Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation

Be formed by Christ and for Christ

At A Glance

36 Semester credit hours
$618* Cost per semester credit hour
2 Years Average completion time**


ATS (Association of Theological Schools), NWCCU


Hybrid (online courses with BridgeWeek in Portland each semester)

Application Deadlines

Rolling application deadline; apply now for the next fall cohort

* All stated financial information is subject to change. Financial aid available.

** Based on taking 8 credit hours of study per term in the fall and spring semesters, 4 credit hours in the summer semester

“Your desire for more of God than you have right now, your longing for love, your need for deeper levels of spiritual transformation than you have experienced so far is the truest thing about you.”

- Ruth Haley Barton, Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation

3 seminary students in a class sit at a table

The desire to know God more truly, to understand the grace of Christ with more clarity, to see through the Spirit’s eyes the beauty of redemption for a fallen world, and to lead others in their own deeper life journey – these are the roads that lead us to spiritual formation.

Our Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation will answer this call on your heart and will equip you to serve as a leader of spiritual formation ministries and as a spiritual director in the church, community and world.

At the heart of Portland Seminary is a commitment to the spiritual formation of each student. Formation into Christlikeness prepares us to engage the world for the sake of Christ, and no matter what program you pursue, you will engage in an intentionally designed spiritual formation curriculum.

What Will I Experience?

  • A curriculum that is biblically grounded and Christ-centered
  • An approach to biblical spiritual formation that involves the intersection of Scripture, theology, psychology, and sociocultural factors as it relates to the mission of God in the world
  • A robust curriculum filled with rich academic content, formational activities, accountability, and fellowship
  • Spiritual formation and discipleship practices necessary for spiritually guiding both individuals and communities
  • Spiritual direction training and an opportunity to apply for the Certification for Spiritual Directors program upon completion of the MASF

Which Spiritual Formation Degree is Right For You?

2 masf students sit outside discussing a booklet between them

Masters in Spiritual Formation (MASF)

For those who are gifted in listening, companioning and guiding people’s spiritual journeys, this program is for you. It is ideal if you feel called to formation and discipleship ministries such as directors of women's, men's, or children’s ministries, spiritual directors, artists, and retreat ministries.

four people sit in pews in a church talking

Masters in Leadership and Culture with a Specialization in Spiritual Formation & Discipleship

For those who feel a call to leadership ministries in the church or parachurch, such as associate pastors, justice advocates, campus pastors, etc., this is your ideal path. The MA in Leadership and Culture is a leadership degree, and the addition of a spiritual formation & discipleship concentration allows a focus on your own spiritual growth.

Program Experiences

5 students share a table
  • WaterFront is a required two-day online orientation for new students (with the exception of those enrolled in the spiritual direction certification program) every August. This event is full of opportunities for students to connect with faculty, other new students, make final preparations for studies, and participate in spiritual formation activities.
  • BridgeWeek is the seventh week of every semester when all hybrid students come to Portland for face-to-face intensives. Special events are offered throughout the week.

Flexible Format

student reads a book on a bench outside

The Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation is a two-year program in which you study with diverse professors and cohort peers.

Our hybrid format blends online learning with intensive in-person instruction at two points during the year.

What does a hybrid format look like?

  • Connect with a vibrant cohort of learners who grow in faith and ministry skills through a variety of experiences: traditional classroom lessons, special off-site events and “hybrid” online courses.
  • Meet periodically through video chat for hybrid online courses or meet weekly for fully online courses
  • Attend BridgeWeek in Portland every October and February (7th week of classes)
View Courses

Charley Liljequist

Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation, 2021

I came to Portland Seminary because I was hungry and curious. These past two years have been a container, graciously holding space for me to wrestle with big questions, to dig deep within myself, and to experience restoration. I’m so grateful for this community that cares for my personal formation as much as my education.


Michael Simmons

Michael Simmons, MA

Admissions Counselor, Seminary

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