By Boston College Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies
Aug 27th, 2018

One key to the unprecedented success of Jesuit education has been the tension between the recognizable uniformity that long distinguished the methods, contents, and practices of Jesuit schools and the ability of those schools to adapt to different contexts and times.

Both aspects—the uniformity and the adaptability—were explicitly supported by the Ratio studiorum, the Jesuits’ foundational plan of studies issued in 1599, which, despite the schools’ many variations and complexities, retained significant influence for centuries. Yet, when they discarded the Ratio, Jesuit schools had to clarify what made them distinctively Jesuit, reconciling their mission with the contemporary world.

The lived tradition of Jesuit pedagogy is the subject of a new online course offered through the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies. This three-credit, graduate-level course sketches the developments of Jesuit educational endeavors by focusing on both the permanent and changing traits of its distinctive pedagogy. It provides a unique and in-depth examination of the continuities and changes within Jesuit education.

Jesuit Pedagogy follows the historical path of Jesuit pedagogy from the earliest foundational moments to the most recent developments of Ignatian paradigms. Students will learn and discuss about continuities, discontinuities, shift and coming back in the living tradition of Jesuit education, whose main pillar has always been that of inquiring on what makes teaching practices and pedagogies distinctively Jesuit.

Jesuit Pedagogy begins the week of August 27, 2018. It consists of 14 modules, which roughly meet on a weekly basis (there is no module the week of Thanksgiving in the United States). The course features regular engagement between professor and students with video lectures and small group discussions, via chat and video. It is grounded in close reading of primary and secondary sources, from the origins of the Society of Jesus through the beginning of the 21st century. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, with initial enrollment limited to 25 participants.

The course is led by Cristiano Casalini, a Research Scholar at the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies and Associate Professor at the Lynch School of Education of Boston College. Prof. Casalini is a specialist on the History of Jesuit Education and Philosophy of Education, with his larger field dedicated to early modern education. He has worked on critical texts and commentaries of 16th and 17th century classics of education, especially in and around the Jesuit order. He has also edited, with Claude Pavur, the first volume of a series devoted to the history of Jesuit pedagogy, entitled Jesuit Pedagogy. A Reader (1540–1616). Casalini also wrote a book on the Cursus Conimbricensis and the education at the Jesuit college of Coimbra (Rome: Anicia, 2012; Coimbra: Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra, 2015; and New York: Routledge, 2017), which was awarded with the Prémio Joaquím de Carvalho, 2016. He is also editor-in-chief of a series published by Brill on History of Early Modern Educational Thought.

Jesuit Pedagogy is a three-credit course. Unless already enrolled as a student at Boston College, participants in the course will be admitted through the School of Theology and Ministry. Enrolled students will have full access to the digital resources of Boston College Libraries. They will also have access to additional resources unique to the course as well as those freely accessible through the Portal to Jesuit Studies.

The Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies offers this new online course through its Certificate in Jesuit Studies program. Individuals not pursuing a Certificate may also apply to engage in any aspect of the program (for example, taking a single online course or participating in the immersion travel), with the exception of the leadership seminar. Earned credits, however, still may be applied towards a Certificate later. Tuition for this three-credit course are $3,318.

To apply, please complete the application form found online and provide the requested supporting materials. There is no application deadline. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, with initial enrollment limited to 25 participants.

Please contact the Institute with any questions ( ; +1-617-552-2568).

More information is available at at the Institute’s website,