New Master’s, Certificate Offerings in Spirituality

Beginning next spring semester, Merrimack will offer two new master's and two new certificate programs in spirituality, with particular emphasis on the college's Catholic and Augustinian tradition as well as ecumenical and interfaith relations.

The Master of Arts in Spirituality and the Master of Arts in Spiritual Direction are both 32-credit degree programs that include courses in Christian spirituality and social justice, a seminar in spiritual life and guided research. Students interested in the spiritual direction degree must also complete an intensive eight-credit practicum.

The certificate in spiritual direction (20 credits) and certificate in interfaith spirituality (16 credits) include core courses in Christian spirituality and social justice and a seminar in the spiritual life. The spiritual direction certificate requires the additional eight-credit practicum, and the interfaith spirituality certificate requires a four-credit independent research project.

Led by expert faculty using a combination of academics and experiential learning, the programs are designed to prepare individuals as nonordained, lay ministers who help lead others on their spiritual journey. Graduates will be prepared for careers as pastoral- or spiritual-care providers, spiritual directors or guides, retreat-center directors or Christian mindfulness practitioners.

“These programs are great additions to Merrimack’s offerings given the college’s mission to serve the church and the wider community,” said Joseph Kelley, professor of religious and theological studies and curriculum consultant for the new programs. “There are currently 70,000 lay ministers through the Catholic church in the United States, and more people are needed to serve the community. These new programs are designed to prepare people for that service.”

For more information on these programs, visit