MA in Christian Spirituality East and West


Programme Leader:

Dr Florence O’Taylor

Deputy Programme Leaders:

Fr Dragos Herescu
Dr Gemma Simmonds CJ

balancing stones

With our MA in Christian Spirituality East and West you will join a lively debate on the meaning and the role of spirituality in the context of the Christian traditions as well as in today’s multi-cultural and multi-religious environments.

Students will be supported to:

  • progress in critical understanding and knowledge of aspects of the Christian spiritual traditions;
  • explore and evaluate contemporary manifestations of Christian spiritual belief and practice;
  • develop a critical understanding of the human condition as it shapes different approaches to Christian spirituality;
  • relate the discourse of Spirituality to a wide range of contemporary personal, professional and vocational questions;
  • undertake a detailed exploration of some issues of significance in the contemporary context.

Outline of the MA

Five taught modules (1 compulsory, 2 optional 30-credit, 2 optional 15-credit) and a dissertation (15,000).

Compulsory Modules

Christian Spiritual Traditions, East and West

This module will give students an overview of the historical development of the Christian Mystical tradition East and West. It will introduce students to key themes and debates in the study of Christian mysticism, including the relative importance of experience, and the relationship between Christian mysticism and agency with reference to politics and society. Students will examine a variety of mystical texts, teachings and figures from a variety of Christian traditions and will explore the continuities and discontinuities between pre-modern mystical texts understood in their historical and cultural context and contemporary interpretations from East and West. Students will explore the languages and images used within mystical texts and key doctrinal believes associated with Christian mysticism, such as apophatic anthropology and deification.

The Core Module gives an introduction to the foundations and forms of Western Christian Spirituality and Eastern Christian Spirituality.

Optional Modules

  • Celtic & Medieval Spirituality 15
  • Spiritual Direction in the Ignatian Tradition 15
  • Embodying Wisdom 15
  • Christian Spirituality & the Arts 15
  • Life in Liturgy: The Spiritual Traditions of the Christian East 30
  • Christian Mysticism East and West 30
  • Christian Spirituality in the Contemporary World 30
  • Spirituality, Materiality and the Body 30
  • Wesleyan Theology and Spirituality 30

+PG Major Project: Dissertation 60

Co-validated Modules

  • Children’s Spirituality 30
  • Mystery of Love 30
  • Christianity & Ecology 30 (Faith & Belief)
  • Interfaith Relations from Theory to encounter 30

(Nb. not all modules run every year)

Assessments for modules vary. They include book reviews, essays, presentations and blogs. All 30 credit modules have assessments equivalent to 6,000 words. All 15 credit modules have assessments equivalent to 3000 words.

Apply for the course starting in September 2024

For more information please email Dr Sean Ryan

Frequently Asked Questions – MA Courses

About our MAs
All our MAs are ecumenical. They are run jointly by tutors from across the Cambridge Theological Federation from a variety of theological backgrounds (Catholic, Orthodox, Methodist, Anglican, Jewish etc.).

We have four MA pathways: Spirituality, Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy, Contemporary Ethics, and Contemporary Faith and Belief.

What kind of students take our MAs?
Students come from a diverse range of backgrounds and include: returning learners, career change, professionals seeking development.

What will you learn on our MAs?
You will become a subject specialist but you will also learn about different methodological approaches that underpin each of our theology MAs, meaning that you will be equipped to take options outside of your specific field if you want.

How are the MAs course taught?
The MAs are delivered flexibly, and students can choose between a mixture of classroom and online/directed study (blended learning), and taking the MA through distance learning.

Some modules are delivered weekly, others are taught in intensive blocks.

** COVID-19 update: all our courses will be online until at least Jan 2022.

How are the MAs structured?
Each MA consists of four taught modules (2 compulsory, 2 optional) and a dissertation (15,000). It is normally taken over two years part-time.

What are the entry requirements?
Students normally require a good first degree (minimum 2:1) or equivalent experience. If you are unsure, contact us to find out if you are eligible.

Can I try out one of the modules to see if the MA is for me?
Most of our modules are also available for paying ‘guests’ to audit (numbers limited).
One module can also be taken as an affiliate student – which means the credit can be integrated into the MA when you enrol.

Who validates the MAs and how do I apply?
The course is validated by Anglia Ruskin University and students apply to study with us directly through the Anglia Ruskin website (see links below under each MA).

How much does it cost?
Full details can be found on the Cambridge Theological Federation website:

Who should I contact if I want to talk about this more before I apply?
For more information or to apply for this course please email Adele Angel: