ISF offers a variety of degrees that serve distinct purposes and ends, even though they share some common core elements. Click on each degree to learn more and to see a detailed curriculum chart. Refer to the Degree Comparison Chart below for a quick overview. Please also read our student and alumni testimonies to hear how our students are using their degrees. If you have questions about which degree is right for you, please feel free to contact us.
Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation & Soul Care (M.A. Soul Care)
This degree is designed to equip men and women for the ministry of spiritual direction, discipleship, formation and soul care in the local church and for further academic training in spiritual formation.
Master of Arts: Spiritual Formation Emphasis (M.A. Emphasis)
Created as a more academic program, this degree is designed to equip men and women for more general discipleship and spiritual formation ministry in the local church, and for further academic training.
Master of Divinity: Spiritual Formation & Soul Care Emphasis (M.Div. Spiritual Formation Emphasis)
This emphasis is designed to give those intending to work full time in pastoral leadership positions practical training in spiritual direction and the integration of spiritual formation into the life and ministry of a pastor. It will also prepare students for further academic training.
Certificate in Spiritual Formation
The Certificate is devised to assist individuals in personal growth, provide some training in lay ministry of spiritual formation in the local church, and give the student opportunity to understand their giftedness. It is designed for the possibility of completion within one academic year.
Degree Comparison Chart
|Degrees||Semester Hours||Minimum Program Duration*
(Full Time Students)
|Spiritual Direction Training?||Thesis Required?||Typical Further Degrees Pursued**|
|M.A. Soul Care||56||2 years||Yes||No||MFT, Psy.D.|
|M.A. Emphasis||49||2 years||No||Yes||Additional M.A., Ph.D.|
|M.Div. Spiritual Formation Emphasis||79||3 years||Yes (or Internship)||No||Th.M., D.Min., Ph.D.|
* See each degree page for a full curriculum chart. Our accreditation puts requirements on the minimum time it can take to complete a degree, but it is rare for students to complete a degree within this minimum time frame unless they have completed many pre-requisites or are able to study full time without many other significant time commitments.
** This category is not meant to be restrictive, but rather aims to give a sense of the types of programs graduates of these degrees typically go on to, if they do go on to further graduate studies.