Skip to content Exit mobile menu


Previous degree
View all requirements


Distance/blended learning available?


Tier 4 visa

2/3 years


Prof Peter Tyler
Prof Peter Tyler

Professor - Pastoral Theology and Spirituality
020 8240 4082

Apply now Apply now

This course would allow you to explore the richness of Christian spirituality through historical, anthropological and theological lenses. It integrates theory with practice, and will be particularly appealing if you are in ministry, contemplating ministry or wanting to discover more about this exciting area.

Why study Christian Spirituality?

This masters is designed to offer you the opportunity to study this field in some depth, from historical, theological, psychological and other points of view. The course examines different understandings of how Christians seek to relate to God, the underlying theology and the particular practices or lifestyles that express these understandings.

The search for ‘spirituality’ is one of the most striking aspects of our contemporary Western cultures. In simple terms, the word ‘spirituality’ stands for the way we seek to live out our fundamental beliefs and values. In Christian terms, spirituality is based on a relationship with God, to whom we seek to respond.

Why St Mary's?

As an institution we have been at the forefront in the development of spirituality, as an academic discipline. In 2009, we held one of the first European conference connected to its study, the proceedings of which were published as Sources of Transformation: Revitilizing Christian Spirituality (Eds. Peter Tyler and Edward Howells, Continuum 2011).

We have developed on our world-class scholarship and experience in this department into an innovative, stand-alone, MA in Christian Spirituality.

Key facts

  • 2017 the library acquired the Franciscan Study Collection from the Franciscan Study Centre in Canterbury.

Course content

Please note: in any given year not all modules will be offered, only a selection according to staff availability and student demand. The course will be taught on eight Saturdays at St Mary’s University.


  • Aspects of Biblical Interpretation 
  • Christianity in Dialogue 
  • Contemplative and Monastic Spirituality 
  • Marian Studies 
  • Mystical Theology 
  • Spiritual Direction, Psychology and Spiritual Formation 
  • Systematic Theology and Contemporary Themes 
  • The Mendicants: Franciscan, Dominican and Carmelite Spirituality 
  • The Theologies of Liberation and Political Theology 
  • Foundations of Christian Spirituality CORE
Please refer to the programme specification document for a summary of the programme.

Career opportunities

This degree has flexibility for students, allowing you to study part-time. This enables you to continue professional development alongside various forms of Christian ministry and leadership. Or on a personal level this MA is a way of continuing your interests, while enhancing your future employability or advancement to more senior roles.

This advanced education in Christianity would open specific opportunities in school teaching, and work with Christian or other charities and agencies. 

The skills acquired through this programme with provide an education which sensitises you to engaging with religious and ethical ideas from other times, cultures and places. Thus, it will equip you to go into a profession that engages with cross-cultural situations, such as non-governmental organisations in the UK and overseas, international relations, and the civil service.

Finally, the increasing role of psycho-spiritual formation in counselling and psychological settings is reflected in our optional module, Spiritual Direction, Psychology and Spiritual Formation, which will prove valuable if you want to pursue a career in these areas.

How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

Student learning will be supported by a variety of strategies across the programme, which will include:

  • Lectures, to give overviews or detailed considerations of areas of knowledge or methods;
  • Seminar discussion based on prior reading or study tasks, to facilitate students growing in critical engagement with key texts from the tradition;
  • Student oral presentations on particular topics or texts, to enable students to develop in articulating their understanding and application of knowledge and approaches to Christian spirituality and to develop presentation skills, use of IT etc.;
  • Multimedia platforms such as online discussions and postings;
  • Provision of materials where appropriate (such as subject guides, handbooks, guided reading, and bibliographies);
  • Individual supervision for dissertation and essay work, to facilitate students’ own research and growth in ability to pursue independent study. 

Assessment methods

The degree is assessed by essays and other coursework set for the taught part (120 credits) and by a dissertation (60 credits). The dissertation will be on an agreed topic and will be up to 15,000 words.


How the course is taught

The course will be taught on eight Saturdays a year at the St Mary’s campus, Twickenham.

Qualifications available

If you complete two taught modules (60 credits) you will qualify for a Postgraduate Certificate.

Completing four taught modules (120 credits) will qualify you for a Postgraduate Diploma and successfully completing both coursework and dissertation will qualify you for a Master's degree.


View all facilities

Fees and funding

2018/19 fees

  • Home/EU: coming soon
  • International: Tier 4 Visa not accepted

2019/20 fees

  • Home/EU: £6,240
  • International: £13,650

The UK Government has confirmed that EU applicants starting in 2019 or 2020 remain eligible for 'home fee status' and can access financial support.

Part-time fees

Part-time students will be charged for the modules undertaken per academic year. Module prices are calculated as a percentage of credits against the total credits and cost of the degree.

Tuition fees are subject to an inflationary increase each year, meaning if your course runs over more than one academic year you may pay an increased fee per module for each subsequent year of study. Tuition fee increases for returning students will be capped at the higher of 5% per annum or the rate of Consumer Price Index inflation in the United Kingdom.


For guidance about financing your studies, including information about government-funded loans, please check out Fees & Funding section.

International Students should check their eligibility for our International Scholarship.

Alumni discount

A 20% tuition fee discount is available for our alumni (undergraduate and PGCE) planning to study this Master's degree. Those studying for a PGDip of PGCert are not eligible for the discount.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken For further information about additional costs please contact

Further information