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 Spiritual Direction MAL degree involves a partnership between United and St. Catherine University, utilizing the St. Kate’s Spiritual Direction Certificate courses as concentration courses for the 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 the congregational context

United’s MAL and MDiv in Spiritual Direction programs are offered in collaboration with St. Catherine University’s Master of Arts in Theology (MAT) program through the end of the 2022–2023 academic year. Starting in Fall 2023, all Spiritual Direction coursework will be completed at United. Any eligible credits earned from completed St. Kate’s MAT courses will continue to be accepted for United credit and completion of United’s Spiritual Direction programs.



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; 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)
MAL 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.