Certificates and Special Academic Programs
Boston University School of Theology certificate programs may be pursued independently or as part of other STH degree programs. The purpose of STH Certificates is to help students deepen their knowledge and expertise in a particular area and to document their specialized preparation for ministry.
Religion and Conflict Transformation Certificate
The Certificate in Religion and Conflict Transformation is awarded by the BTI in recognition of courses taken in Religion and Conflict Transformation at BTI schools. The award is determined by the Director of the Tom Porter Religion and Conflict Transformation Program and the Director of the BTI Consortium. The Certificate is not a degree, but an acknowledgment of a student’s interests, efforts, and focuses within their program. For more information, contact the RCT office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Inform your academic advisor about your interest in obtaining the RCT/BTI Certificate.
- Submit the RCT Registration form as soon as possible, and certainly before your last semester.
- Complete work by November 1st for fall graduation or April 1st for spring graduation.
- Be enrolled at a BTI school, either for a degree or for continuing education.
- Take the core course at Boston University School of Theology, “Spirit and Art of Conflict Transformation,” offered every fall semester.
- Take three additional courses that focus on religion and conflict transformation, or take two courses plus do an internship/field education placement.
- Attend the annual RCT Fall Retreat (every year you are in the program).
- Write an integrative paper, 10-12pp, that summarizes and reflects upon your learning, experience, and understanding of religion and conflict transformation and how this will serve you in your vocation.
- Approved Courses
Faith and Ecological Justice Certificate
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.
Theology and LatinX Studies Certificate
The Certificate in Theology and LatinX Studies signifies a student’s concentrated development of research and/or practical competencies in Latinx history, theology, and religious culture. The goal of the program is to prepare students for meaningful and effective work in Latinx communities of faith and to explore the rich depth of Latinx religious traditions. The program offers academic training in methods of contextual analysis through courses in urban ministry and travel seminars. Courses in biblical and historical studies introduce students to the traditions of biblical interpretation as well as the spiritual practices and religious, political, and social influences that have shaped Latinx Christianity. Another strength of the program is the study of the history and sociology of migration from Latin American countries. Successful completion of the program consists of passing four approved courses in the subject area. 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 one of the advisors listed below, and receive approval by petition to the academic dean. Students wanting more information about the Theology and LatinX certificate or the value of such certification may contact one of the faculty advisors listed on the plan of study below, however, Dr. Filipe Maia (email@example.com) is this year’s coordinator of the certificate.
This certificate can be taken by any student, regardless of religious affiliation. United Methodist students who complete the certificate are then prepared to seek certification through their annual conference boards of ordained ministry, in addition to fulfilling other church and personal requirements. The School of Theology’s procedure for documenting students’ specialized academic work is to provide a letter of completion. For questions related to admission into this certificate program, please contact the School of Theology Admissions Office. For all other questions about the certificate program not related to the admissions process, please contact Rev. Dr. Anastasia Kidd, Director of Contextual Education.
Music Ministry Certificate
Certificate in Spirituality Studies
The Certificate in Spirituality Studies signifies a student’s concentrated development of research and/or practical competencies in spirituality as an area of academic reflection, an avenue of lived religious expression and engagement, and a locus of formation and practice. The goal of the certificate program is to prepare students to meaningfully and effectively engage and strengthen the spiritualities of individuals and communities across a wide range of contexts and to explore the rich depth of religious, contextual, and personal resources for such work.
To that end, the Certificate in Spirituality Studies invites students into academic engagement with the historical, theological, anthropological, and practical dimensions of spirituality as both an area of academic study and persons’ and communities’ practical expressions of relationship to the sacred within history. The courses also introduce students to a variety of spiritual practices engaged by people across history, culture, and religious traditions and foster sustained reflection on the relationship of spirituality to various theological, ethical, and practical concerns, as well as historical-cultural contexts and vocation-specific questions. One of the program’s strengths is that it allows students to tailor their academic study of spirituality to their specific interests and vocational paths by providing opportunities for: 1) deep and sustained reflection on the religious resources and historical-contextual expressions of spirituality; 2) understanding of and competence in the facilitation and guidance of spiritual practices; and 3) personal spiritual growth and vocational discernment.
In addition to the Certificate in Spirituality Studies, BU also offers the required coursework for the United Methodist Certificate in Spiritual Formation. Students wanting more information about getting the certification from their board of ordained ministry may contact Rev. Dr. Anastasia Kidd, Director of the Contextual Education office.
Students wanting more information about the Certificate in Spirituality Studies or the value of such certification may contact Dr. Claire Wolfteich, professor of practical theology and spirituality studies.
Learning outcomes and course requirements are available in the STH academic bulletin.
Certificate in Anglican-Episcopal Studies
The Certificate in Anglican and Episcopal Studies signifies a student’s concentrated study in the history, theology, polity, spirituality, and liturgy of Anglican and Episcopal traditions. The goal of the certificate program is to prepare students for life and work in those traditions, but it is open and available to any student interested. Successful completion of the certificate consists of passing any four courses from among the approved list (see below) plus at least two semesters of TC857 Anglican Formation (1 credit per semester)—thus, 14 total credits. 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 Interreligious Institute, they will need to consult with the advisor listed below, and receive approval by petition to the academic dean. Students wanting more information about the certificate or the value of such certification may contact the faculty advisor listed below.
Elise Feyerherm, Adjunct Instructor and Mentor for the Anglican Episcopal Community of Learning
In order to earn the certificate, students must take four courses from the following list of approved courses plus at least two semesters of STH TC857 Anglican Formation (1 credit per semester). Other courses at STH, BU, or the BTI may be petitioned to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
- STH TH811: History of the Episcopal Church
- STH TC8XX: Liturgical Leadership Practicum
- STH TH804: English Christianity from Wycliffe to the Wesleys
- STH TA 811: Book of Common Prayer
- STH TC 819: The Sacraments: Rites and Theologies
- STH TC 858: Dismantling White Privilege
- STH TC 862: The Liturgical Year
- STH TC 868: Worship in the Anglican and Wesleyan Traditions
- STH TH 826: The Reformations
Other Boston University certificates that may be of interest to School of Theology students:
- Fundraising Management Certificate (offered by Metropolitan College at Boston University)
- Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Graduate Certificate (Offered by the Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies) Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Graduate Certificate Website