Mount St. Joseph University’s graduate program in religious studies is designed to impart a deeper understanding of spiritual caregiving and its relationship to one’s own religious heritage and spirituality, as well as the religious and cultural heritage of those served.


Through increased awareness and understanding of self, others and tradition, the capacity to provide authentic and meaningful care is enhanced. The curriculum is a systematic way of examining what "spirituality and wellness" means, and how it is an essential part of what we are as people and professionals in our communities and workplaces.


Spiritual care is the liberating and healing ministry involving men and women committed to providing spiritual leadership in a diversity of roles and contexts. Modeled on the ministry of Jesus in the Gospels and his message of "shalom," or well-being, spiritual care is a theology of presence defined by healing, teaching, reconciling and nourishing. Spirituality and wellness is the integration of attention to the person, the Christian message and the social systemic context. The overall goal is to nurture the wholeness and wellness of the spirit of persons, workplaces, communities and the environment.


Spirituality and Wellness

The graduate program in spirituality and wellness is built upon 35 years of expertise in ministry education with the Religious and Pastoral Studies Department. Spiritual care is rooted in “caritas,” or the charism of charity. This theological virtue is the core of our institutional mission as founded by the Sisters of Charity. It is the focal point of compassionate spiritual care in our world of diversity and complex systems, interactions and the praxis of social justice within it.


Catholic in tradition, Charity in heritage, Christian in environment and ecumenical in composition, the master’s degree program is designed to enhance and integrate the interpersonal systems and theological skills of health care professionals, educators and ministers who serve within diverse populations and social contexts. The ecumenical program appeals to a variety of students who seek to integrate their spirituality into vocation, and foster well-being in their community contexts in a more intentional way.


The Department of Religious and Pastoral Studies at the Mount retains nationally recognized experts from a variety of disciplines who bring their knowledge, skills and perspectives to the spirituality and wellness curriculum. Small classes, academic advising, personal attention and online support provide an environment conducive to learning, the development of care competence and a true sense of community.


Spirituality and Wellness in Systems Core Curriculum

A total of 18 credit hours must be completed in the following courses:

  • Theology and Spirituality of Ministry
  • Spirituality and Wellness
  • Life through Death
  • Spirituality of Leadership
  • Spiritual Care and Counseling
  • Eco-Spirituality

Spiritual Praxis Component

In addition to the spirituality and wellness core and the theological core, students will participate in a spiritual praxis experience. Students can choose from two options for a total of 3 credit hours:

  • A practicum in a mentored-care setting designed to enhance spiritual knowledge, skills and the habit of theological reflection.
  • Participation in a theology and anthropology transcultural immersion course experience, designed to examine spiritual care issues across cultures.

Integrating Project

To ensure the student’s ability to practically apply and integrate the spiritual and wellness core and the theology and praxis components of the program, a final synthesizing project which meets the following criteria, is required for 3 credit hours:

  • The subject of the integrating project is the research, design, implementation and evaluation of a spiritual wellness care intervention based on the learning accomplished in the program.
  • The final project is linked as closely as possible to the student’s present or projected leadership role. The student will complete the project under the supervision of program faculty.
  • The project paper will integrate and reflect the spiritual and wellness core and theological integration from the curriculum.


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