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The Church in the 21st Century Center

About the Center

the church in the 21st century center

Mission Statement

The Church in the 21st Century (C21) Center at Boston College is a catalyst and resource for the renewal of the Catholic Church in the United States.  Drawing from both the Boston College community and others, the C21 Center engages in critical conversations facing the Catholic community focusing on four critical issues: handing on the faith, roles and relationships in the Church, sexuality in the Catholic tradition, and the Catholic intellectual tradition.

The Center At A Glance


The Church in the 21st Century Center was originally conceived as a two-year initiative in September 2002, to explore the problematic issues highlighted by the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. Boston College offered symposia, lectures, conferences, published papers, and other resources to assist the Church to negotiate the movement from crisis to renewal. In 2004, the University established The Church in the 21st Century Center as a permanent commitment to explore the neuralgic issues facing the Catholic Church today.

Focal issues

The Church in the 21st Century Center focuses on four major areas:

  1. Handing on the Faith
  2. Roles and relationships in the Church
  3. Sexuality in the Catholic Tradition
  4. The Catholic Intellectual Tradition


Events and activities


Activities include conferences, public lectures, publications, video and audio streaming resources, reading lists, and programs for Boston College students, staff, faculty, alumni and the public.  Many are available via audio or video download.




The Center organization includes an Advisory Committee composed of faculty, staff, students, and alumni; a Steering Committee drawn from the Advisory Committee; and selected subcommittees focusing on specific issues or activities.


How to use the center


The C21 Center prides itself as being a resource for the Catholic Church and its parishioners. Here are some ways that you and your community can use our Center as a resource:


  • Ask for our free C21 Resources publication. Use it for prayer groups, religious education, or share it with a friend.
  • Attend our semester long events. Unless otherwise noted, our conferences, lectures, and programs are free and open to the public.
  • Missed an event? Watch our large collection of recent and past events on the C21 Videos Webcast page. Share these videos with your parish or pick a video of interest and host a watch party.
  • Read from our C21 Center Book Series. From women in the Church, to the future of priesthood and ministry, the C21 Center book collection covers a vast area of issues on the Catholic Church. Use our books for research, a school project, or simply for pleasure!
  • Enroll in an online course at the School of Theology and Ministry's "STM Online" for adult spiritual enrichment and faith formation.
  • For students: visit our student corner and learn more about clubs, organizations, and events on campus that focus on faith and student life.



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