MASSC Curriculum

The MA in Spirituality and Social Change degree program consists of 39 credit hours of coursework as well as contextual and co-curricular requirements, which can all be completed in two years. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for a wide range of ministry and vocational goals. As such, elective courses and contextual education requirements may be tailored to your interests and needs. 

Core courses are required in the following areas:

  • Religious Heritage: this includes courses in scripture, theology, and ethics
  • Cultural Context: this includes courses in multicultural ministry and methods for interpreting scripture and theology in unique contexts
  • Personal and Spiritual Formation: this includes a course in Christian spirituality as well as participation spiritual care and practice groups
  • Capacity for Ministerial and Public Leadership: this includes courses in preaching, faith-based community organizing, Christian faith formation, and diaconal ministry

The course load ranges from 10-12 credits per semester and 1-2 week intensive courses each January term.

For a list of required courses, click here.

Contextual Education

Contextual education requirements in the MA in Spirituality and Social Change can be tailored to fit your vocational goals. Each student is required to complete two semesters of Ministry in Context, a summer unit of Clinical Pastoral Education, and an 8-month internship.

  • Ministry in Context: Students spend two semesters observing and engaging in local ministry contexts. These ministry sites can range from congregations, to campus ministries, to faith-based non-profits or advocacy groups, to spiritual care and chaplaincy settings, and more. Students work with the Director for Contextual Education to develop a ministry site in a context that makes the most sense for you.
  • Clinical Pastoral Education: Students spend a summer in a hospital or other chaplaincy site with a peer group, under the direction of a supervisor, exploring dimensions of spiritual care. In order to complete the MA in Spirituality and Social Change in two years, this requirement must be completed during the summer after your first year of classes.
  • Internship: In the MA in Spirituality and Social Change, full-time internship begins in the January intersession term of your second year, and concludes at the end of Summer. Internship contexts range widely in setting and location based on your needs and goals. You will work with the Director of Contextual Education to develop a suitable internship experience.

For students pursuing rostered leadership in the ELCA, note that endorsement from your synodical candidacy committee is needed to be placed in an internship site. This means that in the MA in Spirituality and Social Change, you will need to be endorsed no later than the Fall semester of your second year. 


Co-curricular requirements include three semesters of participation in a Formation for Ministry Group, a professional boundaries workshop, and an annual anti-racism training. 

Candidacy (ELCA)

Prospective students are encouraged to be in conversation with their synod if they are exploring a call to be a rostered leader in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. PLTS works with students to navigate the process of incorporating their academic study with their ongoing discernment of call with their candidacy committee.

View the General Candidacy Requirements