Program Requirements

Hours: 36

The Design of the Graduate Program

The Master of Arts in Religious Studies degree with a concentration in spirituality and wellness is earned through successful completion of 36 semester hours of graduate credit, and a comprehensive examination. The program is built upon four components:

  1. Spirituality and Wellness in Systems (18 credit hours)
  2. Theology Core Courses (12 credit hours)
  3. Pastoral Praxis Component (3 credit hours)
  4. Integrating Project (3 credit hours).

Spirituality and Wellness in Systems Core - 18 hours

RPS 500Coming to the Well,Theology of Ministry in a Changing World (3)

RPS 506Spirituality & Wellness (3)

RPS 510Socio-Ecological Dimensions of Pastoral Care (3)

RPS 514Spirituality of Leadership (3)

RPS 560Pastoral Care & Counseling (3)

REL 563Life Through Death (3)

Theology Core - 12 hours

Seminar in Scripture (3) 

RPS 526Spirit of Johannine Literature (3)

Seminar in Systematics - Choose One (3)

REL 547Seminar Systematic Theology I (3)

REL 548Seminar Systematic Theology II (3)

Seminar in Spirituality - (3) Choose One

RPS 504Personal Spirituality (3)

RPS 603History of Spirituality (3)

Seminar in Ethics - Choose One (3)

RPS 542Critical Issues in Ethics (3)

RPS 547Christian Social Justice (3)

RPS 552Theology of Healthcare Ethics (3)

Pastoral Praxis Component - 3 hours

RPS 512Pastoral Practicum (3-6)

or choose one of the following:

RPS 590Appalachian Culture and Spirituality (3)

RPS 591Cherokee Culture & Spirituality (3)

RPS 595Pastoral Care & Spirituality in Ireland (3)

Integrating Project - 3 hours

Fall Semester

RPS 575Integrating Project (3)

Admission Requirements

Individuals applying for admission to the graduate program in religious studies must submit the following:

  • A completed application form.
  • An official undergraduate transcript with a baccalaureate degree noted from a regionally accredited college or university with an overall GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 sent directly from the undergraduate institution(s) to the Office of Graduate Admission, Mount St. Joseph University, 5701 Delhi Rd, Cincinnati, Ohio 45233.
  • Two letters of recommendation from professional colleagues.
  • A short (3-page) essay explaining the purpose for application and vocational goals.
  • An interview with the Graduate Admission Committee.
  • A current resume describing your work history

Program Outcomes

  1. Students will increase their knowledge of self and their spirituality and be able to use that knowledge in providing competent pastoral/spiritual care.
  2. Students will be able to examine, assess and respond to a pastoral situation in terms of a systems perspective: individual, family, congregation, and community.
  3. Students will be able to think theologically about themselves as pastoral care providers and the nature of pastoral care.
  4. Students will demonstrate skills in research, expression, and assessment in a supervised pastoral care context and use those skills effectively in the practice of pastoral/spiritual care. Specifically, students will be able to complete a formal needs assessment in a particular context, conduct a professional literature review for a particular issue under investigation, and identify professional groups that focus on these contexts and issues.
  5. Students will deepen their understanding of their religious heritage and the Christian tradition and relate that understanding to critical issues in contemporary pastoral care.
  6. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the ethical implications of pastoral activity and be familiar with the code of ethics applicable to their ministry.