United Theological Seminary

Master of Arts in Leadership in Spiritual Direction

The Master of Arts in Leadership in Spiritual Direction program will prepare you with the knowledge and skills required for effectively practicing spiritual direction in both one-on-one and group settings. The degree involves a partnership between United and St. Catherine University, utilizing the St. Kate’s Spiritual Direction Certificate courses as concentration courses for an MAL from United. You will engage in theological study, leadership training, and spiritual formation as you prepare for a career providing soul care and spiritual guidance for others.

If you also would like to receive ministerial training and/or prepare for ordination, check out the MDiv in Spiritual Direction.

This program may be a good fit for you if you are interested in pursuing:

  • A career in non-ordained church ministry with a specialty in spiritual direction
  • A vocation in spiritual direction outside of congregational context

St. Kate’s Spiritual Direction certification courses are taken at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota.



  • In addition to achieving the core MAL degree learning outcomes, a graduate of the MAL in Spiritual Direction program will be able to:
    engage in the ministry and practice of Christian spiritual direction—See St. Catherine University; and
  • integrate, synthesize, and apply material learned throughout their MAL program into a work that adds to the body of knowledge and practice in the area of spiritual direction.


United’s MAL at a Glance

  • 49 credits (2-1/3 years with a full-time course load)
  • 11 3-credit United courses, 6 2- and 4- credit St. Kate’s courses
  • All MAL concentrations, including Spiritual Direction, can be completed via distance learning

Program Guide Sheet

Religious Texts 2
Hebrew Bible 1: Orientation
Choose one:
New Testament 1: Epistles, Acts, and Revelation
New Testament 2: Four Gospels
Theological Tradition 2
Religious and Theological Interpretation
Choose one:
History of Christian Theologies
History of Modern Theologies
Ethics/Justice 2
Choose one:
Christian Ethics
Comparative Religious Ethics
Choose one:
Queer and Trans Theologies
Black and Womanist Theologies
Formation 1 Introduction to Spiritual and Personal Formation
Cultural Contextualization 1
Choose one:
Global Christianities
World Religions
Arts and Theology 1
Choose one:
History of Arts and Theology
Art, Religion, and Contemporary Culture
Social Transformation 1 Leadership and Strategies for Social Change
Vocational Contextualization & Skills 7
Introduction to Spiritual Direction* (2 credits)
Foundational Issues in Spiritual Direction* (2 credits)
Spirituality and Life Stages* (2 credits)
The Art of Discernment* (2 credits)
Spirituality and Life Stages* (2 credits)
Choose one:
History of Spirituality I* (4 credits)
History of Spirituality II* (4 credits)
Spiritual Direction Practicum* (4 credits)
Master’s Final Project (3 credits)
* Consortium courses taken through St. Catherine University


Learn More

Want to learn more about our MAL in Spiritual Direction? Fill out the form below and someone from our Admissions team will be in touch soon.