Master of Arts2020-08-06T12:31:52-07:00

Master of Arts (M.A.)


About the Degree

We are not accepting enrollment for Fall 2020 through Spring 2021 academic year, at this time, for this program. The Master of Arts (M.A.) is a flexible program that will allow students to explore theology, spirituality or religious studies in specialized and more individualized courses of study. The degree offers the option of a focus in spiritual direction, general theological studies, or spirituality. Other focus areas will become available in the future.

The M.A. degree is designed for students interested in pursuing a doctoral program later or the lifelong learner who has always been interested in religion and spirituality.

It is also for a leader in government, business, the military, or other fields who recognize that religious ideas, images, history, and dynamics have had – and continue to have – profound influence on all societies of the world (and particularly the U.S.) and would like to understand how these influences shape cultural values, self-understanding, and decision-making.

With a significant amount of elective possibilities, students have the freedom in this program to research the intersection of religion and spirituality with other academic disciplines, such as history, health care, psychology, social sciences, law, and more.

Within the 54-credit degree program, there is an equal distribution of nine required and elective classes, giving students the maximum freedom to design their own field of study. The M.A. is excellent preparation for interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs.

For more information contact
Carolyn M. Dougherty, MAPC
206-296-5333 |

Unique Components

Students can specialize in spiritual direction. The specialization has two practicums:

  1. Spiritual Retreats
  2. Art of Spritual Direction

The specialization has 21 required credits.

Some of the spiritual direction specialization required courses are:

  • Professional Care Skills
  • Psychospiritual Development
  • History of Chrisitan Spirituality
  • The Art of Spiritual Direction
  • Spiritual Retreats I: Theory (2 credits)
  • Spiritual Retreats II: Practicum (1 credit)
  • Art of Spiritual Direction Practicum I
  • Art of Spiritual Direction Practicum II

Contextual Education


We’ve reimagined what it looks like to meld classroom learning with practicum and internship learning throughout each degree program. The School of Theology and Ministry’s Contextual Education internship program places students with nonprofit-organizations, hospitals, government agencies, for-profit companies, and places of worship for the purpose of integrating student learning with meaningful work in the greater Seattle community.

Learn more about the Contextual Education program >>

Degree Requirements (54 credits)

We are not accepting enrollment for Fall 2020 through Spring 2021 academic year, at this time, for this program.

Below is a list of degree requirements for the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree.

  • All credits are quarter credits
  • Years average is based on FT at 3 classes per quarter

I. Scripture (9 credits)

  • Hebrew Scriptures: Prophetic Context
  • Selective in Scripture
    Choose one (1) of the following courses:
  • Christian Scriptures: Narratives
  • Christian Scriptures: Letters

II. Systematic and Historical Theology (6 credits)

  • Theology of the Human Person
  • Theology and Spirituality

III. Spirituality, Ethics, and Justice (9 credits)

  • Spiritual Discernment
  • Selective in Ethics or Justice
    Choose one (1) of the following courses:
  • Christian Spirituality and Prayer
  • Contemporary Expressions in Spirituality
  • Spiritualities: East and West

IV. Program Synthesis (3 credits)

  • Research Synthesis

V. Electives (27 credits)

For complete course descriptions, credit information and more please visit the SU Academic Catalog.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the fundamental themes in the declared area of concentration of either theology or spirituality
  • Demonstrate an ability to relate fundamental themes to other fields of study
  • Integrate theological reflection into one’s own life and spirituality

Student Stories

Coming soon


We would be happy to answer any questions you might have about our degree programs, scholarships, the application process and more. Please feel free to reach out to Carolyn M. Dougherty, MAPC at or 206.296.5333. We look forward to hearing from you!