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Master of Arts: Spiritual Formation
Northwest Nazarene University’s graduate programs in Spiritual Formation explore the history, philosophy, theology and practices of spirituality in the Christian tradition. Students grow through personal and professional incorporation of their learning, classroom interactions and a mentoring relationship that spans their degree programs. Earn an M.Div. within 50 months or an M.A. in less than two years without any residential requirements.
Students in NNU’s MDIVSF program complete an online orientation, 42 credits in their pastoral ministry core, and 32 hours of emphasis in Spiritual Formation. After completing an online orientation, MASF students focus their studies strictly around the same eight Spiritual Formation courses in which MDIVSF students take as their emphasis, as shown in the comparison to the right.
MDIVSF students can complete their degree program one course at a time in as little as 50 months, with most summers free. Our MDIVSF program has been validated as meeting the educational requirements for ordination as elders in the Church of the Nazarene*. MASF students are able to complete their program in as little as 21 months, with no course work in June or July.
Financial aid is available for those who qualify, or students may take advantage of a zero interest monthly payment plan. Avoid expensive travel costs associated with modular programs at other seminaries, not to mention costly time away from home and your workplace. Tuition discounts are also available to assigned Nazarene clergy.
Be part of an online community of learners with global reach, experience personalized mentorship from course to course, and earn your degree from a university with both regional accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities and associate membership in The Association of Theological Schools.
*Nazarene Clergy Services has not validated NNU’s MASF program as meeting all of the denomination's educational requirements for ordination. Districts may determine that some courses in this program fulfill particular competencies, however. Students who desire to study in the area of Spiritual Formation and seek to complete their educational requirements for ordination should enroll in NNU's Master of Divinity track in Spiritual Formation, which has been validated by Nazarene Clergy Services.
BIBL7580. Biblical Interpretation for Life & Ministry (4 credits): This course seeks to upgrade students’ use of Scripture in personal spiritual formation in their ministry by focused attention to several critical tasks involved in biblical interpretation. This interpretive work will aid in the development of the spiritual discipline of “listening to the text".
CHIS6580. Sources for Wesleyan Spirituality (4 credits): This course is designed to provide a historical underpinning for spiritual formation by examining Wesley’s theological sources. Particular attention will be given to how these sources have contributed to Wesley’s understanding of the spiritual disciplines and the means of grace.
PHIL7580. Theoretical Foundations for Spiritual Formation (4 credits): This course explores the theoretical foundations, or basic assumptions, of spiritual formation. The course will be primarily concerned with issues related to human anthropology and the development of the self. This will include study in the following areas: critical reasoning, human psychology, and character development.
PRTH6000. Program Orientation (0 credit): This course will orient the student to the resources, procedures, electronic operations, and expectations of the program.
PRTH6180. Introduction to Spiritual Formation (4 credits): This course gives an intensive examination of the discipline of spiritual formation. Particular emphasis will be placed on the examination and practice of the fourteen Disciplines of Spiritual Formation with the purpose of helping students in their personal spiritual formation.
PRTH6980. Topics in Spiritual Formation (4 credits): This course focuses on historical and contemporary issues, and draws upon the expertise of noted experts in the area of spiritual formation in order to optimize relevance for the student.
PRTH7580. Seminar on Spirituality & Ministry (4 credits): This is a course designed to give a small group, intensive experience in which the relationship between spiritual formation and ordained ministry is considered. The course includes examination of the minister as person, professional, and practitioner. The small group will be located in the locale of the student. It will be made up of ministers and laypersons who will provide the optimum group experience.
PRTH7980. Spiritual Direction (4 credits): This course explores the meaning and place, as well as some of the models and dynamics, of the ministry of spiritual direction through an intensive experience. Participants will experience being mentored by a spiritual director, receive feedback on their own ministry of offering spiritual direction, and consider the place of spiritual direction within their own ministries. A reflective journal of spiritual direction will be required. The spiritual mentor will be someone located in the locale of the student.
THEO6580. Readings in Western Spirituality (4 credits): Students will read contemporary theological works and explore their relation to spiritual formation. Critical analysis of the different theologies will provide the student with an understanding of contemporary currents and issues in spiritual formation.
- The graduate integrates the various ways spiritual formation may be part of the ministries of a local church in teaching, worship, preaching, and mission.
- The graduate understands and develops spiritual formation practices, under the supervision of a mentor, that foster personal and spiritual growth.
- The graduate practices the role of being a spiritual director, by utilizing spiritual formation practices, to a local group in their ministry context.
- The graduate assesses spiritual journeys, individual and communities, for the purpose of creating a spiritual formation plan that will stimulate growth in acts of piety and mercy, i.e. inward and outward holiness.