Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies

MA in Christian Spirituality – Spiritual Direction Concentration


Curriculum Planning Worksheet for
MA_Christian_Spirituality-Spiritual_Direction_Concentration

The Spiritual Direction Concentration provides MA in Christian Spirituality students the opportunity to focus their formation on acquiring the theoretical and practical skills they need to provide spiritual direction, where they will accompany others with their spiritual development and relationship with God. Spiritual directors walk alongside each person on his or her spiritual journey, accompanying individuals as they become more fully realized spiritual beings. Students also have the unique opportunity to learn to direct and use the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola in and for spiritual direction, offering spiritual accompaniment framed by and infused with the Jesuit perspective and values.

MA in Christian Spirituality students opting for the Spiritual Direction concentration must take two additional required courses (in place of the two electives):

  • IPS 429 Essentials of Spiritual Direction
  • IPS 501 Advanced Human Relations Skills

Students must also complete 4 semesters of spiritual direction. The 30-day or 30-week version of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola will count for 2 semesters of personal spiritual direction Spiritual_Direction_Confirmation_Form

Students in the MACS-Spiritual Direction concentration willing to learn how to direct the Spiritual Exercises must have completed the 30-day or the 30-week 19th Annotation format of the Exercises prior to beginning the Contextual Education component of their program. This requirement will be waived for those who have taken the complete Spiritual Exercises within 5 years of commencing their studies at IPS.

The Contextual Education requirement is adapted to enable MA in Christian Spirituality-Spiritual Direction Concentration students to acquire the practical skills for and experience of spiritual direction in learning interaction with their peers and under the supervision of an experienced spiritual director. Students have the unique opportunity to learn to direct and use the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola in and for spiritual direction. They also have the possibility of learning to practice spiritual direction in a spiritual tradition other than Ignatian (e.g., Carmelite, Benedictine, Franciscan, etc.) under the guidance of a trained mentor. Suitable field learning settings may be found in the Chicago area, elsewhere in the United States or in other countries, upon approval by Prof. Dan Rhodes, Faculty Coordinator of Contextual Education.