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Are There Master's Degree Programs for Culture & Spirituality?

by Christopher Cascio, studioD

Master's programs in Culture and Spirituality allow students to explore spirituality in a scientific way and investigate how spirituality affects relationships between people in both personal and professional settings. Master's degrees in Culture and Spirituality are rare, but master's-level education in this area is available under a variety of other titles, which fall under the general headings of Master of Arts in Spirituality and Graduate Certificate in Spirituality.

Master of Arts in Culture and Spirituality

The Sophia Center at Holy Names University offer a fully-accredited Master of Arts in Culture and Spirituality degree, which aims to unravel the mystery of life through an integration of science, mysticism, art and song that is grounded in the Catholic tradition. You'll have to complete a master's project -- comparable to a thesis or capstone project -- before you can graduate. The program prepares graduates for leadership roles in the fields of "ecological sensitivity, social justice and spiritual fulfillment." To gain admission, you'll need a bachelor's degree or equivalent and have maintained a 2.6 cumulative GPA during your undergraduate education. You can complete the Culture and Spirituality program in either a nine-month, standard semester format, or in a two-year, weekend format.

Master of Arts in Spirituality

Bellarmine offers its Master's degree in Spirituality through a partnership with the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and courses are taught by faculty from both institutions. The program cultivates the investigation of spirituality in a Christian context, and welcomes students from both Catholic and Protestant faiths. Each year, Bellarmine accepts 12 new students into the 30-credit program, who are expected to complete their degrees within two years of part-time study. To be eligible for admission you will need to have earned a bachelor's degree and a 2.8 cumulative GPA. As part of your application packet, you'll have to write an eight to 10 page "Spiritual Autobiography."

Master's Degrees in Branches of Spirituality

Some schools offer master's degrees in Spirituality that are specifically focused on a single ideology or group of people. For example. Sofia University in California offers a Master of Arts in Women's Spirituality, which incorporates 60 hours of community service into an already hybridized online and in-class curriculum. Wisdom University offers a Master of Arts degree in Wisdom Spirituality, which utilizes scientific discernment and the integration of all ancient, spiritual texts to guide you through a combination of five-day and weekend intensive courses leading to completion of your degree.

Graduate Certifications in Culture and Spirituality

Aside from master's degree programs, another option is a graduate certificate program. Western Michigan University offers Graduate Certificate in Spirituality, Culture and Health, which is presented in an entirely online format. You'll need a bachelor's degree to gain admission. The program focuses on health care, and specifically how religious beliefs impact relationships between health care providers and patients. Upon completion of the program, you can apply the 18 credits you've earned toward a Master of Arts in Comparative Religion. Holy Names University also offers a certificate program in Culture and Spirituality as an option for students who don't have a bachelor's degree. In this program you'll take the same courses as if you were in the master's program, but you won't be required to complete a final project.

About the Author

Christopher Cascio is a memoirist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and literature from Southampton Arts at Stony Brook Southampton, and a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in the rhetoric of fiction from Pennsylvania State University. His literary work has appeared in "The Southampton Review," "Feathertale," "Kalliope" and "The Rose and Thorn Journal."

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