Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

A History of the Jesuits


A History of Jesuits begins January 14. The first round of applications closes on January 11! Contact the Institute with questions or to request an application extension (


Course summary

For nearly five centuries, the Society of Jesus has been one of the most successful and, at times, most controversial religious orders in the Catholic Church. A History of the Jesuits offers an introductory survey to this rich and varied past with particular attention, following the Jesuits’ suppression in 1773, to various enterprises and enterprisers in the Americas. The course seeks to answer these questions: What have been the characteristics of the Society of Jesus and its associated works? And how and why have those characteristics remained the same or changed? Complementing the other courses in the Certificate program, the course traces the development, expansion, suppression, restoration, and recent developments of the Society of Jesus by closely examining the historical contributions of significant Jesuits.

About the instructor

Seth Meehan, Ph.D., is the associate director at the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies. He received his bachelor's degree in theology from Georgetown University and his master's and doctorate degrees in history from Boston College. His work has appeared in publications such as The New York TimesCatholic Historical ReviewArchivum Historicum Societatis IesuTheological Studies, and Boston College Magazine, where he is a contributing editor. His scholarship has been recognized with awards from the American Catholic Historical Association, the Catholic Library Association, and other organizations. Currently, he is writing a biography of a nineteenth-century Jesuit, John McElroy, and editing a volume on a second, Salvatore Brandi.

Course particulars

A History of the Jesuits begins on January 14, 2019. It consists of 13 weekly modules, ending the week of April 22 (there are no modules the weeks of March 4 and April 15). The course features regular engagement between the professor and students with brief video lectures and small group discussions, via online discussion and video.

A History of the Jesuits is a three-credit course. Unless already enrolled as a student at Boston College, participants in the course will be admitted through the School of Theology and Ministry. Enrolled students will have full access to the digital resources of Boston College Libraries. They will also have access to additional resources unique to the course.

Tuition fees for this three-credit course are $3,318.

The first round of applications are accepted until January 11. Contact the Institute with questions ( 

To apply, please complete the course’s application form and provide the additional requested materials. One letter of recommendation is required and should be submitted directly to the recommender. If you have already completed a course through the Certificate program and are interested in pursuing the Certificate in Jesuit Studies, please contact us.