2 years ~ Evenings & Weekends ~ Full-time enrollment, 12 hours per semester

48 Credit Hours ~ Part-time options available

The Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation (MSF) at the seminary’s Loise Henderson Wessendorff Center for Christian Ministry and Vocation is a 48-hour degree that engages the theology and practice of Christian spirituality.  The core curriculum provides a biblical, theological, historical, and ethical foundation for pastoral ministry. Students who desire to serve as spiritual formation leaders in parish, retreat and Christian education programs follow the spiritual formation track, allowing them to tailor a program that culminates in a project that will help define their future ministry.

This degree allows students to specialize in Healthcare, Spiritual Direction, or Spiritual Formation tracks.  Students take all of their required courses with their MSF peers while using elective courses for the tracks.

Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation – Healthcare Chaplaincy Track
Cultivate the capacity to accompany the suffering

Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation – Spiritual Direction Track
Discover methods for listening deeply to the longing of the soul

Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation – Spiritual Formation Track
Create connections for the application of spiritual practices in the world


Through the supportively challenging environment of the Seminary of the Southwest community, students will be able to process questions as they learn the skills that are most relevant to their future context.

MSF Program Goals

Through core courses in Biblical studies, history, theology, and ethics, as well as an in-depth study of issues in and approaches to spiritual direction and formation, students will achieve objectives in three areas:

Being – Character Objectives

  • increase self-awareness and develop habits of reflection that will further personal spiritual formation and/or professional development as a spiritual director. Students will show evidence of growth in this area by completing a minimum of six spiritual direction sessions and submitting a reflection essay on their personal and spiritual growth.

Knowing – Content Objectives

  • master the biblical and theological foundations of ministry, understand how they inform the theory and practice of spirituality, identify the spiritual dimensions in various ministry settings within a religiously plural and culturally diverse society and integrate relevant perspectives from the social sciences. Students will provide a portfolio that will show evidence of their ability to think theologically, ethically and professionally in their spiritual formation or development as a spiritual director.

Doing – Practical Objectives

  • gain proficiency in a range of spiritual practices and strategies, including significant resources from the Christian traditions, and demonstrate facility with them personally and in the practices of spiritual direction. Students in the spiritual direction emphasis will show evidence of their growth through their practicum supervisor’s evaluation. Students in the spiritual formation track will submit a project showing evidence of how they have exercised their spiritual formation interests in a ministry context.



Britt James-Vito, Center Enrollment Manager