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Master of Arts in Spiritual Ministry

Master of Arts in Spiritual Ministry (36 credit hours)

The Master of Arts in Spiritual Ministry (MA-SpM) is a professional degree designed to equip persons for competent leadership in spiritual ministry in parish, religious community, or other pastoral settings. Foundational courses undergird effective spiritual ministry with basic background in ministry, religious studies, biblical studies, and church history.  Area requirements emphasize historical perspectives on spirituality and an ecclesial vision of contemporary spirituality as well as basic skills in companioning and spiritual formation.  Nine elective credits enable each student to tailor the program according to unique interests.

While this is not a training program in spiritual direction, it provides an excellent complement to such a program.  Students come with goals such as to exercise spiritual leadership in prayer groups, small Christian communities, or religious communities; work in formation in a religious or lay setting; lead retreats; give workshops or write on spiritual topics; add a broad background in theology and spirituality to a more skills-focused chaplaincy preparation such as CPE; and/or enrich their existing presbyteral or lay ministry with an enhanced spiritual focus.


Distance Learning Option

Up to twelve credit-hours may be earned entirely online. Other courses may be completed in the blended format of both on-site and online coursework.

Program Goals:

  • The general CTU goal for the Professional Master of Arts in specialized Ministry is to prepare pastoral ministers for a variety of leadership roles in the Roman Catholic context.
  • The specific goal of MA-SpM is to give students the knowledge and skills needed to conduct spiritual ministry in a variety of settings.

Learning outcomes for the MA-SpM require students to:

1. Articulate a well-grounded ecclesial vision of spiritual ministry
2. Explain and assess knowledge of some historical traditions of Christian spirituality
3. Interpret the role of theological, biblical, and contextual factors in spiritual teachings and practices; and
4. Demonstrate introductory skills in spiritual companioning and spiritual formation context


All applicants should have an undergraduate degree or its equivalent.



Additional Program Requirements

Participation in appropriate spiritual formation program.

Degree-Specific Admissions Requirements

  1. Three letters of recommendation from persons who can attest to the applicant’s suitability for graduate study and ministry. Letters of recommendation should be sent directly to the Admissions Office. Note: Applicants from participating religious communities need to provide a letter from the community affirming their support to pursue this degree.
  2. Official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended by the applicant. Transcripts are to be sent by the Registrars of these schools directly to the Admissions Office.
  3. Undergraduate background in theology and/or philosophy is recommended.
  4. Three years of experience in communicating religious values to others.