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Boston College. Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry



  • Usage: 1979 - 2008

Historical Note

Boston College's Institute for the Study of Religious Education and Service was established in 1971 by the Reverend John McCall, who served as its first director. In the wake of Vatican II, many similar programs sprung up around the country, responding to the need to instill a quality of professionalism into religious educators. A 1974 press release described the Boston College program as emphasizing "the new theology which stresses experience as opposed to dogma, the lived faith as opposed to doctrine."

The program initially offered an M.Ed. in religious education. The Certificate of Advanced Educational Specialization required thirty credits beyond the Master's. It was available to students with at least three years of experience in religious education and a master's degree in a related field.

In the program's early years, religious women dominated the student body: in 1971, eighty-four were enrolled, as opposed to twenty-five male clergy and nine lay people. With the increase in summer enrollment, more students began taking courses during the academic year. Lay students increasingly joined the Institute as full-time students until they comprised half the full-time student body in 1976.

By 1979, the Institute had grown to include an M.A. degree in pastoral ministry and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in religion and education. Renamed the Institute for the Study of Religious and Pastoral Ministry, it continued to expand to include a joint professional degree program for the M.S.W. and M.A. In 1985, Boston College, in cooperation with the Mexican-American Cultural Center (MACC), announced the establishment of a program of studies in Hispanic Ministry. Students would study at Boston College and MACC's headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, pursuing a Master's in Pastoral Ministry.

In 2004, the University established The Church in the 21st Century Center. In 2008, the School of Theology and Ministry opened. Much of the programming offered by the Institute was absorbed into programming offered by these two programs.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Boston College Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Scope and Contents

Composed of correspondence, memoranda, meeting minutes, reports, publications, and other materials. Most of the collection consists of administrative files of the Institute's Associate Director.

Restrictions on access

Collection is closed until processed.

Dates: 1975 - 1996