After his first year at the helm of the School of Theology and Ministry, 耶稣会牧师则会反思并展望未来

今年夏天,迈克尔.J., completed his first year as dean of the School of Theology and Ministry. 在这个Q中&A, he reflects on what he has learned during the past year, STM正在处理的关键问题, 以及对学校未来的规划.

Q. 在 公告 of your appointment as dean of the 电子游戏软件 School of Theology and Ministry, you stated: “My first order of business will be to listen and to learn.” What have you learned about the STM over this past year?

Happily, I learned what I most wanted to learn: that the STM is a wonderful community. Faculty and staff are deeply committed to our mission to form leaders for the Church and the world. 我发现学生很好, 真的:慷慨, 他们的目的是严肃的, even as they ask important questions about who they are called to be. And while all my conversations confirmed that the STM is an institution in great shape, 我也开始看到我们可以成长的方式, 适应, 和改善.

Q. 你如何看待STM对学生的帮助, 天主教会的新领导人和牧师, address critical contemporary issues such as climate change, 种族平等, 经济公正?

你问经济公正. I’m delighted that we have just hired a professor in moral theology who specializes in economic ethics: Christina McRorie, 谁最近在克莱顿教书. And certainly climate change and 种族平等 are key moral issues to which our students are especially sensitive. I think the unique way the STM can help its students address these issues as leaders and ministers is to help them ground their questions and commitments in a deep theological tradition. Many institutions give their students scientific or sociological tools to address contemporary issues. STM的 helps its students relate the issues to theology, a spiritual life, a search for God. The world needs people to make those connections, and our students will be able to do just that!

Q. How has the work of STM’s Committee on Race and Ethnicity (CORE) benefited the STM community?

STM的’s CORE has helped bring the issue of 种族平等 front and center in the community life of the STM. 我们有一个战略计划, "形成种族正义,” and we have been assiduously advancing toward specific goals and objectives. Each semester we have a school-wide community meeting where we pay special attention to where we need to be growing as we deepen our awareness of the complexities of race and ethnicity in our lives, 我们的社区, 以及我们的机构.

Q. Pope Francis has called on Catholics around the world to engage in synodality, a journey focused on “enlarging the tent” and building a listening church. STM是如何参与这个过程的?

以各种方式. 例如, our colleague Rafael Luciani has been appointed as expert to the Theological Commission of the General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops. 他最近出版了一本名为 同义性:一种新的进行方式 在教堂里. Anthony Russo recently returned from a gathering specifically for young people who were present as the current meeting of the synod has convened. 他谈到了这是一次多么感人的经历. 但更普遍的是, the STM takes this as a moment to ask the profound question that Pope Francis wants us to ask. 那就是:圣灵在哪里引导教会? This is a profoundly different kind of question than asking what agenda do I or anyone else have for the church, 因为它终于意识到自己是上帝的教会, 不是任何个人或政党的项目. As the prayer of Oscar Romero says: “We are workers, not master builders.”  

Q. STM的, 与BC神学系合作, is ranked 10th among universities worldwide in Theology, 神性 & Religious Studies in the 2023 QS World University Rankings. What do you believe are the leading factors that contribute to STM’s success and distinctiveness?

首先我要指出的是优秀的教师, who aspire to be not only excellent scholars but deeply caring formatores of the next generation of leaders. As a community we are very collaborative and formative. 除了, the fact that we are Jesuit and Catholic really leads to our success and distinctiveness. To many people that indicates academic rigor and creativity that is, 在一个很深的, 坚定的意识, 为教会和世界服务. We take very seriously the question Pope Francis is asking the whole Church: “Where is the Holy Spirit leading us?“不是所有在神学方面都很优秀的机构, 神性, 宗教电子游戏正规平台有这种奉献精神. 当然有.

Q. 你对STM未来的目标是什么?

在 coming year we will update the Strategic Plan that [former STM dean] Tom Stegman finalized in 2018. I don’t see radical departures from the basic directions, 是用来指导STM十年的吗. Continuing our efforts to be a premier Catholic institution for formative theological education is paramount. Developing our capacities in spirituality and attending to crucial social issues will also be central moving forward. 我的感觉, 虽然, is that we will need to focus on a few areas and create a more strategic approach to achieve clearer goals. 例如, we need to determine how the STM can best serve a Church that—in the United States, 至少,越来越多的人是西班牙裔或拉丁裔. 虽然我们有许多全球合作伙伴, it will be important for us to figure out how exactly we, 作为STM, 对全球教会最有用的. There are also possible innovative programs for us to consider, and I have heard from a lot of lay students that they want to deepen their experience of formation, perhaps in the context of residential learning communities. So my hope in the next year is to set up a number of processes to determine what our actual goals are and what it will look like to accomplish them.