Jesuit Values

Thorough intellectual inquiry, sincere care for individuals and communities, the search for the truth in all things, passion for using knowledge in service to others—these values are deeply embedded in our culture as part of our Jesuit, Catholic heritage. They guide us in everything we do, from developing new courses and formal advising to one-on-one interactions and social events.

In the spirit of cura personalis, or care for the whole person, we offer comprehensive student formation and work with students to accommodate their individual needs on their educational journeys. Additionally, all of our graduate programs incorporate ethical requirements, ensuring we prepare principled professionals.


Jesuit Rubric

We evaluate each course with a rubric that prioritizes our Jesuit, Catholic values—keeping our mission at the forefront of what we do.

Program directors at Woods College work closely with their faculty to ensure that all courses in their curriculum are being approached with the Jesuit Values Rubric as both inspiration and as applied in practice (e.g., course assignments). Faculty are encouraged to utilize the Jesuit Values Rubric as a guide in conversations and review courses for integration of this framework.

Photo of Mass celebration in O'Neill Plaza

Faith Traditions

Boston College celebrates its Catholic faith in many ways, including daily Mass and the annual Mass of the Holy Spirit. It also welcomes all faith traditions and encourages students to explore their spirituality and engage in discussions of faith-based issues.

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Helen Ha of the Center for Student Formation

Student Formation

At the undergraduate level, we offer the Manresa Experience, a program for students to explore their professional, personal, and spiritual development. Students can also pursue opportunities offered through BC Campus Ministry and the Center for Student Formation. These resources help students harmonize their intellectual, social, and spiritual lives.

Photo of Agape Latte meeting

Agape Latte

On the first Tuesday of every month, Boston College students, faculty, and staff gather with guest speakers for conversations about the intersections of faith and life. This storytelling-centered event is student driven.

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We not only prepare you for a rewarding career, but we also strive to provide you with the ethical sensibility and perseverance to lead the way to creating a more just world.
James P. Burns, I.V.D., Dean, Woods College of Advancing Studies

Incarceration to Education Initiative

Established in 2017, the Incarceration to Education Initiative at Boston College creates transformative learning opportunities within and beyond prison walls. 

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Graduate Courses with an ethical focus

Course Course Title Credit

Ethics, Economics and Public Policy

The focus of the course is to ascertain how public policy makers decide to either regulate or legislate how an industry/firm will operate in society. We will examine the process from three different vantage points: ethics, economics, and policy. the first part of the course will be spent examining the role (or lack thereof!) that ethical thinking plays in motivating public policy makers to take action. The second part of the course examines how economic pressure comes into play as policy makers try to establish bounds on an industry or a firm. Finally, we explore the role that social pressures such as the media and various interest groups play in influencing how public policy makers react to various issues that confront an industry or a firm.


Leadership and Decision Making: Ignatian-Based Applied Ethics

What role do ethics and morals play in influencing leaders? Too often, decisions are made based solely on numbers, shareholder value or some other metric of business, often without reflection. Yet, we have an obligation to each other and to ourselves to personally engage and make decisions within a moral context. Using a Thomistic ethical system and Ignatian discernment and values as our guide, this course will explore strategies and options for integrating virtue into leadership decision-making. Thomistic ethics is to be given primacy of place because it is universally applicable, and is based upon a unified, coherent understanding of the nature of humanity. It is thoroughly grounded in the objective order of things. Thomistic ethics is an eminent expression of philosophical realism. Thomistic ethics is guided every step of the way by the assumption that just as human beings are born into a world which is defined and governed by objective physical laws, so that same world is defined and governed by objective moral laws. Applying those strategies to real world case studies, we will develop tools to help navigate those situations where there is pressure to compromise virtue or disengage from our moral compass.


Healthcare Ethics

In this course, ethical and moral considerations associated with the management of healthcare facilities and the provision of health services are examined. Treatment of ethical and moral issues emphasize the understanding of diverse viewpoints and methods for resolving conflicting moral obligations. Student apply course concepts through the exercises and cases in ethical decision making for leaders of healthcare organizations.


Education Law and Policy

This course addresses the political and legal aspects of the role of education in our democratic society. Provides an introductory survey of public policy issues and laws governing preschool, elementary, secondary, and higher education. 



This course will look at ethics from a social and Christian perspective. This course provides an introduction to Christian ethical modes of reflection on contemporary issues that impact class, race and gender groups. These include issues of poverty/economic justice, First World/Two-Thirds World relations, racism and sexism. US citizens often identify themselves as religious persons, but less often do the hard work of connecting religious ethical traditions with social policies that impact relations among social groups. We may come up with different conclusions, but the unifying element in this course is our engagement in the difficult process of ethical discernment that is informed by both social theory (i.e., analysis of class, race and gender systems) and the Christian tradition (Catholic Social Teaching with its foundation in scripture, Thomistic ethics with its assumption that the world is defined and governed by objective moral laws, and church teaching which emanates from application of tradition and scripture to current ethical situations.) An integral component of this class is to be engaged with the world i.e., pay attention to issues in the world that could benefit from the application of the material being discussed in class.


Spreading the Word

The Latin American Sisters M.S. Program in Applied Leadership Studies provides comprehensive training for Latin American women religious in collaboration with Catholic Extension and the Hilton Foundation. It presents missionaries with the opportunity to earn degrees from Boston College.

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