We exist to serve as an international center of study to connect the contemporary quest for spirituality with the deep wells of the Christian tradition.
Why are we here? How do we make sense of and cope with suffering and injustice? How do we reconnect with purpose in our work and our life? These questions transcend history and point to our perennial quest for meaning and purpose in life. We live in a rapidly changing society subject to the stresses of modern life. The impersonal nature of technology and industry have left us lacking in true social connection, creating a growing sense of isolation and futility. Confronting these contemporary forces, we enter a crucial stage and experience essentially universal emptiness and hunger.
In recent years, people have turned to other philosophies, traditions and the self-help industry to try to nourish this hunger. Where does society turn for nourishment when other means have left us lacking? In the contemporary search for immaterial sources of happiness, well-being, and purpose, drawing wisdom from the deep wells of Christian Spirituality has never been more relevant.
Advanced Degrees in Spirituality
The Institute for the Study of Contemporary Spirituality (ISCS) at Oblate School of Theology
is the only concentrated, integrative program of its kind in the United States offering ATS accredited PhD, DMin, and MA degrees in Contemporary Spirituality.
For scholars and people within academia, the ISCS offers three distinct degrees in the field of Contemporary Spirituality, all taught by an internationally renowned faculty. The goal of our degree programs is to convene the academic resources emerging within the growing field of Contemporary Spirituality and make them available to the community of scholars.
ISCS inspires an ongoing and renewed interest in the rigorous study of and publication on Spirituality to benefit the world’s understanding of how the deep wells of Christian mysticism can enrich broader global theological and religious scholarship.
Degree programs include:
Master of Arts in Spirituality: The Master in Spirituality is designed to help students from a variety of Christian traditions deepen their understanding of Christian spirituality. Graduates will be valuable resources for spirituality and renewal centers, parish and retreat work, as well as other spirituality-related faith formation and educational programs in a culturally diverse and globalized world. Courses may be taken full-time or part-time and face-to-face or online.
Doctor of Ministry in Spirituality and Ministry: The Doctor of Ministry (DMin) in Spirituality and Ministry is a degree in Practical Theology with a concentration in spirituality and ministry. The program is intended for experienced ministers with a Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent who are ready to take their practice of ministry to the next level. The program can be taken in two forms: either on a semester basis (for residential or commuter students) or on an intensive basis (for students at a distance). The doctoral-level courses focus on enhancing the understanding and practice of ministry through exploration of traditional and contemporary movements in Christian spirituality.
Ph.D. in Spirituality: The Doctor of Philosophy degree was established in response to an expressed interest for academically rigorous graduate formation and scholarship in Spirituality. This is a full-time residential program designed to give each student the tools to assess religious experience, critically evaluate contemporary movements within spirituality, help mentors others in spirituality, and do scholarly research and publishing. Our faculty is drawn from internationally recognized and published scholars, authors, and leaders in the field of spirituality not available in one program like this anywhere else.
Magis Ignatian Spirituality Programs: Magis offers Ignatian Spiritual Director Training Certification, as well as an Ignatian Spiritual Director Matching Service.
Ignatian Spiritual Director training is a graduate-level program that gives directors a thorough knowledge of Ignatius’ original text of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, as well as an understanding of the culture in which the Spiritual Exercises were founded. Upon certification, directors can accompany others without having to rely on “canned” or pre-designed formats of the Spiritual Exercises.
Magis also offers Ignatian Retreat opportunities and Parish Programs through the Department of Continuing Education These short retreats are based on the principles of Ignatian Spirituality and are appropriate for someone who would like to “test the waters,” before making a longer-term commitment.
Spirituality and Health Care Education Program
ISCS’s newest initiative, the Spirituality and Health Care Education (S&HC) program, addresses the belief in the intrinsic relationship between spirituality and healing. The new S&HC program underscores
and directs the current interest in spirituality within health care in the formation of educational programs on spirituality for the healthcare profession. In deepening spiritual insight through an integrative and holistic professional practice, this comprehensive approach holds the power to transform and improve present health care systems and public health.
The goal of the S&HC program is to advance the competency of transdisciplinary professionals by developing their ability to integrate a spiritual dimension into practice, thus improving their capacity to recognize and attend to the spiritual needs of their patients/clients, colleagues, and self. The S&HC program will introduce an integrative, holistic, and patient-centered practice model, which has the potential to yield positive health outcomes for both the practitioner and the patient. Additionally, the S&HC program will include a cultural, ethical and moral dimension as part of the education program. Evidence-based research informed the development of the S&HC program, and research remains an integral piece of the program.
The program is made possible through ISCS’s partnership with Compassionate San Antonio, Haven for Hope Spiritual Services, the San Antonio peaceCENTER, The Final Acts Project and TheEcumenical Center, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa and NASW-Alamo Branch.