Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies

MASJ Curriculum

The Master of Arts in Social Justice provides graduates with a solid understanding of the theoretical, spiritual, and theological foundations for the work of social justice. Students gain knowledge and develop an understanding of key social justice issues today, skills and tools for assessment and analysis in addressing these issues, best-practice strategies for effective work in advocacy and community development, and contextual education at sites where work for social justice is exemplary.

The MA in Social Justice is a 36 credit hour degree that requires 8 core courses and 3 elective courses along with a sequence of Contextual Education courses (3 credit hours) and a Final Integration Project.

Curriculum Planning Worksheet for MASJ

The curriculum consists of a 12-course, 36 credit hour program. Of these courses, nine are required.

Core Courses (24 credit hours)Credit Hours
IPS 400 Introduction to Graduate and Professional Writing * 0
IPS 610 Foundations of Social Justice 3
IPS 532 Social Context of Ministry 3
IPS 551 Social Ethics in the Catholic Tradition 3
IPS 615 Liberation Theology 3
IPS 620 Diversity and Equity 3
IPS 625 Social Ethics: Politics and Global Economics 3
IPS 635 Community Organizing and Community Development 3
IPS 660 Leadership in Social Justice Organizations 3

* if required at the time of admission

Contextual Education (3 credit hours)Credit Hours
IPS 578 Contextual Ed Preparation 0
IPS 579 Contextual Ed Introduction 0
IPS 580 Contextual Education 3

MA in Social Justice students complete the program with IPS 593, the zero-credit Integration Project, in their final year.

Integration Project (0 credit hours)Credit Hours
IPS 593 0

Learn More about the Integration Project

Electives (3 three-credit courses, or 9 credit hours) are chosen in consultation with the academic advisor. Electives may be taken in IPS or in many of the other schools, colleges, academic centers and institutes at Loyola University Chicago. See your academic advisor for more details.

The following represents a list of courses across the university that would be appropriate for students in the MA in Social Justice. It is meant to be suggestive rather than exhaustive. This list is to make students aware of “sub-disciplines” within social justice as a way of exploring different career options. This list also emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of the degree and the career field. In this way, students might take multiple electives within a given field.

Competency AreaElective Courses

International Development

IPS 423 International Development
PLSC 430 Theories of International Politics
Public Policy MPP 404 The Public Policy Process
PLSC 410 Urban Politics or MPP 410—Urban Politics and Policy
Politics/Government SOWK 509 Political and Strategic Community Interventions
PHIL 480 Social and Political Philosophy
PLSC 447 American Political Thought
Education ELPS 432 Multiculturalism for Social Justice in Higher Education
ELPS 550 Globalization and Education
ELPS 412 Sociological Analysis of Urban Education and Policy
ELPS 433 Student Development in Higher Education
Non-profit management/Communication COMM 405 Narrative Communication Techniques
SOWK 713 Nonprofit Management (currently cross-listed with IPS)
SOWK 714 Philanthropy, Public Policy, Community Change
COMM 368 Critical Ethnography
DIGH 400 Introduction to Digital Humanities Research
IPS 470 Digital Media in Ministry
IPS 453 Fundraising and Grant Writing
Ministry IPS 404 Theology of Suffering
IPS 485 Religious Education, Evangelization, and Culture
IPS 403 Spiritual Paths in World Religions
IPS 570 Introduction to Theology & Ministry
IPS 572 Ignatian Spirituality I: Hearts on Fire
IPS 581 Contextual Education II
Healthcare BEHP 402 Justice and Health
BEHP 411 Public Health Ethics
LAW  761 Health Justice Policy
Individuals and groups PSYC 460 Social Psychology Theory
PSYC 473 Social Development
SOWK 730 Migration Dynamics and U.S. Social Policy
SOWK 732 Migration, Social Justice and Human Rights
SOCL 425 Inequality and Society
IPS 555 Human Person and Psychological Development
IPS 578 Family Systems

*Dual MASJ/MSW students please visit the IPS Dual Degree Programs page.