School of Theology and Ministry Programs

In all of our academic programs, students must integrate both theological and pastoral considerations throughout their coursework. Each degree program offers a unique and tailored approach to theological education, allowing our students to focus on their individual strengths and growing edges to achieve their vocational goals.

We invite you to explore the details of our different academic programs. Our admissions staff is always available to accompany you during your discernment and to answer any questions you have.


degree match your criteria

Bachelor’s of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.)
<p>Offered only in conjunction with the M.Div., this three-year ecclesiastical degree provides ordained and full-time lay ministers with a theological and practical background.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Requirements:</p> <ul> <li><p>24 credit hours of philosophy</p> </li> <li><p>All requirements of the M.Div. program with a 3.0 GPA</p> </li> <li><p>Proficiency in Latin, demonstrated either through recent successful coursework or by passing a translation exam</p> </li> <li><p>S.T.B. comprehensive examination, given in your final semester</p> </li> </ul>
<p>Acquire an enduring foundation that prepares you to improve ministerial practice and pursue the S.T.L. This post-B.A./B.S. program is the first-level ecclesiastical degree and ideal for students who intend to apply for S.T.L. programs abroad.</p>
Further study, especially the S.T.L. Ecclesial ministry in a parish, high school, university, or diocese Religious and other nonprofit organizations High school teaching Prison Ministry Hospital chaplaincy
Certificate in Hispanic Ministry
<p>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.</p> <p>Program requirements:</p> <ul> <li><p>A current commitment to ministry</p> </li> <li><p>18 credit hours of academic work, including three courses designated as core requirements</p> </li> <li><p>Sufficient knowledge of the Spanish language</p> </li> </ul> <p>A limited number of applicants who do not have a bachelor’s degree may be admitted to the program under certain conditions.</p>
<p>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.</p>
Parish ministry Religious educator High school teaching High school or college campus ministry College or university administration Non-profit work
Certificate in Religious Education
<p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>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 student’s needs. Benefit from STM’s tradition of expertise in religious education and four dedicated faculty experts.</p>
Parish ministry Religious educator High school teaching High school or college campus ministry College or university administration Non-profit work
Certificate in Theology and Ministry
<p>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.</p>
<p>Explore a specific area of ministry or an expansive range of theological and pastoral areas through this flexible 18-credit certificate. Complete the program during the academic year, during summer, or online—or through a combination of these options</p>
Parish ministry Religious educator High school teaching High school or college campus ministry College or university administration Non-profit work
Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.)
<p>During the program, students develop expertise in a specific area, mastering the issues and methodologies of their discipline. Our alumni contribute to Church administration and pastoral work, serving through dioceses, seminaries, religious communities, and institutions of higher learning around the world.</p> <p>Degree requirements:</p> <ul> <li><p>A three-semester residency</p> </li> <li><p>One modern language beyond S.T.L. requirements</p> </li> <li><p>Four courses or seminars in an area of specialization</p> </li> <li><p>Two semesters as a teaching assistant</p> </li> <li><p>Comprehensive examinations</p> </li> <li><p>Thesis proposal</p> </li> <li><p>Completion and defense of a doctoral thesis</p> </li> </ul>
<p>Complete the culminating degree in the Catholic Church’s ecclesiastical education system. As home to one of the nation’s seven S.T.D. programs, STM forms scholars who produce original research and new approaches to theological methodology.</p>
Ecclesiastical Doctoral
Professor of Sacred Scripture, St. John's Seminary Theology Faculty Member, Centre Sèvres - Paris Associate Professor, University of San Francisco
Dual Program in Counseling
<p>This program is designed for individuals who wish to combine theories and practice of psychology with studies in religion and the pastoral dimensions of caregiving.</p> <p>You’ll benefit from faculty advisors in both schools, spending your first year and summers in STM and years two and three in the Lynch School. Graduates emerge with both an M.A. in theology and ministry and an M.A. in counseling and can seek licensing as professional mental health counselors. Students usually complete the program in three years. You must apply separately and be admitted to both STM and the Lynch School.</p>
<p>Learn how to incorporate faith and spirituality successfully into mental health care. Alumni work in mental health agencies, shelters, pastoral placements in parishes, campus ministry programs, prisons, and youth and young adult programs.</p>
Parish ministry and religious education High school or university ministry High school teaching Hospital chaplaincy Prison ministry
Dual Program with M.B.A.
<p>Combine an M.A. in theology and ministry with a renowned Boston College M.B.A. This program manifests the University’s mission to educate individuals who serve with excellence in their fields and work for social and economic justice. Students generally begin their studies in STM and maintain close contact with advisors both in STM and the Carroll School. The program must be completed within six years. Students must apply separately and be admitted to both STM and the Carroll School.</p>
<p>Calling all future leaders—prepare to apply management best practices in the Church and ministry. This program is perfect for students interested in the administration of churches and Church-related organizations and corporations, such as dioceses, hospital systems, and social service agencies.</p>
Parish ministry and religious education High school or university ministry High school teaching Hospital chaplaincy Prison ministry
Dual Program with M.S. Nursing
<p>This dynamic program equips students for certification as an Advanced Practice Nurse while providing them with the foundations for integrating pastoral ministry with nursing. Graduates emerge prepared to offer advanced practice nursing across the life span.</p> <p>Students typically complete the program in three years. Faculty advisors are assigned in both schools, and students work with their advisors to develop a course of study. Students must apply separately and be admitted to both STM and the Connell School.</p>
<p>This program is designed for nurses experienced in clinical practice who want to enhance their skills while exploring the spiritual and pastoral dimensions of care. The degree improves both their practice and their participation in communities of Christian faith.</p>
Nurse Hospital chaplaincy Prison ministry High school or university ministry Parish ministry and religious education
Dual Program with M.S.W.
<p>This program integrates theological understanding with social work theories and practice. Students develop the skills to plan, administer, and provide social services within local churches and faith-based agencies. You must apply separately and be admitted to both STM and the School of Social Work.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Highlights:</p> <ul> <li><p>Your social work field work counts as your supervised ministry</p> </li> <li><p>Spend your first year and summers at STM and years two and three at SSW</p> </li> <li><p>STM and SSW faculty advisors guide your program</p> </li> <li><p>Earn both degrees in three years &nbsp;</p> </li> </ul>
<p>Interested in serving both the pastoral and social needs of individuals, families, and communities? Acquire an M.A. in theology and ministry from STM in conjunction with an M.S.W. and effect greater equality for the world’s most vulnerable populations.</p>
Parish ministry and religious education High school or university ministry High school teaching Hospital chaplaincy Prison ministry
Hispanic Ministry Programs
<p>Our thorough curriculum is designed for students who wish to prepare to serve Hispanic communities via pastoral settings. Boston College features five faculty scholars in this area.</p> <p>Through STM’s Department of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry, earn your:</p> <ul> <li><p><a adhocenable="false" href="/content/bc-web/schools/stm/academics/program-pages/master-of-arts-theology-ministry.html">Master of Arts degree in Theology and Ministry</a> with a Track in Hispanic Ministry (academic year)</p> </li> <li><p><a adhocenable="false" href="/content/bc-web/schools/stm/academics/program-pages/certificates.html">Graduate-level Certificate in Hispanic Ministry</a> (both summer and academic year)</p> </li> </ul>
<p>About 40% of Catholics currently in the country are Hispanic, and that number is estimated to grow to upwards of 70% in 30 years. Prepare academically, professionally, and spiritually to serve the most rapidly growing population in the Church with this dynamic curriculum.</p>
Parish ministry Religious educator High school teaching High school or college campus ministry College or university administration Non-profit work
Hybrid M.A. in Theology and Ministry
<p>Students typically take on-campus courses during the summer, when on-campus housing is available, and leverage online courses during the fall and spring. Because our program features both in-person and online interaction, students maintain close connections with their classmates.</p> <p>Program highlights:</p> <ul> <li><p>48 credits</p> </li> <li><p>Can be completed in three years &nbsp;</p> </li> <li><p>Take courses across different theological areas (on-campus or online)</p> </li> <li><p>Spiritual formation component</p> </li> <li><p>Supervised ministry</p> </li> <li><p>Thesis grounded in pastoral praxis—a traditional essay-based thesis, an artistic/performance thesis, or a research-based thesis</p> </li> </ul>
<p>Are you a professional working at a parish, high school, college, or other ministerial setting? Earn an esteemed STM degree through this flexible program. Combine in-person and online courses to meet your needs, and use your full-time job to fulfill our supervised ministry requirement.</p>
Parish ministry and religious education High school or university ministry High school teaching Hospital chaplaincy Prison ministry
Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.)
<p>Students concentrate on a specialized topic area within theology—Biblical Studies, Systematic and Historical Theology, Moral Theology, or Church History.</p> <p>Requirements:</p> <ul> <li><p>Two years of full-time study (limit of four years of part-time study)</p> </li> <li><p>One year in residence</p> </li> <li><p>24 credit hours (in addition to nine-credit thesis), half of credits taken in concentration</p> </li> <li><p>Proficiency in Latin (or Hebrew or Greek for Scripture concentration)</p> </li> <li><p>Proficiency in one modern research language (German, French, or Spanish) in addition to English</p> </li> <li><p>Successful defense of thesis</p> </li> </ul>
<p>Focus your studies while honing your skills and working within the Church. The second in a three-degree progression that culminates in the Doctorate of Sacred Theology, this research-driven degree prepares students to serve within seminaries, dioceses, religious communities, and institutions of higher learning.</p>
Seminary teacher Further studies (S.T.D. or other doctoral degree) Head of school Parish ministry
Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry (M.A.)
<p>This two-year, 48-credit program is particularly well suited for lay students seeking intensive study of theology, pastoral development, active engagement in spiritual formation, and practical experience gained through a supervised ministry placement.</p> <p>You can also pursue dual-degree programs, combining the M.A. with master’s degrees in social work (M.S.W.), business (M.B.A.), counseling (M.A.), or nursing (M.S.).</p> <p>Program highlights:</p> <ul> <li><p>Specialize the degree with a religious education or Hispanic ministry track</p> </li> <li><p>Complete the Hybrid M.A. program through online and on-campus coursework</p> </li> <li><p>Thesis project</p> </li> </ul>
<p>All around the world, at parishes, high schools, and college campuses, in healthcare and social service settings, our M.A. graduates serve as leaders in ecclesial ministry roles. Online and summer options allow you to tailor the program to your needs.</p>
Parish ministry and religious education High school or university ministry High school teaching Hospital chaplaincy Prison ministry
Master of Divinity (M.Div.)
<p>This professional degree program combines broad mastery of theology with supervised ministry and spiritual formation. Prerequisites include one year of full-time, post-collegiate ecclesial ministry or its equivalent and two undergraduate courses in philosophy.</p> <p>Program highlights:</p> <ul> <li><p>82 credits, typically completed in three years of full-time study</p> </li> <li><p>A grounding in Scripture, Church history, historical-systematic-practical theology, moral theology, and pastoral studies</p> </li> <li><p>Supervised ministry in a setting you choose</p> </li> <li><p>A supportive cohort experience, with dinners, nights of prayer and worship, and other bonding opportunities</p> </li> <li><p>Synthesis exams in your third year</p> </li> </ul>
<p>Rigorous and intensive, comprehensive and practical, our highly respected program forms students for the ordained priesthood and lay ecclesial ministry. Here, women and men work, study, and worship side by side, developing into leaders who serve today’s Church and world.</p>
Ecclesial ministry in a parish, high school, university, or diocese Social justice agencies Religious and other nonprofit organizations Doctoral work High school teaching Prison Ministry Hospital chaplaincy
Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.)
<p>A broad curriculum covers various disciplines that make up theology. The program is also flexible: Half of the requirements are core credits—in fields such as Biblical Studies, Systematic and Historical Theology, Moral Theology, and Church History—and half are electives. &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Program highlights:</p> <ul> <li><p>48 credits, usually completed in two years</p> </li> <li><p>Apply up to nine credits in ancient or modern languages to the degree</p> </li> <li><p>Pursue directed readings with faculty members during your second year</p> </li> <li><p>Optional research thesis for credit</p> </li> </ul>
<p>Pursue meaningful work with with faith-based and other nonprofit organizations or doctoral studies in theology after completing this program. Academically rigorous coursework in general theological literacy and a rich range of electives distinguish our M.T.S.</p>
Doctoral student High school teacher Diocesan administration Nonprofit careers
Master of Theology (Th.M.)
<p>This 24-credit, civil degree can be completed full-time or part-time, in one year or two. Students choose either a theological or ministerial specialization. The theological specialization culminates in a thesis.</p> <p>Lay students who have already completed a first-level master’s degree, are interested in doctoral work, and want additional coursework should also consider our Master of Theology program.</p> <p>Admission prerequisites:</p> <ul> <li><p>A foundational master’s degree in theology or its equivalent in credit hours</p> </li> <li><p>Ministerial experience</p> </li> <li><p>Evidence of excellence in previous academic work</p> </li> </ul>
<p>Examine specific issues more deeply and sharpen ministerial skills through this flexible program. Students use their degrees in many ways: to pursue ordination, complete theological studies, address challenges in their fields, and prepare for doctoral work.</p>
Parish ministry Further studies High school teaching CPE residency
Nondegree Coursework
<p>You must have an undergraduate degree to enroll.</p> <p>Highlights:</p> <ul> <li><p>Regular tuition applies</p> </li> <li><p>Take up to 12 credit hours total as a nondegree student</p> </li> <li><p>If you later enroll in a degree program, apply the credits you earn toward your degree</p> </li> <li><p>Cross-register at other Boston Theological Institute schools</p> </li> <li><p>Take courses for full credit or as an auditor (at half of the credit cost)&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </li> </ul> <p>We also offer a special Minister-in-the-Vicinity rate for auditors working full-time in local ministry; the rate applies to one course per semester.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>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 fully or hone your skills through our nondegree coursework, available fall, spring, and summer.</p>
Parish ministry Religious educator High school teaching High school or college campus ministry College or university administration Non-profit work
Ph.D. in Theology and Education
<p>Prepare for a career as a leader in religious education, working with your STM advisor and enjoying access to courses at the Lynch School of Education and Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences. You’ll design your own program of study and gain valuable skills as a research and teaching assistant.</p> <p>Program requirements include:</p> <ul> <li><p>50 credit hours beyond the master’s degree</p> </li> <li><p>Reading knowledge of one modern, classic, or biblical language other than English,</p> </li> <li><p>Comprehensive examinations</p> </li> <li><p>A dissertation</p> </li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>This unique and interdisciplinary program integrates coursework from across Boston College to educate future scholars and educators. Enjoy the peace of mind to focus on your studies with funding for four years, including a full tuition scholarship, a stipend, and health insurance.</p>
Professor Head of Chapel Associate Professor Director of Pastoral Ministry Program Member of Irish Senate College President
Post-Master's Certificate
<p>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.</p> <p>Program highlights:</p> <ul> <li><p>An introduction to the fundamentals of spiritual direction practice</p> </li> <li><p>Opportunities to fine-tune your retreat skills</p> </li> <li><p>Convenient summer study—two weeks for three consecutive summers</p> </li> <li><p>Vibrant daily liturgy</p> </li> <li><p>Affordable on-campus housing</p> </li> </ul>
<p>The Post-Master's Certificate in Spiritual Formation allows you to take the next step in your career and strengthen your ability to transform the spiritual lives of individuals and faith communities. Three themes—prayer and discernment, the art of spiritual direction, and working within faith communities—highlight the program.</p>
Spiritual director High school or college campus ministry High school teaching Parish ministry Non-profit work
Summer at STM
<p>The summer at STM is an exciting time to enrich, enhance, and renew your ministerial education. There are multiple offerings—including three-week courses, one-week courses, six-week Biblical language intensives, online courses, on-campus lectures, and morning and evening options. Most courses require an undergraduate degree and work to be completed before arriving on campus.</p> <p>Students can also stay active spiritually and socially, bonding through daily mass, liturgical ministry opportunities, the Boston Pops Fourth of July concert, Red Sox games, and trips to the North End and Sam Adams or Harpoon Brewery. On-campus housing is also available, making their time here more affordable. &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Each summer, students from around the world come to STM to complete foundational courses, continue their professional development in a specific area of ministry, connect, and share their unique experiences. Complete the Hybrid M.A. or a certificate, or come for courses only.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
Parish ministry Religious educator High school teaching High school or college campus ministry College or university administration Non-profit work