What does it mean to be immersed in both theology and ministry? We balance theory and practice, approaching theology as an academic discipline and a personal pursuit—engaging with it intellectually and with intense reflection—while connecting to active ministry that prepares our students to be agents of transformation in the world and in the church.

Programs, Degrees, & Certificates

Across our programs, exploration of the strong relationship between faith and reason is carried on in a spirit of openness and collaboration, and deep engagement with the richness of the Christian tradition is sought across all theological areas. 


The CSTM offers a number of degree programs that prepare students for ministries as diverse as our community, which is home to Jesuits and other candidates approved for ordination studies, women and men engaged in lay ecclesial ministries and service rooted in faith, and scholars preparing for careers in academia.


Offered during the academic year and summer semester, our certificate programs allow students to explore new topics or hone their professional skills without committing to a degree program.

Certificate Partnerships

As part of their degree program, students can complete one of four interdisciplinary certificates:

Through Boston College Center for Human Rights and International Justice:    

Through Boston Theological Interreligious Consortium:


Non-Degree Programs

The CSTM is committed to providing professional development and ongoing formation opportunities to anyone interested in exploring the important issues of the Church today. We offer workshops, lectures, and courses to fit a variety of interests and schedules with day, evening, weekend, and online programs offered during the academic year, and one- or two-week courses held during the summer.

Degree Programs

Hybrid M.A. in Theology and Ministry

Students typically take on-campus courses during the summer, when on-campus housing is available, and leverage online courses during the fall and spring. 

Certificate in Theology and Ministry

This flexible 18-credit certificate can involve a combination of academic year, summer, or online offerings. This certificate can also be completed fully online.

Non-Credit Programs

CSTM Crossroads

CSTM Crossroads offers non-credit courses for spiritual enrichment and faith renewal. Our courses foster conversation and participation that enhance understanding and encourage personal growth in faith.

Formación Continua

Formación Continua offers interdisciplinary and intercultural courses completely in Spanish, which help Spanish speakers deepen their growth as Christians.  

Studying Theology at BC: World-Class Breadth & Depth

Boston College is a world-class center of theological study, comprising both the Clough School of Theology and Ministry (CSTM) as well as a Theology Department in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences. Students in each have access to courses and faculty in both entities—enhancing the breadth and depth of theological study at BC. Combined, CSTM and the Theology Department represent the nation's largest theological faculty.

CSTM hosts master's and certificate programs in theology and ministry, as well as a sequence of ecclesiastical degrees (STB, STL, and STD) and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in theology and education.

The Theology Department houses the University's undergraduate and doctoral programs in theology as well as a Joint M.A. in Philosophy and Theology. 


Our faculty prioritize cooperation and collaboration—both with their colleagues at CSTM and the Boston College Theology Department and with esteemed regional partners like the Boston Theological Interreligious Consortium.

Learning and Living

At the heart of every classroom is the community of learners, the community that encompasses students and teachers. Together, the members of this community engage the wisdom of a tradition, the challenges of their own time and place, and—crucially—each other’s insights. Effective learning is inseparable from effective living, from embodying in the world the grace of the Holy Spirit, on which theology depends.
Richard Lennan, Professor of Systematic Theology

Hispanic & Latinx Programs

Learn to serve and lead in an increasingly Hispanic church.

Academic Programs

  • M.A. in Theology and Ministry (concentration in Hispanic Ministry)
  • Certificate in Hispanic Ministry
  • Certificate in Theology and Ministry

Haciendo Caminos

In partnership with Notre Dame, this $7.9 million grant from the Lilly Endowment will reduce barriers and increase support for graduate theological education for U.S.-born Hispanic Catholics who will be the next generation of pastoral leaders.

Formación Continua 

A través de cursos virtuales, una oferta de formación, y herramientas digitales, Formación Continua aporta a miles de personas de todo el mundo en sus viajes de fe.

Academics FAQ

question match your criteria

Are the dual degree programs actually doable?
<p>The dual degree programs offered at Boston College are academically rigorous, but more than doable for a student who is very interested in two fields of study.&nbsp; The dual degree programs are a bit longer than the programs offered at the CSTM, resulting in three years of continuous study (though they would take four years if you did the two degrees independently), but there are multiple support networks to help guide you through the process and through the course requirements.<br> </p>
Can I complete the Ph.D. in theology and education without living in Boston?
<p>You must reside in Boston for a minimum of two years while working on your Ph.D. <br /> </p>
Can I take classes outside of CSTM?
<p>Yes. Degree students taking at least one course for credit may do so, through the Boston Theological Interreligious Consortium (BTI), the world’s largest theological consortium. Students can cross-register at local universities that participate in the consortium, such as Harvard University and Boston University. Students may take up to 50% of their course work at a BTI school.<br /> </p> <p><span class="btn btn-default btn-maroon"><a href="">BTI Site</a></span></p>
Do CSTM students have individual advisors?
<p>Yes! Each enrolled student is paired with a member of our faculty for academic advising before your first semester begins. Our faculty members are always excited to meet with and get to know their advisees. At CSTM, students are not just a number. The one-on-one relationship between professor and student allows our students to become familiar with academic life at CSTM, to determine what courses they should take, and to explore options for the future. Students usually have the same advisor for the duration of their academic program, which allows the student and faculty advisor to better discern academic options.<sup></sup><br> </p>
Do I complete a supervised ministry placement as part of the dual degree?
<p>All dual degree students complete placements as part of their program, providing students with the chance to apply their studies and build their ministerial toolbox through&nbsp;rich field experience.</p> <p>M.A./M.S.W. and M.A./M.A. students do not complete a supervised ministry placement through the CSTM, but instead complete a field placement through their partner school. M.A./M.S.W. students complete two&nbsp;social work field placements&nbsp;in Academic Year II and Academic Year III, while M.A./M.A. students complete a&nbsp;full-year counseling practicum&nbsp;in the final year of their program. M.A./M.S.W. and M.A./M.A. students can speak with their field advisors through the School of Social Work and Lynch School of Education and Human Development to identify field placement sites that are a good fit for their unique hopes and goals as dual degree students.</p> <p>M.A./M.B.A. students do complete a supervised ministry placement through the CSTM and will complete this contextual education during the final year of their program.&nbsp;More information on contextual education for the M.A./M.B.A. program can be found in the program handbook.</p> <p>M.A./M.Ed. students do not complete a supervised ministry placement through the CSTM; their teaching position through the Urban Catholic Teacher Corps takes the place of the CSTM placement.</p> <p><a href="/content/bc-web/schools/ssw/academics/msw-program/field-education.html"><span class="btn btn-default btn-gold">Social Work Field Education</span></a></p> <p><a href="/content/bc-web/schools/lynch-school/academics/departments/cdep/practicum.html"><span class="btn btn-default btn-gold">Counseling Practicum</span></a></p> <p><a href=";usp=sharing"><span class="btn btn-default btn-gold">M.A./M.B.A. Handbook</span></a></p>
I'm thinking about the Ph.D. in theology and education. How do you define religious education?
<p>Definitions vary, but BC's program is committed to education <i>from</i> and <i>for</i> a faith perspective on life, with the goal of nurturing people so they can live into a transcendent horizon: God. While grounded in a distinctly Catholic and Christian tradition, our program is honors diverse understandings of God. True to its name, the program takes both theology and education seriously and attempts to integrate them in service to the Church and world.<br /> </p>
My degree program has a ministry practicum component. How do I go about that?
<p>M.A., M.Div. and Th.M. (Ministerial Practice track) students complete a supervised ministry placement. This can be done in a variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, universities, social services, parishes, and nonprofits. There are many placement options. There is even an opportunity to work with the supervised ministry coordinators to develop a new one.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you are a dual degree student with the M.S.W. or M.A. in Mental Health Counseling, you will do your supervised ministry through the practicum requirement at the partner school. Dual degree students are enrolled at CSTM for their first year of study, so they would meet with a placement advisor during their first year of study.</p> <p><a href="/content/bc-web/schools/stm/academics/supervised-ministry.html"><span class="btn btn-default btn-gold">Supervised Ministry</span></a></p>
What do you look for in candidates for the Ph.D. in theology and education? What kind of background and prior training?
<p>A master's degree in theology is required. Candidates should be well recommended by faculty who have taught them at the graduate level, and they should have a strong writing sample and a demonstrated interest in religious education, the interface of theology and education, and/or practical theology. Some experience in teaching or ministry is also vital. <br /> </p>
What if I want to focus my Ph.D. on a particular subdiscipline of theology (Scripture, moral theology, church history, etc.)?
<p>Yes, but you would need to take an education-oriented approach to that subdiscipline that considers not only how to understand it, but also how to teach it effectively. If you are interested solely in the study of systematic theology, Scripture, ethics, or another area,&nbsp;BC's Department of Theology in the Morrissey College of Arts &amp; Sciences&nbsp;offers a Ph.D. in theology.</p> <p><a href="/content/bc-web/schools/mcas/departments/theology/graduate/phd.html"><span class="btn btn-default btn-gold">BC Theology Department</span></a></p>
What is the Boston Theological Interreligious Consortium?
<p>The BTI is a consortium of graduate theological schools in the Boston area, and in recent years, the consortium has begun expanding throughout New England. CSTM's membership in the BTI creates the opportunity for ecumenical and interreligious dialogue through conferences, lectures, and cross-registration. CSTM students can take up to 50% of their courses at BTI member institutions. The BTI sends out a newsletter every two weeks to keep students informed about events happening at its member schools.<br> </p>
What is the difference between CSTM and BC Theology Department?
<p>The Clough School of Theology and Ministry is one school housed within the larger university of Boston College. Through CSTM, students are able to pursue different degrees focused on theology and ministry. The BC Theology Department is housed in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences on Boston College’s Chestnut Hill campus.&nbsp; The focus of the Theology Department is the Ph.D. in theology (offered in Biblical Studies, Moral Theology, Systematics, Historical, and Comparative). Students in both schools are permitted to and encouraged to take classes in either the department or CSTM. The possibilities of courses are endless.<br> </p>

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