MA, Spiritual Formation


Our Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation equips students to serve as leaders of  spiritual formation ministries and spiritual directors in the church, community and world. Request more information

Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation 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 $576* (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 Formation OR Spiritual Direction
Application Deadlines Rolling application deadline; apply now for the next fall cohort

*All stated financial information is subject to change.

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The MASF program will:

  • Equip you for work with individuals or groups in spiritual formation and discipleship.
  • Encourage your spiritual growth and strengthen your moral integrity for service to God’s mission
  • Strengthen your understanding of the various disciplines that undergird the ministry of formation and discipleship

Students will:

  • Develop habits of authentic disciplines for living holistically in today’s world
  • Experience themselves and relate to others as created in God's image and called into community and ministry
  • Demonstrate a critical and constructive understanding of the biblical and theological foundations of the Christian tradition of formation and discipleship
  • Articulate an understanding of formation and discipleship as it relates to the mission of God in the world
  • Demonstrate the character and skills necessary for spiritually guiding individuals and communities in the Christian tradition of formation and discipleship

Which spiritual formation degree is right for you?

Masters in Spiritual Formation

The master of arts in spiritual formation (MASF) degree is for people who are called to formation and discipleship ministries such as directors of women's, men's, or children’s ministries, spiritual directors, and retreat ministries. Individuals pursuing an MASF degree would have gifts for listening, companioning and guiding people’s spiritual journeys, and creating formation environments such as retreats.

Masters in Ministry with a Specialization in Spiritual Formation

The master of arts in ministry (MAM) with a spiritual formation specialization is for those persons who are called to leadership ministries in the church or parachurch, such as associate pastors, justice advocates, campus pastors, etc. The MAM is a leadership degree and adding a spiritual formation concentration allows the leader to focus more on his or her own personal spiritual growth.

Also consider spiritual direction programs:

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 sociocultural 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 Formation (36 Credit Hours)

Curriculum Plan

BIST 501 Old Testament Introduction 3
BIST 502 New Testament Introduction 3
BIST 503 Engaging the Old Testament 3
BIST 504 Engaging the New Testament 3
CHTH 562 History of Spirituality & Renewal 3
MLDR 517 Transformation in Cultures and Systems 2
MLDR 518 Theories & Praxis of Leadership 2
MLDR 519 Formation & Discipleship 2
MLDR 525 Race, Ethnicity & the Church I 2
PSTD 521 Pastoral Counseling and Ethics I 2
PSTD 522 Pastoral Counseling and Ethics II 2
PSTD 521 Pastoral Counseling & Ethics 2
SFAD 571 Becoming a Spiritual Director I 2
PSTD/MLDR 568 Apprenticeship I 2
SFAD 572 Spiritual Direction II 2
PSTD/MLDR 569 Apprenticeship II 2
SFAD 573 Spiritual Direction III 2
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 551 Awareness & Identity I 2
SFAD 552 Awareness & Identity II 2
SFAD 560 Spiritual Leadership 1
SFAD 585 SFAD Elective 1

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