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 University of St. Catherine’s, utilizing the St. Kate’s Spiritual Direction certification 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.


United’s Mal at a Glance

  • 48 credits
  • Sixteen 3-credit courses, including one field experience and a final project
  • Can be completed in two years if you take a full-time course load (24 credits per year)
  • Most concentrations, including Specialized Ministry, can be completed entirely via distance learning

Program Guide Sheet

Formation 1 Intro to Spiritual and Personal Formation
Religious Texts 2 Hebrew Bible 1: Orientation

New Testament 1: Epistles, Acts, and Revelation

Theological Tradition 2 Religious and Theological Interpretation

Choose one:

  • History of Christian Theologies
  • History of Modern Theologies
  • Constructive Theology
Ethics/Justice 1 Choose one:

  • Christian Ethics
  • Comparative Religious Ethics
Cultural Contextualization 1 Choose one:

  • World Religions
  • Global Christianities
Arts and Theology 1 Choose one:

  • History of Arts and Theology
  • Theological Interpretation of the Arts
Social Transformation 1 Leadership and Strategies for Social Change
Vocational Contextualization & Skills 7 One United Elective (3 credits)

THEO6740 Introduction to Spiritual Direction* (2 credits)

THEO6750 Foundational Issues in Spiritual Direction* (2 credits)

Choose two (4 credits):

  • THEO6780 Spirituality and Life Stages* (2 credits)
  • THEO6790 Jung and Spiritual Guidance* (2 credits)
  • THEO6820 The Art of Discernment* (2 credits)

Choose one (4 credits):

  • THEO6440 History of Spirituality I* (4 credits)
  • THEO6540 History of Spirituality II* (4 credits)

THEO7764 Spiritual Direction Practicum* (4 credits)

Masters 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.