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Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies

Spiritual Direction, Specialization in Ignatian Spirituality

Requirements of the Ignatian Exercises Program (IEP)


The Ignatian Exercises Program (IEP) at the Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS) is offered as part of the Master of Arts in Spirituality/Spiritual Direction (MASp) at Loyola University Chicago (LUC).  It is offered as a specialization within the 36-credit hour Master of Arts/Spiritual Direction Concentration, or as a specialization within the 18-credit hour Graduate Certificate Program in Spiritual Direction. 

As a 36 credit hour MA degree, the Ignatian Exercises Program (IEP) follows the established curriculum of the current MASp Spiritual Direction Concentration of 12 credit hours of Core Courses plus 24 hours of course work in spiritual direction, ethics, and elective courses.  In place of general IPS electives, however, participants in the IEP will take specialized Ignatian electives, including two courses in Ignatian Spirituality (IPS 572 & 573) and a two-course year-long Ignatian Exercises Practicum in directing the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola (IPS 574 & 575). 

As an 18 credit hour Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction, the IEP includes 6 courses: two courses in spiritual direction praxis (IPS 428 & 429), two courses in Ignatian spirituality (IPS 572 & 573), and the two-course year-long Ignatian Exercises Practicum (IPS 574 & 575).

Curriculum for the Ignatian Exercises Program at IPS

MASp: Spiritual Direction Concentration / Ignatian Exercises Program (IEP) – 36 hrs.

The Spiritual Direction Concentration / IEP specialization is a 36 credit hour Masters degree composed of a 4-course, 12-hour Core, plus 24 hours of required and elective courses, including 6 credit hours in Ignatian spirituality and a 6 credit hour, two-semester Ignatian Practicum.

Core Courses: four 3-hour courses (12 hours)   ▲  =  both on campus and online availability

Spiritual Direction Concentration/Ignatian Exercises Program (IEP) specialization:  seven 3-hr. required courses * (added to four Core Courses)  / 3 hrs. of electives / plus four semesters of non-credit Personal Spiritual Direction with a spiritual director that is familiar with the Spiritual Exercises


Course Rotation schedule may be subject to change.

Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction/Ignatian Exercises Program (IEP)

IPS offers a 6-course, 18-hour Graduate Certificate Program in Spiritual Direction in the tradition of Ignatian spirituality and the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), the founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits).  This certificate program is suited to applicants who desire training in spiritual direction as an addition to their current ministerial or career skill set.  Moreover, the IEP is designed to provide knowledge in Ignatian spirituality, generally, as well as specific practical skills for directing the complete Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius.   Applicants must have a Masters or other advanced degree in theology or ministerial studies, psychology, counseling, psychiatric social work, or health care.  Note: for applicants with advanced degrees in psychology, counseling, psychiatric social work or health care the psychology requirement typically is waived.  Such applicants are required to take one course each in Bible and Theology, unless these courses already have been completed on the graduate level.

Click here for more information about the Ignatian Exercises Program / Certificate.


Institute of Pastoral Studies · 820 North Michigan Avenue, Lewis Towers 630, Chicago, IL 60611

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