Gaudete: celebrating welcoming parishes, schools, communities, and people

Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

Boston, Mass.

Anthony Russo, Jacqueline M. Regan / October 25, 2022
STM students Julia Erdlen and Nick Fagnant
at the Ignitian Family Teach-In for Justice

Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (STM) is a Jesuit Catholic graduate school that joyfully welcomes LGBTQ+ students and is committed to their full flourishing.  We do so through several channels, including a student group called Gaudete, the STM extension of the greater lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally (LGBTQ+) resources at Boston College.

Gaudete has a long history at the STM, dating back to 2010.  Gaudete is a welcoming and affirming community of STM students that recognizes the dignity of each person and seeks to enrich the acceptance of diverse gender and sexual identities at the STM.  Gaudete provides a space for hope, witness, and dialogue for all students, and celebrates inclusivity through fellowship, discussion, workshops, and event sponsorship at the STM and beyond.  Gaudete’s offerings have included:

  • Safe Space Brunches only for members of STM’s LGBTQ+ community
  • Co-sponsoring a recent Prayer Service of Welcome and Belonging with St. Ignatius Parish for the wider LGBTQ+ community of Boston College 
  • Graduate conferences on gender, sexuality, and Catholic theology. The 2021 conference was titled “God of the Outcast:  Gender, Sexuality and Catholic Theology.”  Linn Tonstad of Yale Divinity School was the keynote speaker.  

Below are additional ways STM seeks to support LGBTQ+ students:

  • STM has regularly offered a course on ministry within the LGBTQ+ community (next offered in Summer 2023), and recently hosted an exhibit in our Theology and Ministry Library called “Here All Along, Here to Stay: LGBTQ Catholics in the United States.” 
  • We offer a full-tuition scholarship called the Building Bridges Scholarship geared toward applicants committed to inclusive ministry within the LGBTQ+ community. 
  • Through an extensive alumni network, the STM provides assistance to LGBTQ+ students as they transition from graduate school to full-time employment in faith-based and secular settings.

Learn more about our programsscholarships, and how to apply here, and feel free to reach out to the admissions office with any questions: [email protected] or 617-552-6506.

Testimonial: Julia Erdlen, M.Div. ’22

The STM was where I first experienced queer community, being welcomed into and ultimately facilitating our LGBTQ+ student group, Gaudete. And it has brought me so much joy! Studying the teachings and doctrines, history and current actions of the Catholic Church can be both consoling and challenging as a queer person, but Gaudete ensured that I was never alone. I had, and continue to have, a queer Catholic community that energizes me to do good work in the Catholic Church.

Testimonial: Nick Fagnant, M.A.T.M. ’22, Ph.D. Theology and Education ’26

At the STM, I began living fully out as my authentic, gay self for the first time ever, while simultaneously taking my first deep dive into Queer Theology. With these two joyous personal and spiritual developments, the friendships I formed and community I made in and through Gaudete were invaluable. Finding a queer-normative and queer-celebratory space at the STM not only feeds my spirit through accompaniment and synodality (which I crave in the broader Church!), but we also have great brunches! 

Anthony Russo

Anthony Russo is the Associate Dean, Graduate Enrollment Management at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.

Jacqueline M. Regan

Jacqueline M. Regan is the Associate Dean, Student Affairs and Career Services at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.

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