M.A., Christian Spirituality

The degree requires 33 credit hours of course work. The courses are distributed so that one can finish the degree in three summers. Students are encouraged to make a personally directed retreat before or during the first year of the program. Students are required to make a personally directed retreat of eight days, under an approved director, during the program. No thesis is required, but an integrating essay of approximately 25 pages is required after all courses are completed in the final semester of the program.

M.A., Christian Spirituality requirements (33 credits):

Ignatian Studies3
Select 3 credits from the following:
Giving 19th Annotation Retreats
Creating a Preached Retreat
History of Ignatian Tradition
The Theology of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
Spirituality and Catholic Social Teaching
Discernment of Spirits: Theory and Practice
Select one of the following:3
Scriptural Foundation Of Christian Spirituality
Spirituality of John
Spirituality of the Synoptic Gospels
Spirituality of Paul
Select one of the following:
Liturgical Foundation of Christian Spirituality
Doctrinal Foundation of Christian Spirituality
Vatican II and the Doctrinal Foundations of Contemporary Christian Spirituality
Select one of the following:3
History of Ignatian Tradition
History of Christian Spirituality
Called To Holiness: The Christian Vocation
Select one of the following:3
Christian Prayer: Ecumenical Breadth and Historical Depth
Pilgrimage as Prayer
Foundations and Practices of Christian Prayer
Prayer, Intimacy, And True Christian Growth
Contemplation In The Christian Tradition
Social Concern
Select one of the following:3
Eco Spirituality
Spirituality of Reconciliation: Global and Social Perspectives
Spirituality and Catholic Social Teaching
Spirituality and Social Concerns
Human Development3
Select 3 credits from the following:
Dreams and Spiritual Growth
True Self/ False Self: The Enneagram and Spiritual Transformation
Spirituality, Psychological Foundations, and Practice of Forgiveness
BioSpiritual Focusing
Jungian Psychology, Dreams, and Spiritual Growth
Introduction to Counseling for Spiritual Directors
Spirituality and Sexuality
Integrating Thesis
CSP 792MA Integrating Thesis (Must be taken in final semester)3
Total Credits33

Theology courses that may be taken for completion of CSP requirements and elective are currently cross-listed with both THL and CSP numbers. CSP students may also take a limited number of the following courses listed in the Master of Arts in Ministry (MAM) program to complete their electives with permission of the directors of both CSP and MAM programs: MAM 610 Introduction to the Old Testament, MAM 620 Introduction to New Testament, MAM 650 Moral Theology and Decision Making, MAM 660 Worship, Liturgy and Sacrament, MAM 676 Theology and Catechesis, MAM 680 Ministerial Ethics and Leadership Skills, MAM 761 Historical Development of Fundamental Doctrine.


CSP 660. Dreams and Spiritual Growth. 1-3 credits. SU (Same as THL 660)

This course will explore the significance of dreams in discerning spiritual growth. Some attention will be given to the role of dreams in scripture and Christian tradition. The primary aim of the course is to familiarize participants with the psychology of dreaming and with contemporary methods for discerning the religious meaning of one's dreams: in one's own spiritual growth and development as well as in working with dreams in the context of spiritual direction.

CSP 662. Scriptural Foundation Of Christian Spirituality. 3 credits. SU

Introduction to Scripture, especially the New Testament, as the foundation to all Christian Spirituality. Faith, prayer, Holy Spirit, Church, centrality of Christ.

CSP 664. Spirituality of John. 1-3 credits. SU (Same as THL 664)

Course examines themes from writings of John central for spirituality.

CSP 665. Prayer and Priestly Identity. 1-3 credits. SU

This course aims to form participants in a whole-hearted embracing of the distinctive spirituality of the diocesan priesthood as that relates to the unique identity of the diocesan priesthood, so as to help foster a more effective exercise of pastoral authority and charity in the service of the Church.

CSP 666. Centering Prayer And The Experiencing Of God. 1 credit. SU (Same as THL 666)

Contemplative practices such as Lectio Divina and centering Prayer, which directly cultivates the experience of God's presence and extend the interior silence of prayer into daily life. Additional topics include prayer as relationship, the experience of the Dark Night, and fruits of contemplative prayer in daily activity.

CSP 667. Contemplative Theological Reflection. 1-3 credits. SU (Same as THL 667)

Through the development of the skill of contemplative theological reflection, CSP students learn to reflect on their personal and ministerial or work experiences to discern the call of transformation and integration in the midst of the Christian tradition and world realities. This is a personal and group process and takes place in a peer faith setting.

CSP 669. Salesian Spirituality. 1-3 credits. SU (Same as THL 669)

Introduction to the Salesian spiritual tradition co-founded in the 17th century by Francis de Sales and Jane Chantal. Seminal texts such as the Introduction to the Devout Life and the lives of the founders will backdrop discussion of central Salesian themes as resources for contemporary living.

CSP 670. Art and Spirituality. 1-3 credits. OD, SU (Same as THL 670)

With an experiential, hands-on format using watercolor and other art media this course provides an opportunity for right-brain expressions of prayer, spiritual understanding, and experience of God.

CSP 671. Mindful Movement. 1 credit. SU

The integration of body, mind, and spirit is an essential tool for bringing awareness to the self and relationships both spiritual and emotional. As a component part of larger disciplines for spiritual growth and wellness, this course is designed to teach students the fundamental practices of prayerful moving meditation. Through these practices students will develop an understanding of how to integrate this tool into spiritual awareness and spiritual direction.

CSP 672. True Self/ False Self: The Enneagram and Spiritual Transformation. 1 credit. SU

Within the True Self./ False Self framework, the Enneagram will be appropriated as a vehicle for spiritual growth and transformation. Topics will also include the Enneagram in Discernment and Spiritual Direction.

CSP 673. Spiritual Dialogue: East Meets West. 1-3 credits. SU (Same as THL 673)

Overview of perspectives and practices from Eastern wisdom that have parallels in Christianity and can deepen prayer experiences, as well as Eastern ideas that challenge Christian beliefs.

CSP 675. Spirituality of the Synoptic Gospels. 3 credits. SU

Study of the spirituality implicit in each of the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke (along with its companion volume, Acts). Focus on God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, discipleship, righteousness, suffering, possessions, community, mission, interpretation of Israel’s Scriptures, and narrative as a vehicle for theology and spirituality.

CSP 676. Giving 19th Annotation Retreats. 1 credit. SU

How to give retreats to people in everyday life according to Annotation 19 of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.

CSP 677. Spirituality, Psychological Foundations, and Practice of Forgiveness. 1-3 credits. SU (Same as THL 677)

The imperative to forgive is central to Christian identity, discipleship, and building authentic intimacy with God and others. This course explores spiritual, theological, and psychological perspectives on forgiveness. Through journaling, prayer, guided reading/reflection, and class discussion, students will be encouraged to develop, practice, and personally appropriate a spirituality of forgiveness.

CSP 678. Spirituality of Paul. 1-3 credits. SU (Same as THL 678)

A study of the Pauline correspondence to analyze what these letters imply regarding the gospel vision as a way of seeing that leads to a way of being. Special attention to Paul's Jewish background and his use of that tradition to explain Jesus as the climax of the covenant and his way as the fullness of human being; creation, community, cross, new creation.

CSP 679. BioSpiritual Focusing. 1-3 credits. SU

This course will explore, through experiential practice, lecture, and discussion, the dimension of felt meaning carried in the body that, attended to in a caring way, becomes a bridge to deeper understanding and growth in Christian spirituality.

CSP 680. Women and the Bible. 1-3 credits. (Same as THL 518)

Study of select biblical traditions that represent women and/or prescribe women's behavior, with attention to ancient gender constructs; the primary focus will be exploration of diverse women's readings of biblical texts and their implications for Christian spirituality.

CSP 690. Supervision for Spiritual Directors. 1-3 credits.

A workshop for spiritual directors who are interested in acquiring or improving the skills necessary to supervise others in this ministry.

CSP 691. Eco Spirituality. 1-3 credits. SU

This course explores environmental spirituality as essential to the fullness of Christian faith. The course studies spirituality and morality with a focus on Catholic social teaching, considers creation care as love of God and neighbor, and equips students with spiritual and actionable practices to faithfully address climate change in the church and society.

CSP 698. Introduction to Writing for Spirituality. 1 credit.

Through a combination of group classes and individual appointments, the course provides a tutorial in graduate writing for Christian Spirituality. General stylistic concepts are taught and practiced on the students' assigned papers. Tools such as using writing partners, reading text aloud, developing a distinctive writing voice and other important elements of writing analysis, integration and synthesis essays will be introduced and practiced.

CSP 699. Writing for Spirituality. 1 credit.

A course for students which offers an opportunity for individual mentoring in the skills necessary to complete capstone essays in graduate-level English where emphasis is placed on writing that is the fruit of reflection on both academic study and personal appropriation.

CSP 700. Christian Prayer: Ecumenical Breadth and Historical Depth. 3 credits. (Same as MAM 780)

This course will introduce students to the historical and contemporary landscape of the Christian spiritual traditions. It will include consideration of the relationship between theology and spirituality and the Christian spiritual life considered in the context of the lively contemporary American interest in spirituality. While the Roman Catholic traditions of prayer and practice will be foregrounded, the ecumenical breadth of Christian spiritual traditions will also be considered. Emphasis will be placed upon the study and practice of various spiritual disciplines, especially forms of communal and personal prayer. In addition, there will be an overview of the major traditions and movements in the history of Christian spirituality. Students should gain an appreciation of their call to ministry and Gospel living in all dimensions of life.

CSP 715. Marian Spirituality. 1-3 credits. SU (Same as THL 715)

This course will explore "Mary as mother and teacher of the spiritual life," e.g., Mary and the Holy Spirit, Mary's virtues, Mary as first disciple of the Lord, as Servant of the Lord, and as Model of the Church. This course likewise studies the various expressions of Mary's place in the universal call to holiness, e.g., the "Marian thread" in the lives of the Saints, with a special emphasis on the new Saints and Blesseds of Pope John Paul II.

CSP 716. Spirituality of Reconciliation: Global and Social Perspectives. 1-3 credits. SU (Same as THL 716)

Explores biblical, sacramental, theological and spiritual dimensions of Christian reconciliation. Examines global case studies of Christian social reconciliation such as South Africa, Northern Ireland, Rwanda, and the American South. Students will be asked to develop a spirituality of social reconciliation for their own local Christian communities.

CSP 717. Jungian Psychology, Dreams, and Spiritual Growth. 3 credits. SU (Same as THL 717)

This course will explore the relationship between major aspects of Jung's psychological theory and Christian Spirituality. The principal aim of the course is to familiarize participants with basic concepts of Jungian psychology and to assimilate what is most useful in Jung for pastoral practice, one's own spiritual life and development as well as spiritual direction. Some films and fairytales will be used to convey concepts.

CSP 718. A Theology and Spirituality of Conversion. 3 credits. SU (Same as THL 718)

Freedom to respond to the grace of conversion into the likeness of the Son of God is the hallmark of Christian discipleship and the hoped for outcome of spiritual direction in general and the Spiritual Exercises in particular. To balance theory with practice we will examine Ignatius of Loyola's human and spiritual conversion. Students will apply course work to their personal growth and development so as to better prepare for the ministry of spiritual direction.

CSP 719. Catholic Devotions in a Global Context. 1-3 credits. SU

Theological, historical and practical consideration of the rich devotional traditions of the global Catholic Church. Attention given to the role devotions play in the spiritual life, the variety of cultural forms devotions take and preparation of the spiritual guide to discern the place of devotions in a directee's life.

CSP 723. Creating a Preached Retreat. 1 credit. SU

This practical course is designed to help a prospective director create a preached retreat experience of two to three or more days based on the dynamic of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.

CSP 761. Liturgical Foundation of Christian Spirituality. 3 credits. SU (Same as THL 761)

An exploration of the Church's liturgical prayer life as an important basis and foundation for Christian Spirituality.

CSP 762. Doctrinal Foundation of Christian Spirituality. 3 credits. SU (Same as THL 762)

This course examines the foundational doctrines of faith, such as, the Trinity, the divine and human Jesus, salvation by Christ, God's activity in history, the Holy Spirit, and explores their relevance for the Christian spiritual journey, including the relationship to God, to all humanity and to the entire created universe.

CSP 763. Pilgrimage as Prayer. 3 credits.

A twelve day travel course or pilgrimage to the Ignatian "places" of northern Spain, Paris, and Rome, which incorporates the elements of personal prayer and reflection in the form of the Spiritual Exercises.

CSP 764. Foundations and Practices of Christian Prayer. 3 credits. SU

Using classical and contemporary texts in Christian Spirituality, course studies the theology, methods, stages and dynamics of personal prayer and mysticism.

CSP 765. Prayer, Intimacy, And True Christian Growth. 3 credits. SU (Same as THL 765)

The connection between spiritual and human growth, the necessity of keeping a relationship with Christ, and concrete simple ways of doing it each day.

CSP 766. Contemplation In The Christian Tradition. 3 credits. SU (Same as THL 766)

Course examines approaches to contemplation in classical and contemporary texts. Among authors and texts studied are the following: Pseudo-Dionysius, Cloud of Unknowing, Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross. P: CSP 764 or CSP 765 or equiv.

CSP 767. Spanish Mysticism. 3 credits. SU (Same as THL 767)

Study of Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, discussing their spirituality, teachings on prayer, and understanding of human life as a pilgrimage with Jesus, ending only when total union with God is reached. P: CSP 764/THL 764 or CSP 765/THL 765 or equivalent.

CSP 768. History of Ignatian Tradition. 3 credits.

This course covers intersection of world cultures and Ignatian vision of Jesuits from the 16th Century, its spread through missionary work, it's development through 5 centuries, suppression and restoration and renewal in the 20th and 21st Centuries. Emphasis on the mission of Education and the faith that does justice.

CSP 769. History of Christian Spirituality. 1-3 credits. SU (Same as THL 769)

Development from post-apostolic age to the present. Some of the classics of Christian Spirituality.

CSP 770. Called To Holiness: The Christian Vocation. 1-3 credits. SU (Same as THL 770)

Saints, ways to sanctity, past and present. The Communion of Saints. NOTE: This course fulfills the requirement for a course in the History of Spirituality.

CSP 772. Vatican II and the Doctrinal Foundations of Contemporary Christian Spirituality. 3 credits.

This course examines the role and impact of the Second Vatican Council on the foundational doctrines of faith, such as, the role of Scripture, Theological Anthropology, Christology, Soteriology, Ecclesiology, Pneumatology, and explores their relevance for the Christian spiritual journey.

CSP 773. The Theology of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. 3 credits. SU (Same as THL 773)

Theology, interpretations, commentators, structure, with practical applications. Students will draw greater benefit from this course if they have a prior experience of the Spiritual Exercises either in an individually directed silent retreat or an extended retreat in daily life.

CSP 776. Discernment of Spirits: Theory and Practice. 3 credits. SU (Same as THL 776)

Study of the tradition of discernment in the Church with special emphasis on the rules for discernment of spirits in the Spiritual Exercises and the application of these to Christian life and practice.

CSP 777. Spirituality and Catholic Social Teaching. 3 credits.

The Catholic tradition insists that spirituality and social ethics are integrally related such that one is impoverished without deep connection with the other. lnformed by that insight, this course explores the relationships between Christian spirituality and Catholic Social Teaching. Texts include essays from leading theologians and documents from the magisterium. Topics include the relationship between spirituality and ethics, conscience, methods in Catholic social ethics, human life and dignity, preferential option for the poor and vulnerable, rights and responsibilities, common good and solidarity, economic justice, immigration, peace and war, and ecology and climate change.

CSP 779. Spirituality and Social Concerns. 3 credits. SU (Same as THL 779)

Reflections on the practice of spiritual direction, retreat leadership, and other pastoral ministries in light of themes of justice, peace and solidarity in scripture, Christian history, Catholic social teaching, and human experience. Investigation of how the reality of social injustice affects the private and public dimensions of the spiritual life. Emphasis on personal appropriation and leadership development so that students may integrate knowledge that gain into the ministries.

CSP 780. Introduction to Counseling for Spiritual Directors. 3 credits. SU

Theory and practice of the dynamics of personal counseling. Analysis of the likenesses and differences between spiritual direction, spiritual counseling, pastoral counseling, and counseling. Helping methods based on Scripture and personality sciences. Practical acquisition of facilitating behaviors of understanding and listening.

CSP 781. Pre-Practicum in Spiritual Direction and Directed Retreats. 3 credits. SU

Preparation for work in spiritual direction and in giving directed retreats. Students must be receiving spiritual direction themselves for at least two years and also have made at least one eight-day directed retreat. P: CSP courses including CSP 773; CSP 780 or equiv.; and prior consent of Coordinator of Practica; P or CO: CSP 776.

CSP 782. Post-Practicum in Spiritual Direction and Directed Retreats. 3-4 credits. SU

Follows a year of receiving supervision in offering spiritual direction and giving directed retreats. A deepening of knowledge and skills needed to offer spiritual direction and directed retreats. P: CSP 781.

CSP 784. The Twelve Steps And The Spiritual Exercises Of St. Ignatius. 1-3 credits. SU

Course examines the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous against the backdrops of the Spiritual Exercises. First half of class is an experience of meeting on one of the steps; second half is reflection on the step in light of the Spiritual Exercises.

CSP 785. Psychological Dynamics Of Spiritual Growth. 3 credits. OD, SU (Same as THL 785)

This course seeks to develop a comprehensive overview of contemporary authors who have developed perspectives on the interface between psychology and spirituality. Such authors will include: Merton, Nouwen, Rupp, and van Kaam.

CSP 786. Family Spirituality. 1-3 credits. OD, SU (Same as THL 786)

Designed for both those who are familied and those who minister to families. Key questions: What are the elements of a spirituality derived from within the experience of family? What is the relationship between such a spirituality and the classic traditions of Christian spirituality? How do the family ("the domestic church") and the wider church community serve, enrich and enable each other?.

CSP 787. Spiritual Direction Practicum. 1 credit.

Having completed twelve credit hours in prerequisite courses for the Spiritual Direction - Directed Retreat Certificate, students put their learning into practice in the Spiritual Direction Practicum. Under the direction of a trained Supervisor, the spiritual direction intern meets with at least three directees for nine months between August and May. This course must be taken twice, for a total of 2 credits, during the fall semester and the subsequent spring semester.

CSP 788. Directed Retreat Practicum. 1 credit.

Students who have completed the Spiritual Direction Practicum are prepared for the Directed Retreat Practicum. Under the direction of a trained Supervisor, the Directed Retreat Intern meets with at least two directees during an 8-day directed retreat.

CSP 789. Thomas Merton's Contemplative Vision. 1 credit. SU

The relevance of Merton for contemporary spirituality. Merton in context of the American and international experience: his life, writing and thought as guidelines for living the Gospel today. Special attention to themes of True Self, Contemplation and Non-violence.

CSP 790. Spiritual Formation. 1-3 credits. OD (Same as THL 786)

The nature and dynamics of spiritual formation, emphasizing personal developmental aspects of spiritual growth. Practical aspects of the spiritual life: spiritual identity, spiritual consciousness, holistic spirituality. Theoretical perspective on formative relations in structured situations: religious formation, seminary formation, spiritual formation in parishes. Formation issues: spiritual growth through stages of the life cycle, sexuality and chastity, conflict and community, suffering and death, work and ministry.

CSP 791. Spirituality and Sexuality. 1-3 credits. OD, SU (Same as THL 791)

As body-persons, all men and women are called to integrate the various dimensions of our human existence within a thought out/lived out perspective, i.e., a spirituality. For various historical, cultural, and religious reasons incorporating our sexuality can be challenging, even problematic. Through lecture, guided reading/reflection, class discussion, and writing, students will be encouraged to develop their personally meaningful spirituality of sexuality.

CSP 792. MA Integrating Thesis. 3 credits.

This course is designed to facilitate and guide the writing of the capstone MA integrating thesis, which is the culminating requirement of the Master of Arts, Major in Christian Spirituality degree. P: 30 credit hours of CSP MA required courses and in the final semester of the program.

CSP 793. Directed Independent Readings. 1-3 credits. OD, SU

To be arranged. P: DC and IC.

CSP 795. Directed Independent Study. 1-3 credits. OD, SU

To be arranged. P: DC and IC.

CSP 797. Directed Independent Research. 3 credits. OD, SU

To be arranged. P: DC and IC.