At STM, a rich variety of voices converge to form one dynamic community grounded in the Jesuit, Catholic values of intensive intellectual dialogue and reverence for all backgrounds and viewpoints. We constantly work to ensure we reflect the rapidly changing demographics of the Catholic Church and provide resources to meet the needs of every student.
of students are lay students
of lay students are female
of students are international
age range of 2022 incoming class
These are just some of the ways that STM students engage in issues relating to diversity and inclusion at Boston College and throughout the greater Boston area.
Corazón Latinx fosters a sense of comunidad among students who are preparing or are interested in working with Latina/o communities. The committee works to promote awareness and celebrates the Latina/o religious culture in three distinct areas: building community, liturgy, and spirituality.
Gaudete—an extension of the greater LGBTQ and ally resources at BC—is a welcoming and affirming community of students that recognizes the dignity of each person and seeks to enrich STM with openness and acceptance. We celebrate inclusivity through fellowship, discussion, workshops, and event sponsorship.
Interreligious Engagement aims to facilitate conversations on college campuses around Boston in the hopes of raising awareness of the diversity of faiths. We hope to collectively move beyond those elements that separate us to work together toward common goals as we respect the uniqueness of each person’s faith.
The STM Women's Group seeks to support all members of the STM community who identify as female. We strive to promote greater inclusivity by uplifting, empowering, and celebrating the voices of women and other globally marginalized persons. We strive to promote full participation of women in the Catholic Church.
All of us share a single mission: to develop our academic and ministerial gifts in service to the Church and the world. And we value each student equitably—no matter their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, socioeconomic status, religion, ability, or age.
The STM Committee on Race and Ethnicity (CORE) is a standing advisory committee of STM faculty, administrative staff, and students. CORE led STM in a synodal listening process spanning eighteen months, including both internal and external assessments, which resulted in a Formation for Racial Justice three-year strategic plan.
As theologians and ministers, we must name the root causes of racism, grow in our awareness of the ways in which it has affected Christian history, theology, and ministerial practice, fostered white privilege, and harmed people of color. We are called as a community to examine, renew, and advance our commitment to formation for learned ministry in light of the Gospel, the Jesuit tradition, and the mission of the STM.
In service to these goals, the Committee on Race and Ethnicity will seek:
to serve as a venue for voicing concerns about race and ethnicity at STM;
to raise awareness of racial justice and promote equitable practices in all aspects of life at STM;
to provide anti-racism resources for the ongoing formation and development of students, faculty, and staff;
to promote programming around issues of race theory and racial justice (e.g., via conversations, activities, research and writing projects, pedagogies, advocacy actions, conferences, meetings, and discussion groups);
and to encourage encounter and engagement with racially diverse communities through events and activities sponsored by Boston College, STM, and the local area.
Jacqueline Regan, Co-chair and Associate Dean, Student Affairs and Career Services.
Felix Palazzi, Co-chair and Associate Professor of the Practice, Director of Formación Continua
Cathy Mooney, Associate Professor of Church History
O. Ernesto Valiente, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology
Anthony Russo, Associate Dean, Graduate Enrollment Management
Karen Smith, Academic Services Specialist
Brenda Noriega, Current Student
Joseph Penny, Current Student
Damian Torres-Botello, SJ, Current Student
Tarah Valin, Current Student
“As an openly gay and openly Catholic Latino studying at the STM and working in Campus Ministry, dialogue has been at the heart of my BC experience. The friendships I have formed at the STM have been sources of support and challenge as I figure out my place as a minister in the Church.”
“The School of Theology and Ministry prepares pastoral leaders and theological scholars to inspire others to imagine possibility and live with radical hope. We do this through a curriculum that honors a diversity of perspectives about what it means to be in relationship with God, others, and the world. We model it through pedagogical commitments that foster serious inquiry and life-giving empowerment. We bring it to life through our research and service.”
These are just some of the courses offered at STM that address themes of diversity, inclusion, and social justice.
Catholicism in the United States is presently shaped by rich cultural traditions that demand creative approaches to ministry in the midst of diversity. Nearly 45% of all Catholics in the country are Hispanic, 40% Euro-American, 4% Asian-American, 3.7% African-American, among others. Students in this course explore key questions and discuss ministerial strategies that will help them develop cultural competencies for effective ministry today. The course builds on the U.S. Latino/a Catholic experience as a case study while addressing core issues in ministry that affect everyone in the Church. Ecumenical and international perspectives are welcomed into this conversation.
A social construction at its core, the modern idea of race has been given power through the years. Accruing strength and mostly negative use over time it has cut across the private sphere and become a portentous social idea in the form of systemic racism, institutionalized within government, laws, medical science, religion, culture, and society. This course explores the historical foundations of race and racism, and ranges over different manifestations of institutional racism in the spheres of criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power, education, and religious and congregational life. It also looks into recent movements for racial justice in thought and practice, and considers ways in which theological ideas and church practices can be refocused to contribute to racial justice within the academy, ecclesial communities, and the larger landscape of society.
Disability visibility has increased concern in ecclesial, academic, and social milieu for understanding how the Church (and the churches) respond and work to be inclusive with and for persons with disability (PWD). This module will explore the moral imperatives of inclusion, the diversity of disability in the human community, and the development of ministerial practices directed to participation. Specific attention will be given to 1) consciousness-raising on the generally discriminatory experience historically and today of PWD, 2) understanding disability using the social model developed by PWD, 3) reviewing some of the literature developed by scholars with disability and their collaborators, 4) building relationships between PWD and the non-disabled, and 5) studying the Church's documents in reference to PWD.
This course is a survey of contributions women have made to the Christian Church as theologians, ministers, and preachers. Often overlooked or underestimated in histories of the Church and Christian theology, this course will explore these women’s writings, the strategies they employed to minister and share their theological perspectives, and the lasting impacts they made within the Church. Students will be introduced to writings by these women and about them by scholars who situate the women’s contributions within the trajectory of Christianity.
In this course, students study and practice initiatives that work for understanding, justice, and peace. Recognizing that much in justice happens across some divide, the course begins with an investigation of our experiences of otherness and connection. We consider how cultural narratives undergird our sense of identity and purpose, and investigate them theologically. We look to educational theorists from the early 20th century to the present, who reflect that education itself is a work of justice. The course culminates with group projects that give students an oppurtunity for speaking and listening across divides for the sake of understanding and justice.
In the United States, feminist and African-American/Black theologies have received much deserved recognition for their original contributions to the task of theological construction. However, it should be noted that right alongside these liberation and justice oriented theologies, even if with less publicity until recently, Latino and Latina theologians have been developing their own distinctive form of contextual and liberation theology written from the perspective of their lives in the United States. This course examines their theological expression, offering an overview of the historical development, main academic theologians, core themes and methods, and the promise and challenge of U.S. Latino(a) theology in the process. Besides offering students a solid introduction to U.S. Latinx theology, the course grants an opportunity to enhance one's cultural competence; to learn about the characteristics of the largest ethnic minority group in the United States (i.e. Latinos and Latinas); and to become more familiar with U.S. social history, the legacy of colonialism, and contemporary decolonial thinking.
Liberation theologies are modes of theological discourse that rethink the purpose of religious thought and practice by placing attention on distinctive experiences of injustice and inequality encountered by different individuals and social groups. Although the liberation theology movement is now a global one, the United States has been the birthplace of a good number of liberation theologies. This course examines the emergence, development, emphases, and methodologies of four of these, including African American/Black theology of liberation, feminist theology of liberation, Latino/a theology of liberation, and LGBTQ theology of liberation. Besides offering a solid introduction to liberation theology, the course analyzes basic concepts underlying theories of injustice, domination, and oppression.
Latin American liberation theology traces its origins to the grassroots Christian communities that struggled for social justice in the 1960s. This course explores the distinctive way in which Latin American liberation theologians correlate their interpretation of their social context with the Christian tradition and praxis in a mutually-critical manner. We will critically examine their fundamental presuppositions, their contribution to theology, and their efforts to articulate the Christian message as an effective response against oppression and on behalf of a full human liberation. We will also incorporate some of the liberationist voices that emerge from other social and cultural situations.
This course provides familiarity with key concepts and thinkers of the critical pedagogy movement, exploring how they have informed theology and education, both religious and otherwise. The course highlights the contributions of Paulo Freire, considering the influence of Critical Theory and Christian spirituality on his educational scholarship and service. It builds from there to consider bell hooks’ engaged pedagogy, Antonia Darder’s decolonial pedagogy, and the work of Henry Giroux and Parker Palmer. Centered on in-class dialogue, the course culminates in student-driven projects exploring possible interventions and contributions that students can make in their own community-building contexts.
Traumatization occurs at the interrelated social, psychic, and physiological boundaries of life and death. This course offers an introduction to trauma healing and prevention for contexts of pastoral and spiritual care. It surveys approaches to trauma developed in peacebuilding, public health, and psychology, as well as the emerging subfield of trauma theology. The final research paper is a vocational case study.
The twentieth century's legacy is marked by social conflict and war: more than 200 million people killed because of political repression, ethnic or religious wars. Enlisting a theological lens, this seminar examines the Christian resources and contribution to the problem of reconciliation. After examining the most important secular approaches to the problem of personal and social conflict, we will focus on the main Christian theologies of reconciliation, including the works of Robert Schreiter, Miroslav Volf, John de Gruchy, and Jon Sobrino. Their theologies will be examined through individual case studies of the Balkan region, South Africa, and El Salvador.
This course will examine violence as a problem of deep religious and spiritual significance for Christianity, and the complex relationship between theological reflection, violence, and nonviolence, by exploring such questions as: Is Christianity inherently violent? What aspects of Christianity can exacerbate or mitigate violent acts? Does Christian soteriology sanction divine violence? Under which conditions does Christianity condone or condemn violence? We will enlist an interdisciplinary approach to answer these and other questions. The first part of the course will turn to history to explore current manifestations of violence and review contemporary classic texts in philosophy, psychology, theology, and politics on this difficult topic. We will also study the occurrence of human and divine violence and nonviolence in the Christian sources of revelation. The course will then examine different Christian theological traditions in connection to the just war theory, pacifism, and non-violence, all with the intention of identifying the most appropriate Christian responses to contemporary violence.
This course will begin with an overview of feminist biblical hermeneutics--its history and variety--and then we will examine depictions of women throughout the Christian Bible. Part of this analysis will consist of looking at these depictions from different feminist perspectives. Another part of our analysis will be a consideration of the stories' social and cultural contexts, especially what archaeology can tell us about women's lives in antiquity.
This course examines the various ways in which Christian ethicists have addressed social structures, from the groundbreaking work of Latin American liberation theologians in the 1960s to today. The course emphasizes the necessity of understanding social realities (such as structure, culture, and the relation of structure and moral agency) in order produce normative claims regarding social evil and how persons should respond such evil. To that end, the course introduces students to prominent social theories, such as methodological individualism and critical realism. The course then turns to critical contemporary ethical problems, such as global warming and the exploitation of labor.
Dominant western and northern theology faces a critique from the margins of race, gender, age, sex, culture, and disability. This course explores the contexts of those critiques, key texts challenging the dominant narrative and its responses admitting injustice, dismantling structural sins, and beginning the work of communion, solidarity, reparation, and restoration to which the Gospel calls. Attention will be given to the advent of liberation and other context-based theologies in the developing world and the global north where the power to marginalize has been institutionalized yet where the cry of the poor is heard and signs of heeding emerge.
This course builds on Catholic social teaching found in the magisterial documentary history and brings the insights on social sin to bear on responsibility, accountability, and justice. Attention will be given to primary sources in light of the contemporary critique of abusive/sinful practices among persons with institutionalized power and authority exposed in anti-racist, post-colonial, and liberation thought. The course a) presents the common good as justice developed in these traditions, b) explores responsibility for the social, economic, educational, health, legal, and political status of vulnerable persons, and c) considers accountability by realizing the preferential option for the poor.
Boston College strives to ensure individuals with disabilities feel welcomed, have the support they need, and have equal access to all resources.
Courageous Conversations Towards Racial Justice is a dialogue-centered initiative on racism and privilege designed to address racial healing, equity, and justice.
Boston College is dedicated to fostering a welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment for all students and to positively impact and improve the LGBTQ+ student experience.
Dedicated to advancing a Boston College culture and climate that is welcoming to all—through leadership, support, education, compliance, and policy.
This center supports and empowers undergraduate students, with a particular focus on AHANA, multicultural, and multiethnic issues.
The Women’s Center was founded in 1973 to support, educate, and empower Boston College students of all genders in an inclusive and welcoming space.
Two STM students created an approach to anti-racism work that draws on significant themes in the Ignatian tradition. This document is guided by the reality that our formation must recognize the current ministerial contexts in which we serve, seeking to integrate our academic study with the personal, pastoral, and spiritual dimensions of formation. How might our discernment of God’s call for racial justice challenge the way we minister and work right now? How might it call us to bring this challenge and discernment to our communities?
Whether sung liturgically, privately, or performed in concert, the Spirituals are a truly unique American music genre, steeped and founded in the Black Church experience with longevity and relevance for our lives today.
Over the 13 years of his public social ministry, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called our nation to self-reflection and action with regard to three urgent problems—racism, poverty, and war, which remain as urgent today as they did 50 years ago. This address explores King’s exercise of the prophetic and those problems from the vantage of political theology.
Responses to Covid-19 have only highlighted and exacerbated the racial and socioeconomic divides in this country, and as the contemporary civil rights movement pushes for reform and abolition, declaring yet again that Black lives matter -- where is God? Where is the (c)hurch? Together we reflect on both the questions and theological resources for pursuing community and racial justice.