Are you an experienced ministry professional, seeking to deepen the care you provide for others? This streamlined 36-credit program provides focused training in spiritual direction while nurturing your own spiritual formation.

Master of Arts in Spiritual Direction at a Glance

Semester hours 36
Average Completion Time Two years (Based on taking 8 credit hours of study per term in the fall and spring semesters, 4 credit hours in the summer semester)
Cost per credit $546* (financial aid available)
Accreditation Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities;
Association of Theological Schools
Location Portland Center (near Tigard), with distance format options
Specializations Spiritual Direction
Application Deadlines Rolling application deadline; apply now for next start date

*All stated financial information is subject to change.

The MASD program will:

  • Call you toward deeper, critical and constructive theological reflection on spiritual direction
  • Vivify your understanding of a spiritually formed life
  • Immerse you in the practical training in the art and practice of spiritual direction
  • Enrich your own spiritual maturity

Students will:

  • Describe, critically and constructively, the biblical, theological, and historical dimensions of spiritual direction
  • Implement spiritual direction processes and experiences in individuals and groups in a variety of social and cultural ministry settings both locally and globally
  • Demonstrate the character and spiritual maturity necessary for spiritually directing others and for living holistically in today’s world
  • Identify and evaluate the student’s own spiritual formation journey of conforming to the image of Christ for the sake of others

Spiritual Formation

At the heart of Portland Seminary, historically, is a commitment to the spiritual formation of its students. Formation into Christlikeness prepares the whole person to engage the world for the sake of Christ.

We fulfill this commitment in these ways:

  • Every degree program involves students in an intentionally designed spiritual formation curriculum.
  • The courses include classic spiritual disciplines as well as intentional holistic awareness.
  • Our spiritual formation curriculum is biblically grounded and Christ-centered, and our understanding of spiritual formation involves the intersection of Scripture, theology, psychology, and social-cultural factors.
  • Spiritual formation courses are scheduled so that students can participate in formation courses throughout their degree program.
  • Each spiritual formation course combines rich academic content, formational activities, accountability, and fellowship, offering students a robust experience.

MA, Spiritual Direction (36 Credit Hours)

Curriculum Plan

Core Courses:

BIST 500 Biblical Foundations for Spiritual Directors 2


BIST 501 Old Testament Introduction 3
BIST 503 Engaging the Old Testament 3


BIST 502 New Testament Introduction 3
BIST 504 Interpreting the New Testament: Use and Abuse of the Bible 3

Core Courses:

CHTH 507 Historical Theology: Early Church through Reformation 3
CHTH 509 History of Christianity in America 3


CHTH 508 Essentials in Christian Theology 3
CHTH 510 World Religions and Christian Thought 3

Core Courses:

SFAD 510 Knowing Self, Knowing God 1
SFAD 520 Mystical Experiences and Images of God 1
SFAD 530 Christian Prayer in a Global Context 1
SFAD 540 Spiritual Life 1
SFAD 550 Shame, Grace, and Resilience 1
SFAD 560 Spiritual Leadership 1

Focused Courses:

MLDR 531 Reconciliation and Community Engagement I 2
MLDR 532 Reconciliation and Community Engagement II 2

Focused Courses:

PSTD 521 Pastoral Counseling and Ethics I 2
PSTD 522 Pastoral Counseling and Ethics II 2
SFAD 551 Awareness and Identity I 2
SFAD 552 Awareness and Identity II 2


SFAD 571 Becoming a Spiritual Director I 2
SFAD 572 Becoming a Spiritual Director II 2


*SFAD 573 Spiritual Direction Supervision I 2
*SFAD 574 Spiritual Direction Supervision II 2

*For students with spiritual direction experience. Requires faculty/advisor permission.