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Immersion Course

The Certificate’s experiential learning and pilgrimage offers participants informed, scholarly direction and unique opportunities to critically examine the intellectual and spiritual foundations of the Society of Jesus through travel, readings, group discussions, and personal reflection.


Each summer, the Institute offers a 12-day, guided immersion travel through Spain and Italy. 

The three-credit, academic immersion course examines the historical and spiritual contexts for the foundation of the Society of Jesus. Online readings and discussions occur in the weeks before the participants meet in Spain to trace the footsteps of the early Jesuits. In Europe, participants immerse themselves in the key places that became the organization’s roots in order to examine how and why the early Jesuits formed and governed their new religious order. Daily readings, group presentations, and regular seminars foster thoughtful and informed reflections on the historical and spiritual importance of each day’s theme. 

Course details can be found below. An annotated itinerary for the European immersion is available online. Please contact the Institute with any questions.


"Stepping into the mist of Loyola on that first night of our pilgrimage was the first step of a journey I was already on. Here, the retreats that had informed and inspired my first decade of teaching and faith life exploded into new meaning during Mass in the Conversion Chapel where, in Ignatius's convalescence, the very spirituality that animates my classroom was born. The 'I can't believe I'm here' sensation did not stop there. I had the same transcendent feeling, ten days later in Rome, while standing in Ignatius's apartments, where he was elected Superior General, penned letters to his companions, and took his final breath. There, having walked into and through the spaces of Ignatius's life, my feet ached, a lot--and my heart sung. Sharing those sacred spaces with Jesuit educators has continued to breathe new life into my vocation and into my sense of place in this beautiful faith community and tradition we share."

-- Susan Cook, Certificate alumna

English teacher, St. Joseph's Preparatory School (Philadelphia)


Application and costs

Those enrolled in the immersion course must pay a $2,500 deposit to cover related travel expenses in Europe. The Institute provides a subsidy to cover the much of the travel expenses for the 12 days in Europe (all accommodations, bus transportation, flight from Barcelona to Rome, and most meals). Any participant withdrawing from the course after submitting a deposit will forfeit his/her deposit and may be required to reimburse the subsidized amount. 

Those enrolled in the immersion course are also responsible for the three (3) credits of tuition. Tuition costs are set each year by the Trustees of Boston College and are subject to yearly increases. The per-credit tuition rate in 2018-2019 was $1,064.

During the travels in Europe, all rooms are double occupancy.

Lastly, participants are responsible for their own travel to Madrid and from Rome.

Financial support, in addition to the travel subsidy, may be available. Please contact the Institute with any questions.


Course timeline and requirements

March 1, 2019: Travel deposits are due to confirm enrollment for selected applicants.

June 2019: Three preliminary online readings and discussions take place, and pre-travel paper is due in May. Details will be provided to accepted applicants.

July 7, 2019: The course’s orientation takes place in Madrid in the early afternoon. Accepted participants will receive details for the hotel (accommodations provided the night of July 7), the group dinner, and other aspects of this orientation day.

July 7 - July 18, 2019: Daily readings, presentations, and writings assignments along with regular seminars take during the travels.

July 18, 2019: The course’s closing session takes place in Rome, along with a final group dinner.

August 31, 2019: The final reflection paper is due.