Courage to Preach

A six-credit post-master's certificate program for individuals serving young adults. 

The program will train participants to read and interpret Scripture and use it as a foundational collection to preach on contemporary issues, such as racial, economic, and environmental justice. The program will teach methods for preaching and teaching diverse audiences. It is especially attuned to the various opportunities, contexts, and media that can be most effective for reaching young adults.


Certificate Features

  •  Hybrid certificate program that can be completed in one year (see program format below) with a small cohort 
  • Critical and creative engagement with Scripture 
  • Enhanced preaching and public speaking skills 
  • Hands-on experience practicing preaching and developing justice-focused activities in different contexts
Jamie L. Waters
My hope is that Courage to Preach will inspire ministers and leaders to see themselves as preachers. The program will help participants build confidence and skills in biblical study, preaching, public speaking, and digital media. Each of the three courses in the program will be attentive to issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice and ways that theological reflection can speak to these issues. Overall, I am very excited to lead this innovative and timely program!
Jaime L. Waters, Ph.D., Courage to Preach Program Director and Associate Professor of Old Testament


The hybrid program is completed over one year with a combination of in person and online components. Participants begin in person during Summer A or Summer B. Summer A is held during even years, and Summer B is held during odd years. Summer A and B can be completed in any order. After completing a summer course, participants complete  a project and online module during the academic year. Participants then return to complete the second summer course to earn the Courage to Preach certificate.

Summer A

Scripture, Preaching, and Public Speaking

This course focuses on studying, analyzing and preaching Scripture in ways that are attentive to issues of justice. Special attention will be given to prophetic literature, psalms, and gospels. This course helps participants hone practical and innovative preaching skills such as public speaking and use of music and art to enhance preaching. 

Themes will include:

  • Biblical study
  • Preaching on justice
  • Public speaking
  • Use of the arts

Academic Year

Preaching in Action

This course prepares students to develop and implement a preaching activity. It also explores effective preaching and communication in digital spaces. 



Themes will include:

  • Digital environments
  • Print media
  • Video creation
  • Project planning and implementation

Summer B

Preaching to Diverse Communities

This course focuses on engaging diverse young adult communities in meaningful ways. Special attention will be given to connecting through prayer and reflection. 



Themes will include:

  • Young adults
  • Diversity
  • Inclusion
  • Prayer




Who should apply?

  • Lay or ordained ministers working with young adults
  • Professionals at universities who work in areas such as university mission and offices of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Prerequisites include a master's degree in theology, education, or other relevant fields

Early Action Deadline: March 3, 2025. 

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis after this date until the program is full. 


Application Form

The application to CSTM must be completed online.

Application Form

Application Fee

A non-refundable fee of $75 is required for every degree and non-degree application submitted.

Payment Options

  • Pay by credit or debit card via the web; You can pay the application fee at the same time your submit your application form. 

Please note: The application fee cannot be refunded for any reason. If you qualify for a fee waiver, you should not pay the fee when you submit the application form. Fee waivers are granted to the following applicants: Jesuits, veterans, applicants currently completing a year of service or who are Pell Grant-eligible, and current STM students. We do not waive the application fee for other reasons.

Personal Statement

The personal statement must be uploaded as part of the application.  The personal statement should be two to three pages in length, double-spaced.

Your statement should address the following:

  • What leads you to apply to a preaching certificate program at this time?
  • How might this program contribute to your professional and personal growth and development?


We require transcripts from all colleges, universities, seminaries, or theological schools that you have attended. Each transcript should contain a list of all coursework taken, grades/marks received, and, if applicable, degree granted and date of degree confirmation. If your college or university will send official transcripts electronically, they can be emailed to  Otherwise, transcripts must be mailed and be contained in a sealed, signed envelope. If the official transcript is not English, a translation should be provided with the official document. Please alert us if your transcript will be arriving with a different name than the one you are using on your application (e.g. your maiden name). Please note that a transcript is only considered official if received directly from the institution issuing it.

Please note that your application may be reviewed with unofficial copies of your transcripts. If you send unofficial copies, know that if admitted, you must sent official copies before you begin coursework. If you are currently finishing your theological master's, you must send a final, official version of your transcript upon graduating, and before beginning the Post-Master's Certificate. If you have questions, please reach out to us.

Mailing Addresses
For applicants using the U.S. Postal Service:
Boston College Clough School of Theology and Ministry
Simboli Hall
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

For applicants using FedEx or UPS:
Boston College Clough School of Theology and Ministry
Simboli Hall
9 Lake Street
Brighton, MA 02135-3841


Applicants to Courage to Preach are equired to submit one recommendation using the online application system. 

The recommender should be familiar with the applicant’s suitability for a comprehensive ministerial development program.

If your recommendation is not from a work supervisor, you will need to include an additional letter from someone indicating an approval to complete a project at your home institution. 

Lastly, applicants who are Catholic diocesan priests or deacons, or members of religious orders must submit a letter of approval and financial support from their bishop, major superior, or Provincial. This is in addition to the other recommendation. Please select "Bishop/Major Superior" as the recommender type on the application form.

Please be sure that your recommenders are aware of the application deadlines and online process, and choose them carefully to ensure that they can write on your behalf in a timely manner.


The resume must be uploaded as part of the application.  It is helpful if you highlight relevant ministry, service, and leadership positions you have held.

Religious & International Applicants

Religious Applicants

Applicants who are Catholic diocesan priests or deacons or members of religious orders must submit a letter of approval and financial support from their bishop, major superior, or Provincial. Please select "Bishop/Major Superior" as the recommender type on the application form.

International Applicants

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