St. Mary's Seminary & University


Spirituality refers to one’s relationship with God and one’s relationship with other persons and all creation because of that primary relationship with God. The courses in spirituality offered by St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute acquaint students with how both Christians and non-Christians, from antiquity to the present, have experienced and described their relationship with God and with how certain practices can foster spiritual growth, not only in an individual but also in congregations.

Note the following abbreviations: PR = prerequisite; CR = corequisite; PR/CR = either a prerequisite or a corequisite. Corequisites may be taken either at the same time as or before the course listed. Prerequisites and corequisites may be waived only with the permission of the Dean and the instructor. 

SP601 Foundations of Christian Spirituality

An examination of spiritual theology, conversion, means of spiritual growth, disciplines, prayer, and spiritual guidance as understood in various faith traditions. PR/CR = TH601.

SP603 Introduction to Spiritual Care

A consideration of the various types of spiritual care and the loci of such care,
comparing it and contrasting it with pastoral care. PR/CR = NONE

SP605 Spiritual Disciplines & Traditions

An examination of historical and contemporary models of such disciplines as prayer, contemplation, fasting, and silence. PR/CR = TH601.

SP609 Spiritual Theology

An in-depth exploration of a particular spiritual movement, with its themes and practices, rooted in historical context.

SP612 African-American Spirituality

An exploration of the distinctive heritage and experiences of African-American Christians and their contributions to the contemporary church. PR/CR = TH601.

SP629 Scripture and Spirituality

An exploration of the intersection between Scripture, theology, and spirituality
through a variety of practices. Cross-listed as BS629. PR/CR = NONE

SP631 Explorations in Spirituality

An examination of different schools of spirituality and the themes they highlight.

SP643 Leading the Retreat

An exploration of different types of spiritual retreats and the skills needed for their design, execution, and evaluation. Cross-listed as RE643. PR/CR = TH601.

SP715 The Theology and Practice of Prayer

An exploration of Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant theological interpretations of prayer, with reflection on the student’s personal and denominational theology of prayer. PR/CR = TH601.

SP720 Introduction to Spiritual Direction

An introduction to various approaches to spiritual friendship and direction as a means to spiritual growth, including individual and group spiritual direction. PR = TH601 and either SP601, SP605, or SP610.

SP738 Faith Development through the Life Cycle

An examination of models of psychological, moral, faith, and spiritual development through all the life stages, and their implications for the church’s ministry of formation and education. Cross-listed as RE734. PR/CR = TH601.