Through classroom discussion, reflection, retreats, service-learning programs, volunteer service, and guided conversations among students and faculty, formative education attempts to knit together the discrete parts of a college education into a larger whole in an effort to help students to become their best selves.

There is a broader moral order to the universe in which we are called to participate. It is the dimension of us as human beings that formative education tries to awaken and build upon. Imagination and fulfillment are central to the formative experience and to helping students to lead lives of meaning and purpose.
Stanton E.F. Wortham, Dean, Lynch School of Education and Human Development


An opportunity for seniors and second-semester juniors to focus on their own personal development—in relationships, society, academics, spirituality, career, and personal skills.


A program offering unique courses to first-year students encouraging them to reflect on their lives and interests while getting to know their faculty advisors.

Perspectives Program

A four-year, interdisciplinary program that encourages students to work out coherent answers to enduring questions such as Who are we, Where do we come from, and Where are we going?

Core Curriculum

The centerpiece of Jesuit education has always been a core curriculum that emphasizes the study of defining works in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.

Cross Currents Seminars

One-credit courses that push undergraduate students to explore topics from other courses in greater depth by connecting academic material with their personal experiences, values, and actions.


A Carroll School of Management program that builds bridges between business education and the liberal arts by asking first-year students to view management through an ethical and multi-disciplinary lens.


A sophomore retreat that customizes the formation experience for nursing students through small-group discussions, professional development workshops, and presentations by professors, alumni, and upperclassmen.

El Camino Pilgrimage Course

A philosophy course and international immersion experience that invites students to trek along the Camino de Santiago—a centuries-old pilgrimage route in Northern Spain.


A service learning program that educates students about social injustice by combining service placements with classroom discussions of classic and contemporary works of philosophy and theology.

Experience, Reflection, and Action (ERA)

An opportunity for first-year Lynch School students to discuss experiences; reflect on subjects concerning wholeness, purpose, and community; and engage in meaningful action to promote social justice.

I define student formation as a threepart journey—social formation, spiritual formation, and academic formation. Understanding how the three are interrelated, in and out of the classroom— whether it be retreats, service programs, or mentorship—is integral to helping students to understand themselves and how they can pay it forward at Boston College.
Michael Osaghae ’20, President, Undergraduate Government of Boston College


An off-campus weekend experience open to all first-year students interested in gaining a fuller understanding of the possibilities and challenges of a Jesuit education.


A weekly service organization that combines four hours of volunteering at a local placement with one hour of group reflection centered on community, social justice, and spirituality.

BC Bigs

A mentoring program that connects BC students with young people in the Greater Boston area through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay.

Center for Student Formation

A resource that helps students integrate their intellectual, social, and spiritual lives through mentorship programs, retreats, leadership opportunities, and service experiences.

Compass Mentoring Program

A mentorship program connecting first-year AHANA students with senior and junior AHANA mentors to help them fully embrace Boston College and the formative experiences it offers.

Division of Student Affairs

A group of 15 affiliated departments that provide a rich array of programs and services to promote student learning, health and wellness, leadership development, and engagement.

Faculty Dinners with Students

To promote mentorship and student formation, the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences offers financial reimbursement to faculty who invite their classes to their homes for dinner.


Students join faculty and staff in exploring their joys and talents while gaining a deeper understanding of their Jesuit education in this three-day retreat centered around the key questions of vocational discernment.


A student-facilitated weekend rooted in the Ignatian, Catholic tradition where students of all faith backgrounds and experiences can engage in spiritual reflection away from the busyness of campus.

Office of Campus Ministry

An office dedicated to fostering lives of faith and justice among the University community through pastoral, sacramental, retreat, and service-immersion programming.

The Volunteer & Service Learning Center

BC’s primary service portal that supports the education and formation of students by promoting conscientious service with a strong commitment to the Greater Boston community.

Center for Ignatian Spirituality

Providing the Boston College community with the vision and history of the University’s Jesuit mission and the spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola, the foundation of that mission.


An office dedicated to fostering a spirit of citizenship among faculty and staff while helping them explore BC’s Jesuit mission through seminars, retreats, and international immersion trips.

Management Development Perspectives

Providing managers and administrators with a broad understanding of the University's operations, goals, and challenges through the lens of its tradition, pedagogy, and strategic mission.