In the summer of 2021, Gordon-Conwell formally transitioned to new degree programs. Learn More. The program below remains active for students who entered before that time who have not yet graduated. No new students are being accepted into this specific program.

New Degrees



Master of Arts — Spiritual Formation

Quick Facts

Credit hours: 60
Completion time: 2 years (full-time study)
Digital Option: Up to 50% digital/remote
Degree requirements »

Program Overview

Help others become better disciples by shepherding and encouraging them in the discernment of the Spirit. Through the Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation, you will be equipped to provide spiritual formation for individuals or groups through counseling, spiritual direction, teaching, church programs and worship. You’ll discover deep history and traditions that inform Christian spirituality, and will deepen your understanding of the Word of God.

An optional concentration in Spiritual Direction is offered in conjunction with Selah (part of Leadership Transformations, Inc.).

The M.A. in Spiritual Formation may also be pursued as a one-year add-on to the Master of Divinity (M.Div.).

Program Distinctives

  • New England location is at the heart Puritan territory and the birthplace of American missions–both strong influences on our spiritual history
  • Specializations available in medieval, Reformation and Puritan spirituality; global spirituality and missions; or Catholic and Orthodox spirituality through the Boston Theological Institute
  • Biblical life narrative analysis helps students discover their  design and equips them to respond to their unique callings
  • Distinguished faculty members currently research and author in the field
  • Practical learning is integrated into the program through personal retreats, formation groups and opportunities for spiritual formation

Typical Student

Masters of Arts in Spiritual Formation students come from a range of backgrounds—laity, college ministry staff, para-church workers, psychotherapists and counselors—seeking to better discern the Spirit and integrate spiritual formation into their current vocations. If you desire to become more Christ-like and help shepherd others in their pursuit of Christ-like character, this degree is designed for you.

Potential Careers

  • Counseling
  • Ministry of spiritual direction and discipleship
  • Leadership in congregational formation
  • Worship and the arts
  • College ministry
  • Doctoral studies in Christian Spirituality

Degree Goals

  • To understand the basic content and themes of the Old and New Testament in their historical and cultural settings, as well as the historical and theological dimensions of the Christian faith
  • To foster love for God and His Word, therefore cultivating: the practices of prayer and worship, deeper intimacy with Christ, spiritual maturity, Christ-like character, dependence upon the Holy Spirit, and an understanding of  the Christian’s ethical responsibility in church and society
  • To understand the various historical and contemporary models of Christian spirituality and how to evaluate them from biblical, theological, pastoral, and counseling perspectives
  • To gain skills in the spiritual formation of individuals, groups, and churches, and to faithfully and effectively integrate biblical truth into spiritual formation
  • To gain experience in understanding cultural backgrounds toward effective expression and application of biblical truth in spiritual formation, with the goal of ministering to both Christians and those who are not Christian believers

You Can Afford Seminary

Scholarships & Financial Aid Are Available

Learn More