Education at STM encompasses the formation of the whole person: human, spiritual, intellectual, and ministerial. STM works to help you to engage in the programs offered while accompanying you as you integrate your personal goals throughout your entire program. Collaborative formation of lay and ordination-track students serves to prepare students for the realities of the Church. We prize student initiative to facilitate and develop programs that will prepare them for the Church and world today and into the future.


Dimensions of Formation

Intellectual 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.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Ministerial Formation

STM students are challenged to refine their ministry skills and to grow through new pastoral experiences – and to bring those experiences into the classroom. 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 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. STM offers myriad opportunities for spiritual growth and reflection, such as through prayer, worship, retreats, and spiritual direction. 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.

The administrators, faculty and staff at STM see their day-to-day work as a ministry, a vocation. Our commitment is to provide the best individualized programs so that each student continues to grow in wisdom and grace and to develop as mature, well-rounded ministers for the Church and the world today.
Sr. Barbara Quinn, R.S.C.J., Associate Director of Spiritual Formation


Formation Opportunities

Spiritual Direction

STM prizes the tradition of spiritual direction as a school of discernment.  Spiritual directors are available to meet with students over the course of their programs.  A stipend is allocated to facilitate and make possible this resource.


Opportunities for reflection, quiet prayer, and shared experiences on and off campus help deepen one’s spiritual life both individually and communally. Students have opportunities to plan and facilitate retreats as well as participating in retreats that are offered. Financial support for retreats is allocated to each student.

Service Opportunities

"Men and women for others,” a foundational Ignatian value, supports multiple opportunities for service in and beyond STM.  Whether serving a need at Boston College, participating in a local project, or traveling miles across the world, service is key to STM formation.

Prayer and Liturgy

The liturgical life of the STM grounds our community, directing our academic pursuits to the "greater glory of God." It binds us together in prayer while providing an essential formation experience for future ministers. 

STM Encounter - Formation Blogs

Student Experiences

Meet Julia

julia video

Meet Josh

josh video

International Experiences

Whether traveling to El Salvador, the US-Mexico border, throughout the city of Boston, or attending study programs across continents, these experiences bond us with the universal Church and sensitize us to the needs of the world, strengthening us to serve as men and women for others.