Spirituality and Work Curriculum

In this online certificate, you will identify how work can support a sense of self, meaning and purpose while engaging in critical analysis of the dimensions of the workplace that impact employees’ inner lives.

Merrimack College’s graduate certificate in spirituality and work is a 16 credit program, comprised of 8 credits in required courses and 8 elective credits. All classes are online.

You may choose to begin the program in the fall, spring or summer terms. The program may be completed in two semesters if you take 8 credits each semester, or you may complete the program in three or four semesters if you choose to take between 4 and 8 credits each term.

Required Courses (8 Credits)

 An introduction to the field of spirituality and the emerging literature and research addressing spirituality and work. Attention will be given to how work is understood in the world’s major wisdom traditions, and the challenges faced by workers in the 21st century to their sense of purpose and meaning. Issues pertinent to emerging generations as well as to middle and older workers will be explored. (offered fall, spring and summer semesters)

An opportunity for the student, working with the professor, to choose a topic that integrates spirituality and work on theoretical, practical and personal levels. The topic will be explored through a project or paper that presents and critically analyzes the meaning and purpose of a person’s role and place at work. (offered fall, spring and summer semesters)

Prerequisite(s): RTS5011 must be taken before or contemporaneous with this course.

Electives (8 credits)

Using case studies, this course will explore issues of spirituality and work as experienced in particular professions and industries. Four or five fundamental questions about the nature of spirituality and its relationship with work will provide multiple lenses to examine that relationship. The course involves an initial synchronous online meeting (3hours), two mid-semester synchronous meetings (3 hours each), and a final synchronous class (3 hours). Asynchronous work will involve assigned readings and videos, online discussions, and a final project consisting of a case study constructed by the student. This course may be taken several times to allow a student to explore case studies about different professions or industries. (offered in 8-week sessions during fall (2x), spring (2x) and summer semesters (1x))

Prerequisite(s): RTS5011 must be taken before or contemporaneous with this course.

An introduction to the foundations of Christian Spirituality as found in contemplative prayer, the Bible, Christian worship and moral teaching; attention will be given to major spiritual movements in Christian history, including Augustinian and other religious orders, Protestant and Orthodox movements and contemporary intentional Christian lay communities; the relationship between contemplation, spirituality, morality and social justice. (offered spring semester)

An integration of interiority, the search for meaning and the seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching; the themes of basic human dignity, human rights, the common good and social justice will also be explored in other spiritual traditions, with special attention to their roots in the Hebrew Prophets. (offered spring semester)

Our society needs a new kind of religious leadership and spirituality, grounded in a particular tradition and at the same time able to interact effectively with other faith communities. This course is designed to educate participants about the beliefs and practices of the three Abrahamic traditions, and of the Eastern religious traditions, with particular focus on how various traditions integrate the experience of transcendence with daily life. Special attention is given to the practice of prayer, meditation, and contemplation, using the method of comparative theology which respects the integrity of each tradition. The course will include visits to diverse religious communities and observer participation in their common prayer, with appropriate respect for the customs and expectations of the host community. (offered fall semester)

Seminar I addresses basic theories and practices foundational for the spiritual life through reading, intensive journaling, shared conversation, and a final integrative paper or project. The seminar provides an opportunity for students to integrate both on a theoretical and on a personal level the psychological, theological and pastoral dimensions of the spiritual life. (offered fall semester)

Prerequisite(s): At least one of the following courses, RTS 5020, RTS 5030, or RTS 5040, taken before or contemporaneous with this seminar.

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