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Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies

MA in Spirituality - Online Curriculum


The Master of Arts in Spirituality (MASp): Contemporary Spirituality Concentration is one of two programs in the field of spirituality offered at the Institute of Pastoral Studies / Loyola University Chicago.  The MASp: Spiritual Direction Concentration at IPS trains spiritual directors, but it cannot be done online.  The MASp: Contemporary Spirituality Concentration is the academic and practical study of the field of spirituality, and it can be completed entirely online

The Contemporary Spirituality degree emphasizes five areas of study:

An Integration Project near the end of the degree synthesizes these primary study areas. 

This degree is suited to persons who desire an intelligent and structured approach to their own spiritual journey.  It also provides the requisite spiritual, theological, biblical, and psychological resources for general Christian ministry.  Students pursue the M.A. in Contemporary Spirituality through a prescribed curriculum (4 Core Courses, 3 Contemporary Spirituality courses, plus 17credit hours of Electives).  Advanced Standing and/or Transfer Credit can be arranged for previous theological, psychological, or ministerial graduate-level study from accredited graduate institutions.

Note: all of the Core and Elective courses for the Contemporary Spirituality degree can be applied to the 72 credit hour Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program at the Institute of Pastoral Studies.  Additionally, completion of the M. A. in Contemporary Spirituality qualifies students for the Graduate Certificate Program in Spiritual Direction at IPS in either of its optional formats: the Spiritual Accompaniment Program [SAP], or the Ignatian Exercises Program [IEP].  However, residency in or near Chicago is required for all spiritual direction programs at IPS.

Curriculum:  Contemporary Spirituality Concentration / Online

4 Core Courses (at 3 credit hours each) = 12 credit hours

3 Contemporary Spirituality Concentration Courses = 7 credit hours

Electives = 17 credit hours

The number of elective courses in the Contemporary Spirituality Program is extensive.  Students in the MASp: Contemporary Spirituality Concentration may choose from any online course offered in each semester at the IPS.  Note: elective courses are offered in yearly cycles, so not in each year.  Past elective courses have included the following: 

Integration Project

Arrangement for the Integration Project in the final year of study in M.A. in Contemporary Spirituality will be made with the Director of the Master of Arts in Spirituality degree.  There are optional designs for this Project fitting with the curriculum requirements of the degree.


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