Centers and Programs

Boston University School of Theology Centers and Programs help students to connect their academic studies with the practice of ministry lived out in faith communities and the world.

Anna Howard Shaw Center

The Anna Howard Shaw Center provides research, education, support, advocacy, and fellowship for women who are dedicated to making a difference. Named after the Rev. Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, a Methodist minister, medical doctor, and suffragist, the Center is active in the lives of STH students through its Thursday lunch events, discussion groups, fall and spring retreats, workshops, presentation series, and worship services.

Center for Global Christianity and Mission

The Center for Global Christianity and Mission aspires to be a community where people live out their missional callings through critical reflection, faithful witness, and thoughtful engagement with multiple cultures around the world. The Center was established in 2002 to explore the most important development in Christianity during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries: the shift of Christianity’s demographic center to the southern hemisphere and parts of Asia. The Center also seeks to document and digitize the contours of global Christianity.

Center for Practical Theology

The Center for Practical Theology brings together scholars and ministry leaders to strengthen the relationship between theological research and the experiences and visions of faith communities. The Center sponsors research on vocation, spiritual formation and church life, finding faith today, and youth ministry. It also hosts consultations on preaching and postcolonial theology, poverty and justice, and feminist practical theology.

Faith and Ecological Justice Program

History

For almost 20 years, the School of Theology has been building strength in ecological justice, beginning with courses and projects, sustainable practices, curriculum tracks, and LEEDS-certified renovations. In 2017, the School joined the second cohort of theological schools in the Green Seminary Initiative’s certification process. As part of that certification process, Dean Mary Elizabeth Moore gathered a team of faculty, staff, and students. The School undertook a self-audit of ongoing ecological justice efforts in education, buildings and maintenance, community life, liturgy and worship, and public leadership. The School began discussing the possibility of launching a program centered on ecological justice, which in 2018 was aptly named the “Faith and Ecological Justice Program”.

The Certificate in Faith and Ecological Justice signifies a student’s concentrated development of research and/or practical competencies in ecotheology, environmental ethics, and ecologically-informed spirituality and practices. The goal of the certificate is to prepare students for meaningful and effective work in faith-based environmental initiatives and to explore the rich depth of religious resources for such work. Courses in theology and ethics introduce students to the ways that religious traditions have portrayed human relations to the natural world as well as how they have responded to environmental challenges. Travel seminars and colloquia offer students training in ecologically-informed spiritual practices and activism. Successful completion of the program consists of passing three approved courses in the subject area and completing three one-credit colloquia. The certificate can be earned in conjunction with degree program requirements or as a stand-alone certificate. If a student wants to substitute other courses including those from one of the other schools in the Boston Theological Institute, they will need to consult with Dr. Rebecca Copeland, Assistant Professor of Theology, and receive approval by petition to the academic dean. Students wanting more information about the Faith and Ecological certificate or the value of such certification may contact Dr. Copeland.

Faith and Ecological Justice Certificate Plan of Study

Theology & the Arts

Each year the Theology & the Arts Program sponsors art and religion-related competition. Previous competitions include poetry, hymn-writing, and photography.

The Tom Porter Religion & Conflict Transformation Program

The Tom Porter Religion & Conflict Transformation Program prepares students to lead change and build peace through imaginative action. Its certificate program trains leaders in the theology, theory, and practice of faith-based conflict transformation in faith communities and in the world. The program provides opportunities for practical engagement and contextual education beyond the classroom through internships and contextual education placement. First established in 2004 with generous funding from the Luce Foundation, this program prepares religious leaders to become a resource for peace in a multi-cultural, multi-faith world. The program emphasizes the following focal areas: conflict studies, trauma healing, restorative justice, human security, and spiritual formation of peacebuilders. The program is offered to students enrolled in degree programs, as well as to students in non-degree students, ministers and other professionals in the field seeking to advance their education and receive training and certification in the area of religion and conflict transformation.

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