Academic programs at the masters’ and doctoral level that support scholarship and creative arts related to women’s spirituality can be found in many regions and in many disciplines. Those described here are not endorsed by ASWM but have indicated openness to scholarship in this field. To have a program listed, please contact ASWM vice-president Patricia Monaghan at patricia (dot) monaghan (at)yamil (dot)com.
The Union Institute offers low-residency and no-residency individual-focus masters’ and doctoral studies. Recent MA theses have included ethnography of Asatru women and Egyptian ritual drama. Recent doctoral work has included Germanic goddess imagery. For information: Brian.Webb@tui.edu
The two-year, 54-unit weekend master’s program in Women’s Spirituality at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (soon to be Sophia University) in Palo Alto CA offers an advanced degree for women at a pivotal “crossroads” in their lives. Our program is designed for adult learners who have a passionate interest in the historical, cultural, philosophical and theoretical roots of a women-centered spirituality as well as the practical applications that its research, personal exploration, and creative expression inspire. The MA program looks to enroll students who have an intellectual capacity to learn theory and engage in critical thinking, and the emotional maturity to work within a cohort-learning structure that relies upon personal integrity and mutual respect.
The program content and group experience empower students to find direction, self-authorization, authenticity and fulfilling life work. Our approach to learning appeals to students who find value in the use and celebration of ritual, creative expression, and community within an academic context and who seek to use this learning as a catalyst for change within themselves and the world.
The curriculum and the learning community we build through our cohort and weekend intensive model would most benefit those students who are looking to enhance their career or professional work through the study of a women-centered spirituality that promotes whole-person learning and encourages their spirited engagement with local communities. These students, many of whom are therapists, social workers, business women and lawyers, nurses, teachers, and artists, as well as individuals working within the non-profit sector, do not view their academic development or progress in earning a graduate degree as discontinuous with the personal, professional, or avocational spheres in their lives, but instead look to deepen their knowledge and develop their competency in these areas through the expertise they gain in the program. Our program schedule also allows students the time to reflect and apply what they learn to their lives and their current work situations.
Our required courses and electives are small graduate seminars held in a cohort model and taught by supportive, diverse, leading practitioners in the fields of women’s spirituality and spiritual activism, including authors, scholars, artists and ritualists. Required courses are offered on one or two weekends per month for two years. For students at a distance, a more flexible schedule is possible. Also required is a thesis or equivalent major creative project as a culmination of a student’s studies.