What Is It?
The Master of Arts in Spiritual and Pastoral Care consists of 45 credits and focuses on contemporary ministry and pastoral conversation.
Whether you want to build on previous pastoral experiences or respond to a new call, the Master of Arts in Spiritual and Pastoral Care's four tracks (chaplaincy, spiritual direction, pastoral ministry, and faith and social justice) allow the student to choose a specific focus of personal or vocational interest. The program’s holistic approach invites you into a creative interplay of contemporary science and ancient wisdom, leading you into pastoral conversations that are sensitive to the deepest matters of the heart. Calling forth the ancient tradition of the cura animarum (care of the soul) and joining contemporary conversations relevant to the integration of the body, mind, and spirit, the M.A. seeks to be holistic in scope and yet specialized in content.
- The art of theological reflection and pastoral conversation.
- Preparing qualified persons for ministries in local religious communities or establishing a foundation for work in social justice ministries, chaplaincy, or spiritual direction.
- A grounding in spirituality, pastoral care, and the social sciences.
What Are Possible Career Paths?
- Spiritual Direction—spiritual direction services, retreat settings, private spiritual direction practices, nonprofit holistic health centers, church staffs.
- Chaplaincy—hospital settings, hospice setting, prison ministries, retirement centers, or other institutions.
- Ministry—variety of parish, congregational, or parachurch contexts.
- Faith and Social Justice - community organizing, nonprofit organizations, advocacy, volunteer management, and congregation- and community-based justice work.
How Long Does it Take?
The M.A. degree requires completion of 45 credits and consists of a core concentration of 30 credits, a 9-credit specialized, professionally minded track of study and internship, and a 6-credit focus on integrating theory and practice with research. The core courses focus on the acquirement of skills in the areas of crisis intervention, the pastoral helping relationship, pastoral diagnosis, spiritual formation and guidance, theological reflection, and praxis.
Full Time: just over 2 year
Part Time: Self-paced, flexible
To learn more about the M.A. program, please review the typical course of study as well as the learning goals.
Is this Program Accredited?
Association of Professional Chaplains (AAPC): The M.A. program is affiliated with AAPC but it is not accredited by AAPC. Our courses are approved as graduate education by the Association of Professional Chaplains for those working to become board certified chaplains.
Spiritual Director International (SDI): Although there is no formal institutional arrangement, many of our students in the spiritual direction track are affiliated with SDI.
How Many Credits Are Required?
45 credits. Browse the financial aid website for University tuition and fees.