School of the Heart

Tertianship

The final element of formation before a Jesuit takes solemn vows is called the tertianship. It is, in effect, a second novitiate and represents a return to the school of the heart.

Whereas the novitiate lasts two years, the tertianship programme takes less than a year. During this time Jesuits complete the 30 day retreat for the second time in their Jesuit life. They also take time to study the constitutions of the Society in closer detail to come to a greater understanding of our mission, our vows etc. The ‘schola affectus’, or school of the heart, is so important because the extent to which we allow Christ to permeate our whole being will have an impact on how effective we are in mission. If we don’t go deep in our study and prayer then we run the risk of remaining on the surface or being superficial.