Jesuit Pedagogy

This three-credit, graduate-level online course examines the distinctiveness of the Jesuits’ approaches to teaching and of their philosophy of education that have propelled their schools to unprecedented success over the centuries.

father pedro arrupe washing the feet of a boy

Course Summary

One key to the unprecedented success of Jesuit education has been the tension between the recognizable mark of uniformity that long distinguished the methods, content, and practices of Jesuit schools and their ability to adapt to different contexts and times. Both aspects—the uniformity and the adaptability—were explicitly supported by the Ratio studiorum, the Jesuits’ foundational plan of studies issued in 1599, which, despite the schools’ many variations and complexities, has retained some influence over time. With the Ratio discarded, Jesuit schools had to clarify what made them distinctively Jesuit, reconciling their mission with the contemporary world. This three-credit, graduate-level class sketches the developments of Jesuit educational endeavors by focusing on both the permanent and changing traits of its distinctive pedagogy.


Course Particulars

Jesuit Pedagogy begins in spring 2020. It consists of 14 modules, which roughly meet on a weekly basis (with exceptions on holidays). The course features regular engagement between professor and students with video lectures and small group discussions, via chat and video.

Jesuit Pedagogy 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 $3,450.


About the Instructor

Cristiano Casalini

Cristiano Casalini, Ph.D.
Research Scholar of the Institute

Cristiano Casalini, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and Endowed Chair in Jesuit Pedagogy and Educational History, and a Research Scholar with the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College. He teaches History of Jesuit Pedagogy, Social Justice in Jesuit Contexts, and Philosophy of Education. Casalini’s field of research is mainly early modern education and especially Jesuit education. He has worked on critical texts and commentaries of 16th and 17th century classics of education, especially in and around the Jesuit order. He is currently working of editing educational writings and documents as produced by Jesuit during the early modern period. He recently edited a collective volume on Jesuit Philosophy on the Eve of Modernity (Leiden-Boston, 2019). He also provided with Claude Pavur the first volume of a series devoted to the history of Jesuit pedagogy, entitled Jesuit Pedagogy. A Reader (1540–1616) (Boston: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 2016). He also wrote a book on the Cursus Conimbricensis and the education at the Jesuit college of Coimbra (Rome: Anicia, 2012; and, in Portuguese, Coimbra: Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra, 2015; in English, New York: Routledge, 2017), which was awarded with the Prémio Joaquím de Carvalho, 2016. Casalini serves as editor-in-chief of a series published by Brill on History of Early Modern Educational Thought.



The enrollment for this course is now closed. 

Enrollment is accepted on a rolling basis, with initial enrollment limited to 25 students.

This online course is offered through the Certificate in Jesuit Studies program. Individuals not pursuing a Certificate may also enroll to engage in any aspect of the program (for example, taking a single online course or participating in the immersion travel), with the exception of the leadership seminar. Earned credits, however, still may be applied towards a Certificate later.

 If you are interested in this course or other courses, please contact the Institute with any questions ( ; 617-552-2568).