Master of Arts in Christian Spirituality (MACS)
- IPS 578 Contextual Education Preparation (0 credit/ Spring)
- IPS 579 Contextual Education Introduction (0 credit/ Fall) 100hrs
- IPS 580 Contextual Education (3 credits/ Spring) 150hrs
- Site Supervisor
- MACS-Spiritual Direction concentration students complete their Contextual Education as a spiritual direction internship in a site of their choosing under the supervision of experienced spiritual directors.
What is involved during the year of Contextual Education?
Through Contextual Education, MA in Christian Spirituality students acquire and enhance their leadership skills and fluency in the practice of spiritually focused pastoral ministry through a Theological Action Research program that combines onsite community-based collaborative work, mentoring and supervision, skill-based workshops, as well as peer and faculty weekly reflection sessions. Students secure a specified role in a parish, school, retreat center, hospital, social service agency, or other placement selected where they gain skills of spiritually oriented pastoral care, guidance, self-awareness, and professional acumen.
Contextual Education involves the following course components:
- IPS 578 Contextual Ed Prep: This course prepares students to engage in the practice of contextual education by orienting students to the contextual education framework, focusing on their own vocational identity, and reflecting on how students view the work of ministry. The course also introduces students to theological action research. By the end of the course, students are required to designate a contextual education site and develop a Theological Action Research Plan that outlines the project they will engage at this location.
- IPS 579 Contextual Ed Intro: This course facilitates the student’s initial foray into work at their contextual education site by integrating informative presentations, skill-based workshops, spiritual reflection, and the coaching of seasoned ministers in order to provide a rich learning environment for acquainting oneself with the site and beginning to organize their Theological Action Research (TAR) project. Typically students will engage for 4-5hrs per week at their site during this semester, allowing them to gain 100hrs of hands on experience at their site of ministry and begin to develop a community-based TAR project. Students will also meet at least 1hr per month over the course of the semester with their Site Supervisor who will conduct a mid-year evaluation of the student and his/her work. Spiritual direction concentration students devote the bulk of this semester to finding directees and establishing sound foundations for fruitful spiritual direction relationships with them and their own supervisor.
- IPS 580 Contextual Education I: This 3-credit bearing course is the culmination of the student’s contextual education experience and is designed to support and imbue the student’s TAR project. Integrating informative presentations, skill-based workshops, theological reflection, and the coaching of seasoned ministers, this multidimensional experience facilitates and enhances the student’s active participation in community-based collaborative processes of inquiry, leadership, knowledge production, and effective action. Through these experiences students learn the essential practice of how to rely on and engage with their community as a way of attending to its needs, wounds, and hopes and for cultivating spiritual wisdom and discernment. Typically students will engage for 10-12hrs per week at their site during this semester, allowing them to gain 150hrs of hands on experience at their site of ministry engaging in their community-based TAR project. Students will also meet 1hr per week over the course of the semester with their Site Supervisor who will conduct a final formal evaluation of the student and his/her work. Spiritual direction concentration students focus on practising and honing their skills as spiritual directors.
- For the duration of their onsite contextual education experience (IPS 579 and IPS 580), spiritual direction concentration students will also take part in biweekly coaching sessions provided by experienced spiritual directors who will facilitate and ascertain the development of their skills and proficiency at the ministry of spiritual direction.