is ideal for veteran religious educators who want to gain specialized knowledge and for new teachers who are looking to gain an introduction to the area of religious education.
There are opportunities to combine coursework and take advantage of the resources at the Lynch School of Education—the top-ranked school of Catholic education in the country—and the Roche Center for Catholic Education.
During the summer, courses are specifically offered for you to hone your teaching skills and address contemporary issues like theology in the digital age and diversity in the classroom.
This certificate enables persons who are personally or professionally interested in the study of Christian spirituality to delve into historical and contemporary Christian spiritual traditions, themes, and practices with an eye toward effective spiritual leadership today. Teachers, pastors, ministers, and those drawn to spiritual formation work will benefit from this focused study of Christian Spirituality.
Ideal applicants include: Persons with an earned Master’s degree in an area other than theology who wish to study Christian Spirituality broadly, or those interested in the study of Spirituality for their own enrichment or ministerial enhancement who have a strong Bachelor’s degree. Business executives, educators, alums, pastors, ministers.
This six-course certificate prepares persons to assume leadership in specifically Ignatian spiritual formation. It makes possible careful study of a highly influential Christian spiritual tradition, giving sustained attention to Ignatian and Jesuit spiritual themes and practices, pedagogy and leadership.
Ideal applicants include: Persons with an earned Master’s degree in an area other than theology who wish to study Ignatian Spirituality in particular, or those interested in the study of Ignatian Spirituality for their own enrichment or ministerial enhancement who have a strong Bachelor’s degree. Business executives, educators, alums, pastors, ministers.
This Certificate provides medical professionals, counselors, social workers, and parish pastoral care givers with an opportunity to explore the intersection of Spirituality Studies and Pastoral Care in ways that deepen their ministerial and faith based service. An Introduction to Spiritual Direction practicum is a required component of this Certificate.
Please note: The six-credit Introduction to Spiritual Direction Practicum is an option within the Christian Spirituality Certificate and the Certificate in Ignatian and Jesuit Studies. It is a required element in the Certificate in Spiritual and Pastoral Care. For those with spiritual direction training already who have complete the 19th Annotated Exercises, the summer one-week intensive training program in the 19th annotation is also an option.
Ideal applicants include: nurses, counselors, social workers, and parish pastoral care givers
Take the next step in your ministerial career and strengthen your ability to transform the spiritual lives of individuals and Christian faith communities. Three themes—prayer and discernment, the art of spiritual direction, and working within faith communities—highlight the program.
This advanced certificate is offered only in the summers and is completed over three summers. The program includes discussions with faculty, who are established professionals, and hands-on, small-group work. Prerequisites include a master’s degree in theology and full-time experience in ministry.
An introduction to the fundamentals of spiritual direction practice
Opportunities to fine-tune your retreat skills
Convenient summer study—two weeks for three consecutive summers
Vibrant daily liturgy
Affordable on-campus housing
A non-refundable fee of $75 is required for every degree and non-degree application submitted.
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, veterans, applicants currently completing a year of service, and current STM students. We do not waive the application fee for other reasons.
For certificate applicants:
The personal statement must be uploaded as part of the application. The personal statement should be one to two pages in length, double-spaced.
Your statement should address the following:
For non-degree applicants:
On the application form, you will be asked to share your reasons for enrolling in the course(s) selected and what prepares you for graduate theological study at the School of Theology and Ministry. Please also share any other relevant information to your registration.
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 email@example.com. 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. If you have questions, please reach out to us.
For applicants using the U.S. Postal Service:
Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
For applicants using FedEx or UPS, please use this address:
Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
9 Lake Street
Brighton, MA 02135-3841
For certificate applicants:
Certificate applicants are required to submit one recommendation using the online application system.
Your recommender should be familiar with the applicant’s academic competence. For applicants who have been out of school for a significant amount of time, the recommenders should be familiar with the applicant's professional competence. 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.
For nondegree applicants:
A letter of recommendation is not required.
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.