Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies


MA in Spirituality/Spiritual Direction (36 hrs.)

MASp Curriculum

The MA program in spirituality (MASp) offers a choice of two 36-credit hour Concentrations (Spiritual Direction and Contemporary Spirituality) and an 18-credit hour Graduate Certificate Program in Spiritual Direction.

The MA Spiritual Direction Concentration offers two programs: the Spiritual Accompaniment (SA) program and the Ignatian Exercises Program (IEP). Both programs are offered as Graduate Certificates, as well. Note: neither Spiritual Direction program (SA or IEP) is offered online.

The MA Contemporary Spirituality Concentration can be done either at the Water Tower Campus of Loyola University Chicago, at Loyola’s Academic Center at the Cuneo Mansion & Gardens in Vernon Hills, IL., or completely online.

  • MA Spiritual Direction Concentration/Spiritual Accompaniment (SA) (see below)
  • MA Spiritual Direction Concentration/Ignatian Exercises Program (IEP/click here)
  • MA Contemporary Spirituality Concentration/On Campus (see below)
  • MA Contemporary Spirituality Concentration/Online (see below and click here)
  • MA Contemporary Spirituality Concentration/Cuneo Mansion (click here)
  • Graduate Certificate Programs in Spiritual Direction (SA or IEP/click here)

By completing the Master of Arts in Spirituality (Spiritual Direction or Contemporary Spirituality) or the Graduate Certificate program, students will be able to demonstrate:

  • An integrated spirituality grounded in self-awareness and engagement with modern culture, as well as with the classic and contemporary resources in the Christian tradition
  • Spirituality literacy grounded in biblical, theological and psychological competencies
  • Spirituality praxis through personal engagement around spiritual themes
  • Professional skills in spiritual direction (in the SA and IEP Spiritual Direction Programs)

Master of Arts in Spirituality (MASp/36 hours)

Core Courses (for all Spiritual Direction and Contemporary Spirituality MA degrees): 4 3-hour courses (12 credit hours)

▲ = online availability

  • Foundations of Christian Spirituality (IPS 545/fall only, and summers in Rome) ▲
  • Biblical Foundations (IPS 416—Christian Origins/spring only, and summers in Rome; or IPS 417—Literature of Ancient Israel/fall only) ▲▲
  • Theological Foundations (IPS 531—Christian Doctrine/spring only) ▲
  • Psychological Foundations (IPS 555—Human Person and Psychological Development/fall and spring) ▲

Note: the semester rotation indicated in the parentheses above is the “on campus” course rotation. Click here for the Schedule_of_Required_Courses of the Core Courses listed above, including the online schedule for these courses.

MA Spiritual Direction Concentration/Spiritual Accompaniment

Note: The curriculum below is for the MA in Spiritual Accompaniment (SA) program. The Ignatian Exercises Program (IEP) has its own MA and Graduate Certificate curriculums. Click on above for the IEP. Neither the SA or the IEP currently are offered online.

5 3-hour required courses* (added to 4 Core Courses above)/9 hours of electives/plus 4 semesters of non-credit personal spiritual direction

  • Introduction to Spirituality Praxis* (IPS 428/fall only—Year I)
  • Advanced Spiritual Accompaniment Praxis* (IPS 429/spring Only—Year I / 428 prereq.)
  • Spiritual Accompaniment Practicum I* (IPS 430/fall only—Year II/428 & 429 prereq.)
  • Spiritual Accompaniment Practicum II* (IPS 432/spring only—Year II/428, 429, & 430 prereq.)
  • Ethics of Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Direction* (IPS 512/spring only)
  • 9 hrs. of Electives (▲ a number elective courses are available online)
  • Personal Spiritual Direction (4 semesters). An official Confirmation Form must be signed and submitted to the IPS Office for the student’s file for each of the 4 semesters. Click here for the .

MA Contemporary Spirituality Concentration

5 required courses* (added to 4 Core Courses above)/12 credit hours of electives (15 for online students)/and an Integration Project

Note: The 4 Core Courses (above) and all of the Contemporary Spirituality courses below are offered online, with the exception of IPS 428. Online students, thus, choose an additional elective in place of IPS 428.

  • Spiritual Paths in World Religions* (IPS 403/ ▲ fall only in odd years and only online)
  • Christian Moral Theology and Ethics* (IPS 553/spring only and summers in Rome) ▲
  • Introduction to Spirituality Praxis* (IPS 428/fall only on campus) (online students choose another elective in place of 428)
  • Spirituality Field Project* (1 credit hour of field experience is required; it can be done in any semester with the approval of the Graduate Program Director. Note: attend to the deadlines for submitting the Guided Study Registration Form and Contract) ▲
    Click here for Guided Study: Spirituality Field Study—Directives
    Click here for Guided Study: Spirituality Field Study—Protocol
    Click here for Guided Study: Registration Form and Contract
  • Integration Project* (2 credit hours; in final year. Note: attend to the deadlines for submitting the Integration Project Registration Form and Contract) ▲
    Click here for Integration Project Protocol
    Click here for Integration Project Registration Form and Contract
  • 12 hours of electives (15 hours for online students) (▲ a number of electives are offered online)

Note: the semester rotation indicated in the parentheses above is the “on campus” course rotation. Click here for the IPS Core Course Rotation Schedule including the online schedule for the Contemporary Spirituality courses listed above.

Graduate Certificates in Spiritual Direction

IPS offers two 6-course, 18 credit hour Graduate Certificate programs in Spiritual Direction suited to applicants with a Masters degree or above in theological or ministerial studies, psychology or counseling, psychiatric social work, or health care. The Certificate is offered under the rubrics of both the Spiritual Accompaniment (SA) program in ongoing spiritual direction and the specialization in Ignatian spirituality and the Spiritual Exercises, the Ignatian Exercises Program (IEP).

Click here for more information about both Graduate Certificate offerings at IPS.