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Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Direction (MASFD)

Through rigorous academics paired with profound spiritual formation, the Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Direction is designed to provide you with advanced training in the spiritual and devotional practices that lead to both personal and communal growth. Graduates of this program aspire to fulfill their Christian vocation to love and serve God and neighbor through the task of spiritual direction and companionship.
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Garrett-Evangelical’s deep and abiding commitment to nurture spiritual leaders will ensure that the church has leaders who are not only intellectually prepared to serve God and others, but who are spiritually formed in Christ so God can use them for the transformation of the world. - Dr. Frederick Schmidt

MA and Certificate in Spiritual Direction

Most of the courses in the Spiritual Direction concentration include a spiritual direction module, which – when successfully completed – leads to a certificate in spiritual direction. Those skills may be used in a direction setting, but they may also inform and enhance your approach to leadership, preaching, teaching, and pastoral counseling. In order to receive the certificate in spiritual direction, you must take all five courses in the Spiritual Direction concentration and the direction modules are not offered with other electives. Courses and modules include:

The History and Theology of Christian Spirituality
Focuses on the history of Christian spirituality, examining the theological assumptions that have shaped that history.

Direction Module One: History, Theology, and Models of Spiritual Direction

Spirituality, Diversity, and the Global Landscape
Examines the multi-cultural, ethnic, and religious dynamics that shape spiritual practice and the context in which spiritual formation is taught and nurtured.

Direction Module Two: The spiritual journey, developmental issues, and the use of evaluative tools, including the Myers-Briggs Inventory and the Enneagram

Spiritual Practice
Focuses on the varieties of Christian spiritual practice, experience with that practice, and the process of Christian formation.

Direction Module Three: Spiritual Direction, Therapy, and Pastoral Counseling

Spiritual Formation and the Leader
Focuses on the essentially spiritual nature of the leadership task, a theology of spiritual authority, and the application of spiritual practice and understanding to the leadership challenge.

Direction Module Four: Applied Skills, including “holy listening” and other techniques

Practicum in Spiritual Formation
Focuses on the evolving challenges facing leaders engaged in spiritual formation, relying upon student projects as laboratories for defining and dealing with those challenges.

Direction Module Five: Practicum, including verbatims, in-class exercises, the integration of knowledge, and assessment of the student’s direction skills

Affording Your Education

One Student. One Scholarship.

At Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, every master degree student receives a scholarship. Scholarships are available for full-time and part-time students and are designed with an eye toward each student’s passion and our mission. Scholarships range from 25% of tuition up to 100% of tuition with stipends. To learn more about all of our scholarship opportunities, please visit

Fellows Program

Deacon Fellows

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary has been a leader in preparing students for ministry as a deacon since The United Methodist Church created the Order of Deacons in 1996. In honor of the 20th Anniversary of the Order of Deacons, Garrett-Evangelical launched teh Deacon Fellows program in Fall 2017. You can learn more about Deacon Fellows, as well as the Deacon Studies program at Garrett-Evangelical, at

Hispanic-Latinx Fellows

Since 1988, Garrett-Evangelical has been committed to bringing Hispanic culture and experience into the life of the seminary and provide continuing education to the church through the Hispanic-Latinx Center. In line with this commitment, Garrett-Evangelical is launching a new Hispanic-Latinx Fellows Program in order to better support Hispanic-Latinx students who are called to ministry. This fellows program recognizes the unique gifts of our Hispanic and Latinx applicants who will be ministering in bilingual settings and/or who have significant contributions to make to the global religious landscape. To learn more about the Hispanic-Latinx Fellows program, visit

Pan Methodist Fellows

Since 1970 and the foundation of the Church and the Black Experience, Garrett-Evangelical has had a strong emphasis on African American experience and ministry. In line with this commitment and our Methodist heritage, Garrett-Evangelical launched Pan-Methodist Fellows Program in order to better support AME, AMEZ, and CME students who are called to ministry. To learn more about the Pan-Methodist Fellows program visit

Renowned Faculty Dedicated to the Practice of Ministry and Spiritual Formation

Our faculty is one of Garrett-Evangelical's greatest assets. They are widely recognized for their expertise, scholarship, and leadership in the Church and academy. They represent most of the major denominations and a variety of theological perspectives. Our faculty members have published hundreds of books and articles, and several hold places of international recognition and preeminence in their fields.

Learn More About Our Faculty

Our faculty in the areas of spiritual formation and direction include:

Dr. Frederick Schmidt holds the Rueben P. Job Chair in Spiritual Formation at Garrett-Evangelical. Previously, Dr. Schmidt served as the Director of Spiritual Formation and Anglican Studies, as well as Associate Professor of Christian Spirituality, at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, Texas. He has also served as Canon Educator and Director of Programs in Spirituality and Religious Education at Washington National Cathedral; as special assistant to the President and Provost of La Salle University in Philadelphia; as a Fellow of the American Council on Education; and as Dean of St. George’s College, Jerusalem. Dr. Schmidt blogs regularly at and most recently published The Dave Test: A Raw Look at Real Faith in Hard Times (Abingdon Press 2013).

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Direction is a 56-credit hour program and is most often completed in two years for students enrolled full time.

Interview with Dr. Schmidt about the MASFD Degree


Online Learning

While we honor the traditional methods of instruction and rich heritage of academia, we also embrace non-traditional methods such as online learning and hybrid classes. The maximum number of courses which may be taken in an online format is 1/3 of the degree. Students receiving advanced standing or transfer can take no more than 1/3 of remaining credits toward the degree in an online format. Students seeking ordination should check with the appropriate church authorities to see if there are more specific guidelines that must be met.

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Admission Requirements

  • Graduation from an accredited college or university
  • An undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Proficiency in the English language

Admission Process

Applications will be reviewed upon completion. The admissions committee reserves the right to determine, in its sole judgment, whether an applicant is a suitable candidate for a specific degree program or for the vocation that the program represents. Applications are accepted on an ongoing, rolling-admission basis and are due six weeks before date of entry for domestic students. International applications are due March 1st.