Housed within the top-ranked Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College, The Roche Center for Catholic Education forms Catholic school educators to become agents of change who work to create excellent Pre K-12 schools. Roche Center programs align to the following four strategic initiatives: leadership formation, the development of culturally and linguistically diverse schools, innovative professional education, and research. Each program aims to strengthen and transform Catholic schools and improve student outcomes.
At the beginning of each calendar year, a new professional learning community (PLC) of 12 Catholic school superintendents convene to examine critical issues facing Catholic schools. Over the course of a year, superintendents engage in monthly calls that foster collegial and challenging growth experiences, small group discussions, and problem-based learning activities. The PLC experience also consists of two in-person retreats.
Annually, a select number of Catholic educators are accepted into the Catholic Leadership Cohort (CLC) as part of the Master of Education degree (M.Ed.) in Educational Leadership and Policy, offered through the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. Over 20 months, CLC members take courses online, participate in faith formation experiences, and develop as a community of leaders.
The Emmaus Leadership Academies focus on leadership development in four critical domains, as defined by the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools: Catholic & Mission Identity, Governance & Leadership, Academic Excellence, and Operational Vitality. Through asynchronous modules, Emmaus participants learn deeply about a chosen domain, receive executive coaching, participate in faith formation, and develop as a community of leaders.
Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools (TWIN-CS)
The Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools (TWIN-CS) is a national initiative composed of 22 schools that share dual language research, ideas, techniques and resources with the goal of supporting students in becoming bilingual, bicultural and biliterate. TWIN-CS network upport for members includes: a summer dual language academy, monthly webinars, professional learning communities led by national dual-language experts, collegial visits, and a resource site for member schools to access high-quality curriculum, instructional, and assessment materials.
“I've never felt more welcomed in a group. I look forward to the next opportunity to share sacred space and reflection with people who desire communion and connection with God.”
The SELebrate Students Academy provides school leaders, faculty, and staff with the resources to support students in the work of Social Emotional Learning (SEL). The 10-month program (with an option for a second year) includes in-person seminars, virtual webinars, professional learning community conversations, and customized in-person coaching throughout the academic year.
The Bilingual Education Certificate (BEC) is an instructional series designed for Catholic teachers who wish to earn a certificate from the Boston College Lynch School of Education and Human Development. Together, over a span of four semesters, a cohort of Catholic educators takes four asynchronous classes. Professional Development Points are also awarded.
Grounded in the Christian tenet that each person is created in the image of God (Imago Dei), the Imago DEI Program invites Catholic educators to examine curricular resources, pedagogical practices, and building-wide policies through the eyes of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Over the course of 10 months, participants receive in-person seminars, virtual webinars, customized coaching, and personalized professional development support.
Using Catholic teaching and tradition, the Encuentro course provides Catholic educators with the opportunity to examine the reality of immigration —nationally at the U.S.-Mexico border and globally across the world. This one-credit course, offered through Boston College Lynch School of Education and Human Development, includes monthly in-person sessions and a five-day immersion experience in El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico.
Teacher-leaders play a critical role in determining school culture and improving student learning outcomes. With this in mind, the Roche Center created the Empowering Catholic Educators program to develop and support current and aspiring teacher-leaders in the core areas of reading, language arts, and mathematics. Over two years, teams of teachers hone the skills and dispositions necessary to transform their schools.
How a Border Immersion Influenced My Vocation
“We get lost in thinking that the Gospel is only about warm, easy love, and praying for everyone. While those themes are important, the Gospel call is also a challenge, and requires us to lean into discomfort. If you look at the life of Jesus, you will see that.”
Participant in the 2020 Encuentro Immersion
Former Theology teacher at Mount Alvernia High School
Community: Living and Learning with Others
“Community helps form a sense of purpose and direction that you wouldn’t necessarily have otherwise. It pulls you into a life that’s not as selfish or lucrative. It makes you think about how you can be a person for others and pursue work for the greater good.”
Participant in the 2020-2022 Catholic Leadership Cohort
Social Studies Teacher and Coach, The Cambridge Matignon School
Pausing and praying with other catholic educators
“I live more fully and with more joy when I’m intentional in how I spend my time. My priority is to always choose things that are going to bring me closer to God, and to seeing God more in myself and others.”
Participant: 2021 Lenten Retreat for Catholic Educators and the 2020 Summer Book Club "Racial Justice and the Catholic Church"
Transitional Kindergarten Teacher
St. Raymond Catholic School, Renlo Park, California
how faith and community sustain me in difficult times
“Most experiences are much more powerful when shared with others, especially when it’s people who don’t agree on everything, but at least share common values around the topic at hand."
Participant: 2021 Lenten Retreat for Catholic Educators, 2020 Encuentro Immersion, and 2020 Summer Book Club "Racial Justice and the Catholic Church"
Former Principal of St. Agnes School in Arlington, Massachusetts
Research and Resources
The Center's research not only informs, but transforms Catholic education, so that it can remain faithful to its roots of forming whole and holy persons and communities. Current research and published resources include:
- A national study examining pathways to increase the presence of Hispanic teachers and leaders in Catholic schools;
- Catholic Schools in an Increasingly Hispanic Church;
- Hispanic Ministry in Catholic Parishes;
- G.R.A.C.E. (Global Researchers Advancing Catholic Education)
- National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools;
- Seven Steps to Strategic Planning for Catholic Schools; and
- Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Education
The Roche Center offers semester- and year-long fellowships to conduct research, advance the practice in Catholic education, and support the leadership programming of the Center. As appropriate, Fellows collaborate with staff and faculty from professional schools and centers across Boston College, including the Roche Center, the Lynch School of Education and Human Development, the Carroll School of Management, and the School of Theology and Ministry. During their time with the Roche Center, Fellows conduct research and publish scholarship on Catholic schools. The year-long fellowship includes a stipend, and additional support for research-related travel may be available. This is an excellent opportunity for doctoral students interested in advancing their contributions to service to Catholic schools and scholarship.
In collaboration with The Church in the 21st Century (C21) Center at Boston College, the Roche Center offers the following resources:
The School of Theology and Ministry Continuing Education program provide access to world-class theological and pastoral scholarship, online and on campus, for ministers and others who seek to deepen their engagement with the Catholic faith. Offerings include an array of on-campus presentations, as well as online courses, certificate programs, videos, podcasts, and other resources for faith enrichment.
Join a community of pilgrims on the Ignatian journey to find God in all things! In the "Journey with Ignatius" app, you can follow the footsteps of St. Ignatius from his years as a young page in Arevalo, Spain, to his final days as Superior General of the Society of Jesus in Rome, Italy. Read from Ignatius’ own writings, insights from selected Jesuit sources, and invitations to programs on Ignatian spirituality all while joining a community of prayer.
The Urban Catholic Teacher Corps (UCTC) actively engages in the ministry of teaching in the schools of the Archdiocese of Boston. UCTC provides an academically rigorous and experientially rich urban Catholic teacher preparation based on the 500-year-old Jesuit tradition of formative education. UCTC members complete a master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development and commit to a two-year teaching practicum in Boston’s Catholic schools serving urban students.
In 2006, Boston College and St. Columbkille Partnership School formed an alliance to create a flagship Catholic school in Boston. The partnership was deepened in early 2018 when Saint Columbkille was formally designated as a laboratory school for Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development (LSEHD). Roche Center staff support this partnership through serving on the LSEHD laboratory committee and the school board, and by offering mentorship and professional development to St. Columbkille faculty.