Project Description

MA in Spirituality

Programme Leader:

Dr Louise Nelstrop

Deputy Programme Leaders:

Fr Dragos Herescu
Dr Gemma Simmonds CJ

The MA in Spirituality is designed to provide you with an in-depth understanding of spirituality within the Christian tradition, across all traditions–Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, etc.

The course explores the development of spirituality across history, enabling you to undertake detailed explorations of spirituality within historical, ecumenical and contemporary worlds.

The course is designed to enable you to join a lively debate on the meaning and the role of spirituality in the context of the Christian traditions as well as in today’s multi-cultural and multi-religious environments.

Methodological approaches that you will learn include: theological, psychological, historical, literary and empirical skills.

Outline of the MA

Four taught modules (2 compulsory, 2 optional) and a dissertation (15,000).

Compulsory Modules

The Human Condition

Problematises the ‘human condition’ theologically – through topics such as the self, embodiment, individuality and creation.

  • Introduces methodologies pertinent to Spirituality as well as Contemporary Ethics, Contemporary Faith and Belief and Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy.
  • Resources students for the demands of theological and philosophical study at level 7.
  • Equips students to access optional modules inside and outside of the spirituality track.

Christian Spirituality In Context

Introduce students to some of the major figures and themes in Christian spirituality (from the spirituality of the Early Church, to early monastic expressions, the Late Middle Ages, the early modernity of nineteenth century, to the present day).

Optional Modules

  • The Mystery of Love (co-taught with MA in Contemporary Faith and Belief)
  • Orthodox Spirituality: Life in Liturgy
  • Wesleyan Spirituality and Theology
  • *Spiritual Direction in the Ignatian Tradition
  • Faith and Imagination (co-taught with MA in Contemporary Faith and Belief)
  • Christianity and Ecology (co-taught with MA in Contemporary Ethics)
  • *Medieval and Celtic Spirituality (including Christian Mysticism)
  • Independent learning modules are also available for the exploration of relevant additional topics under the guidance of an expert tutor.
  • Students can also replace the spirituality optional modules with a module from any of our four MAs: Contemporary Ethics, Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy, Contemporary Faith and Belief:

(Nb. not all modules run every year)

(*Nb. subject to validation)


For more information please email Dr Louise Nelstrop:

Frequently Asked Questions – MA Courses

About our MAs
All our MAs are ecumenical. They are run jointly by tutors from across the Cambridge Theological Federation from a variety of theological backgrounds (Catholic, Orthodox, Methodist, Anglican, Jewish etc.).

We have four MA pathways: Spirituality, Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy, Contemporary Ethics, and Contemporary Faith and Belief.

What kind of students take our MAs?
Students come from a diverse range of backgrounds and include: returning learners, career change, professionals seeking development.

What will you learn on our MAs?
You will become a subject specialist but you will also learn about different methodological approaches that underpin each of our theology MAs, meaning that you will be equipped to take options outside of your specific field if you want.

How are the MAs course taught?
The MAs are delivered flexibly, and students can choose between a mixture of classroom and online/directed study (blended learning), and taking the MA through distance learning.

Some modules are delivered weekly, others are taught in intensive blocks.

** COVID-19 update: all our courses will be online until at least Jan 2022.

How are the MAs structured?
Each MA consists of four taught modules (2 compulsory, 2 optional) and a dissertation (15,000). It is normally taken over two years part-time.

What are the entry requirements?
Students normally require a good first degree (minimum 2:1) or equivalent experience. If you are unsure, contact us to find out if you are eligible.

Can I try out one of the modules to see if the MA is for me?
Most of our modules are also available for paying ‘guests’ to audit (numbers limited).
One module can also be taken as an affiliate student – which means the credit can be integrated into the MA when you enrol.

Who validates the MAs and how do I apply?
The course is validated by Anglia Ruskin University and students apply to study with us directly through the Anglia Ruskin website (see links below under each MA).

How much does it cost?
Full details can be found on the Cambridge Theological Federation website:

Who should I contact if I want to talk about this more before I apply?
For more information or to apply for this course please email Dr Louise Nelstrop:

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