Master of Divinity in Spiritual Direction

United’s MDiv in Spiritual Direction program will prepare you with the required knowledge and skills to effectively support others in their personal spiritual development in both one-on-one and group settings. The MDiv program specifically prepares you for spiritual direction in an ordained congregational leadership position.

If you would like to focus on spiritual direction without pursuing comprehensive ministerial training or ordination, check out the MAL in Spiritual Direction.

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

  • A career in ordained church ministry with a specialty in spiritual direction
  • A career in ordained church ministry with additional vocational skill in spiritual direction outside or alongside of the congregational context.


Concentration Learning Outcomes

In addition to achieving the core MDiv degree learning outcomes, a graduate of the Master’s in Spiritual Direction degree program will be able to:

  • articulate the role of discernment in spiritual direction/companionship;
  • apply deep listening, their way of knowing, and their spiritual life to the use of discernment models used to guide others to go deeper into personal and communal wholeness and healing;
  • articulate the historical, theological, and spiritual foundations of spiritual direction/companionship;
  • apply deep listening, evocative questions, presence, silence, compassion, and empathy to the soul care and spiritual guidance of others;
  • articulate the historical, theological, spiritual, and ethical foundations of spiritual direction/companionship;
  • effectively participate in a one-to-one spiritual direction/companionship session;
  • effectively lead a group spiritual direction/companionship session;
  • effectively teach a contemplative spiritual practice;
  • articulate strategies for effective, professional, ethical, and compassionate pastoral and spiritual care to a diversity of persons;
  • incorporate an informed understanding of trauma into describing its impact on the spiritual well-being of individuals, families, and communities;
  • articulate their own theology/spirituality of trauma informed pastoral care, particularly as it relates to their ministerial/vocational path; and
  • identify appropriate specific strategies for trauma healing that they can incorporate into their practice as a spiritual/pastoral care provider.


United’s MDiv at a Glance

  • 72 credits
  • Twenty-four 3-credit courses, including one practicum
  • A final thesis or project is not required, but you can choose to complete a thesis as an elective course
  • Can be completed in three years if you take a full-time course load (24 credits per year)
  • Most MDiv concentrations, including Spiritual Direction, can be completed entirely via distance learning; many courses can be taken completely asynchronously


Program Course Guide Sheet for Academic Year 2023-2024

Religious Texts 4
Introduction to Religious Texts
Two 2000-level Religious Texts courses
Choose one:
Biblical Exegesis
One additional 2000-level Religious Texts course
Theological Tradition 4
Invitation to Theology: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty
History of Christian Theologies
History of Modern Theologies
Constructive Theology
Ethics/Justice 2
Choose one:
Christian Ethics
Comparative Religious Ethics
Choose one:
Queer and Trans Theologies
Black and Womanist Theologies
Formation 2
Introduction to Spiritual and Personal Formation
Choose one:
Organizational Leadership and Administration
Social Enterprise
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
Integration 1 MDiv Capstone Seminar
Vocational Contextualization & Skills 8
Introduction to Pastoral and Spiritual Care
The Art of Discernment
Spiritual Direction/Companionship 1
Spiritual Direction/Companionship 2
Trauma, Suffering, and Care
Two elective courses
Spiritual Direction Practicum


Learn More

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